Excuse me, Paulie, Tony, Big Tony, Little Tony, Super Tiny Tony? I’m sorry to interrupt this meeting of the heads of the family, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to express how grateful I am to be taking on this new role as official fall guy for the Fortino mafia.

When yous all got us together after that big DEA raid down at the pier and said, “So who’s gonna step up for the family and be the fall guy?” I couldn’t believe my lucky stars that I was the first, and only, wiseguy to put up his hand. Not so wise after all, huh? I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in charge of spreading a bit of autumnal spirit throughout the organization? I’ve been dreaming about a moment like this since I was a little goombah.

Now before you say anything, I’ve already taken the initiative of outlining some of the activities I’ve got planned for us. Hope you don’t mind I used one of the MacBooks that fell off the back of that Best Buy truck to put together a brief PowerPoint presentation, entitled “Fun Fall Activities for the Whole Crime Family.”

For starters, I’m thinking we charter Don Matteo’s stretch Lincoln Continental and head upstate to do a bit of apple picking. Paulie, didn't you say the last fall guy took a permanent trip upstate after that witness in the extortion case had to have his big mouth shut? He must have adored the foliage to leave his family behind.

You think he knows of any good orchards up there? What am I saying? Of course he does!

After that, we kick off spooky season with a Goodfellas-themed Halloween party. Mickey, your goomah can put out a spread of her famous gaba-ghoul with some boo-ffalo mozzarella. See what I did there? We can even set up a hay bale maze down at the waste management facility and have ourselves a pumpkin-carving contest. Vinnie, we all saw the number you did on that rat Rosetti’s face, so I’m sure this’ll be right up your alley. And what better way to keep our heads down while the Feds sniff around the compound than by bobbing for apples?

As for decorations, we keep it real classy. A few pinecone wreaths here and there, some gourds in the front window of the butcher shop, maybe drape a bit of decorative maize around the nudie bar. That sorta thing. We can even use the leaves we’ll collect from our apple-picking outing to create our own leaf-stamped table runners. I read about that one on Martha Stewart Living.

What? She did her time. She’s solid.

Now before you say anything, I can already tell what you’re thinking by the stunned looks on your faces: “Isn’t it a bit early to be planning for the upcoming harvest? It’s only mid-September.” Well, that’s just the kind of fall guy I am!

I only hope I can do half as good a job as the last fall guy, whom everyone seems to speak so highly of. Say, where did ol’ Frankie wind up, anyway? Dannemora? I bet it’s lovely this time of year.

Now what do yous say we make this the best damn autumn season the Fortino family has ever seen? Okay, I’m seeing a lot of unhappy toothpick-shifting. How’s about we table this discussion and circle back after we’re done dealing with this whole drug raid situation? Somebody’s gonna have to do some time for it and it sure as shit ain’t gonna be me. I’ll be too busy making the pinecone wreaths!