The Hot-Dog Vendor at the Northwest Corner of Calvert Park
by Eric A.L. Axner, January 10th 2023
All of this is said to have happened on a Tuesday afternoon in Calvert Park. Since I suffer from a rather severe memory loss triggered by events that took place that afternoon, I have been told of some of the following events from a third party, and because of that person's sober look, taste in expensive watches and the fact that I do not know the person in question, I see no real reason to doubt anything I've been told.
As always, when the park benches around Grover Square are too crowded, I venture into Calvert Park to feed the collection of waterfowl that squat there during the warmer months with breadcrumbs and also, at the same time, feed my hobby of people-watching. But as I was later to be made very aware of, and forget again; this was not turning out to be my day. The park was almost empty of bipedal creatures and instead I had to take refuge in an old newspaper which hung over the back of the green wooden bench closest to the stationery hot dog vendor, operated by Millicent Welles, a charming woman and quite the original. I had only gotten as far as the last page - be that as I have an unwavering habit of always reading the newspaper backwards - and the amusing article about a house burglar who, when he gets caught stealing, offers his victim oral sex as compensation. Surprisingly often he gets away with it. Anyhow, as far as I was aware it was just me and the hot dog vendor lady there, but apparently without me noticing, a third person had joined our little informal gathering, but was in no way intending to join in on our relaxed and free-of-bother existence. I heard someone say something in the style of "Gimme the money, bitch!" and it was first then I saw him. Holding a big, sharp knife and uttering such libel rubbish to that kind old hag! What a bastard, I thought to myself, preparing to launch at him from behind. In my adrenaline-fuelled state of heroism I suppose I imagined getting a medal for such a selfless feat and maybe a free hot dog now and again. Unfortunately it was from this point onward I lost all memory of what happened next.
As I previously mentioned, I was in graphic detail told of what later ensued and I can gladly announce that my heroic deed was successful, in as much as the robber being pacified by the weight of my body laying on top of his. Regrettably, his body laid on top of the hot dog vendor cart which in turn had poor Millicent Welles beneath it. Thankfully the cart had not taken any major damage and was able to go back into use after only a small inspection of its framework and a warm water cleanup. As for the knife-wielding stick-up man, he suffered some mild grazes and a sprained ankle and amazingly Millicent got out from under the whole incident without even a scratch as a healthy reminder. I however suffered as is known by now a complete loss of memory, starting from that precise moment and continuing for the subsequent few days. In addition to this condition, in time I also received a prison sentence of fifteen years for two cases of attempted manslaughter. My pleas to the police officers not to arrest me but rather the man underneath me apparently made little difference. Now that I have much time on my hands to think about it, I must admit that I do find it a bit strange that my lawyer, Mr. Laupender knew all the details of what happened that afternoon, despite being certain that he was at work on the completely opposite side of town. Yet again, had he himself been at Calvert Park that day, I probably would have remembered seeing him, as I take my hobby of being a people-watcher very seriously. Especially since he at the trial showed a slight limp and a touch of mouth herpes - hardly things likely for me to miss.