As I sat with my great uncle, Warren Gamaliel Andrews, upon his favorite park bench, he began to tell the oft-repeated story of his involvement in the “Punch-Bowl Arch” affair that took place in the woods of Northern Michigan back during the “roaring 70's”. I retorted that the 70's did not roar at all, but rather boogied a little. He countered that it was more of a shimmy. I relented, and he went on with his story.
Just as Uncle Warren was getting to the part about the illicit trading of pet rocks, we were interrupted by the most disturbing conversation being conducted at high volume on the park bench just behind us. A large woman (weighing, by Uncle Warren's estimation, nearly 30-stone) in an electric scooter-contraption was gesturing wildly at a pasty-faced man who appeared to be of Swedish extraction.
“Well, go on...go get me one. And get it with lots of bacon,” cried the woman at long last. The man went off to the nearby food-mobile that had been so courteously provided by the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cardiology.
Uncle Warren resumed his tale, and did his best imitation of President Ford dancing the “electric prostate.” Just when I thought my dear uncle might dislocate his clavicle, the pasty Swede returned.
“They're all out of bacon. They said the delivery truck would be by later,” said the man. “How about a cheesy sausage-roll?”
Can they put bacon on it?” asked the woman.
“I think they're out of bacon for everything,” said the man.
“Well, go find out.”
The Swede returned to the food-mobile and Uncle Warren gave his clavicle a shake. He had just reached the part of the tale about Mrs. Ford and an amorous lumberjack when the man returned again.
“No, they don't have any bacon at all. You have to wait until later if you want bacon.”
“Well, what the hell am I supposed to eat?” asked the woman.
“I don't know,” said the man. “Lemme go see what they've got.”
The man returned once more to the food-mobile and Uncle Warren continued. We were just observing the usual moment of silence that uncle Warren would demand after he told the part of the story about the demise of a 40-foot blue spruce when the pasty-faced man returned and spoke again.
“How about some nachos and salsa?”
The large woman thought for a long while. Uncle Warren and I thought she was perhaps joining us in the moment of silence. We were mistaken.
“Is it meat salsa?” she asked after the lengthy pause for reflection.
“No, I think it's just regular salsa.”
“Let's get the hell outta' here and go to a park that's got some meat.” The woman began to zoom off toward the park entrance. The pasty-faced man of presumed Swedish extraction followed after with his head hanging low. We watched them disappear down the lane and onto the sidewalk, where the pair of them were immediately struck to the ground by a runaway streetcar and killed in an instant.
Uncle Warren turned to me. We were both obviously quite shaken.
“Here,” he said, handing me his hip flask. “Drink up.”
I took a long pull from the flask and immediately spit it out. “Is this rat poison?” I cried in disgust.
“No,” said Uncle Warren, with the usual twinkle in his eye,” I think it's just regular poison.”