Just Between You, Me And The Lamppost
Copyright © 2006, Steven W. Johnson
All Rights Reserved
June 22, 1917
Dear Miss Alice,
You can blame me all you want, but it really wasn’t my fault. It was that damned lamppost standing there at the corner of your house. Who would have thought one little gas lamp could cause so much trouble.
I was just standing there, waiting for you, when Constable Williams came by and told me to move along. I tried to tell him I was taking you to the moving picture show at the Waldorf, but he wouldn’t listen. He said I had no business messing with the likes of you. He said, emphatically, that I should stay on my side of town.
As you know, I left when he poked that night stick of his into my stomach. But I didn’t go far. I sought refuge at the park until he walked away. Unfortunately, I was not the only one in the park at the time.
I stumbled into Billy Bluster and his paramour. I’m sure you know her. Sort of tall, long brown hair, buck teeth and a silver twinkle sparkling from behind her glasses. I didn’t mean to trip over them, but it was dark and I was watching behind me hoping Constable Williams wasn’t following me. We ended up in a heap, the three of us, all tangled up similar to that skein of yarn you and I found last month beneath the parlor divan.
I really didn’t know what was happening until Miss You Know Who screamed and Billy struck me in the eye with his fist. I had no intention of interrupting their tryst, it just happened.
When I was finally able to extricate myself from them, I ran as Billy was trying to pull his trousers up. Unbeknownst to me, Constable Williams heard the young lady’s scream as well, saw me and gave chase. I hid under the left field bleachers of Rand Field until the constable stopped looking for me. It was there I found a baseball with a ripped cover.
In my stupidity, I thought I might be able to ‘even the score’ with Constable Williams by tossing the ball at his head. The baseball left my hand without its cover. It was never my intention to throw the ball through the lamppost glass. Nor was it my intention to have the string unwind itself from the ball, ignite and start your house on fire.
I apologize, profusely, Miss Alice, for destroying your home and ruining your business. Had I known that the mayor and Justice McNally were visiting your girls, I would not have acted so rashly.
I sincerely hope the loss of your brothel does not affect our friendship.
Yours, as always,