Denture Man and Hot Dog Mo
Johnna steps onto her porch as I’m rushing by her house and looks at me as if I’m weird, but she’s wearing her housecoat in the pouring rain, drinking coffee from a teacup. I’m race-walking home, both the cat and I miserably blinking against the pouring rain, caught woefully unprepared for the sudden winter rainstorm. And there’s Johnna all never seen a cat in a stroller.
Fifty more steps and I would have made it and instead Johnna’s waving me to stop because she has leftover marrow and thinks I should take it home to my wife. I’m trying to absorb the concept of leftover marrow when Hotdog Mo and Denture Man turn the corner. These are the people in my neighborhood. Denture Man smiles wider and wider as he gets closer.
Denture man sings “Circles in the sand” in a mezzo-soprano, serenading me or perhaps Johnna while Hot Dog Mo sniffs at my cat unsure perhaps of the packaging, unfamiliar perhaps with the concept of a stroller. “Stand down, Mo” Denture Man says, flicking his bridge in and out of his mouth with his tongue.
Johnna pulls a raw hot dog from the pocket of her housecoat. “Want a hot dog, Mo. Want a hot dog?”
“Don’t give him a hot dog, he’ll fart all night,” Denture man says, but the hot dog is already flying through the air and Mo catches it midflight. My wife says the word surreal was invented in 1937 but it’s been perfected here in 2021 outside my house.
Denture Man yells at Johnna, something about hot dogs and diarrhea but I’m using their argument to escape, so I miss the rest. As I’m hoisting the stroller up the front stairs, Johnna yells, “What about the marrow” and I scream back, “I’m a vegetarian” before slipping through the door.