Heyday of a Hardened Halal Cart Criminal

The life of a halal cart driver on the run from the law.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Day 1

It seems that yesterday was a mistake. I didn’t see the poor kid until he was under my wheels. I was trying to back out of the spot with my halal cart attached to my car and didn’t realize a student was still on the line, just out of sight. 

I can’t go back. If I go back, I’ll be arrested, and they won't let me keep my halal cart in prison! And what would I do if I was unable to sell my food to walking wallets—I mean, needy students?

I’m a wanted man, so I speed out of New York City as fast as I can.

Day 2 

I’m safely across the border in New Jersey. Here, I can keep watch of my former prime food-selling spot that I fought long and hard with other carts for. I’ll miss her for sure, my darling sweet spot with a perfect view of McDonald’s promotions and the convenient garbage dropoff. 

With my special customer scoping telescope, I can see that there’s yellow police tape. So much of it. I can’t believe it. I don’t know if I can go back anymore. I might have to change my name and get farther away if this investigation doesn’t die down. 

Day 3

How could I have been so careless? I tried to cross into Pennsylvania but just ended up in traffic. My ingredients are going bad; soon I won’t have enough to set up shop wherever I end up.

Maybe I should stop here. Just sell skewers and drinks for the rest of my life, since criminals can’t be criminally good at cooking if they’re filled with guilt. Mama told me to always cook with love, and if I can’t fulfill that basic tenet of cooking, then what chef can I really be?

Day 7

I changed my name to Kebab Sellar. All I want is to move on from my crime. So that’s why I’m also running away. Again. No need to deal with the consequences if I’m not there. 

On another note, my stock is flying off the shelves, so to speak. Turns out dehydrated truck drivers will pay any amount for iced drinks. Maybe I’ve found a new calling. Perhaps I should make my new middle name “Coca-Cola”?

Day 23 

Why did I ever think I wanted to go back to New York? Jersey is fine. Really, it’s fine. This is an alright life. 

The clientele here is leagues above sleep-deprived high schoolers. They want so much food and are willing to pay a lot. No one cares how much I overcharge here. This is more money than I've ever gotten from years of scamming children.

Perhaps this new life has done me good. Maybe I am a changed man. 

Day 25

Down in Maryland now, I realize that making money off children was a terrible idea. I’m rolling in the cash now! Perhaps it’s the lower cost of living and ingredients, but this really is fun. The view’s alright, the people are “nice” and I’m far, far away from the NYPD. 

Life is great. 

Day 30

There’s only so much to do here. I’ve seen the sights, found the best spot, scammed—no, made money from gullible people, but there’s only so far I can expand without drawing attention. I’m itching for something to do. 

On another note, my cooking is not getting any better. Is it because I’m still thinking too hard about that poor kid’s death at my wheels? Maybe I need some therapy. Until then, I’ve got to tough it out. I chose this new life, after all.

Day 47

I got news from the city. Turns out, the kid is alive. He didn't even get hit by my cart, only fell over next to it from lack of sleep and woke up four days later. I was never a wanted man.

Do I, Kebab Coca-Cola Sellar, really want to uproot my new life once again? Do I really want to return to the days of catering to spoiled teens?

Day 48

There truly is nothing to do in the other 49 states. Is the stream of businessmen on their short lunch breaks really what I want to do? There’s no reason why I can’t go back to New York. It’s not that children don’t pay well. Or that life was truly monotonous in the Big Apple. 

My cooking still tastes the same. Maybe it’s not the guilt over not-really-killing someone that’s making my food taste bland. Maybe I just miss the city. If I loved it, why did I let it go?

Day 49

I’m back in New York. I had to fight someone for my old spot again, but I won it back in the end. Turns out, teens aren't the worst way to make money. That, and the view here is pretty good, for the Mid-Atlantic. 

I quite like the city. Why did I ever leave it? Oh, well.