Last night in the NY Times William Grimes reviewed a book by an improbable hero named Stanley Albert, an assistant federal attorney in New York City. One night, on Albert’s birthday, he was strolling down a street and struck up a conversation with an attractive woman. But behind him lurked two armed thugs, they snuck up and forced him into a nearby Lexus. He was about to be the victim of a robbery by ATM, but his captors hadn’t bargained for such a tough nut as Albert.
Albert’s book, “The Birthday Party: a Memoir of Survival” tells the tale of a victim who cleverly kept all of the details about his captors and where he was held in his head. After all, he was an attorney, and he knew what the cops could use these details to get the bad guys in the end.
They took him to Brooklyn, to a dingy apartment. As they smoked dope, played with their guns, and had sex with prostitutes, he looked on, once turning down the chance to hook up with the hooker. At one point, Sen, a captor, is singing about sick, violent fantasies of murder and mayhem. Then Albert realizes that he is simply singing a Busta Rhymes song playing on the radio.
The thugs wanted him to go to the bank and withdraw thousands of dollars, but somehow it doesn’t work out that way. He manages to escape, and within 48 hours, the perps are captured. As Grimes writes, New Yorkers often like to one-up eachother with tales of muggings and break-ins. With this tale, Albert trumps them all.