|I had no idea the school mascot|
was a werewolf.
|Where do Hackensack dumptrucks dump snow?|
In the middle of Main Street, where else?
By now, the temperature was around 50, so some melting was going on. But the snow and ice were so thick that I soon realized that just picking up the soot-covered muck and tossing it aside would take the lifetime of a fruit-fly -- which suddenly seemed awfully long. Tenants came and went with a cheery "Hello," as if it was perfectly normal to clear out filthy ice-snow with your hands. It took a guardian angel -- snow angel? -- of sorts to actually provide some help. The people who owned this particular building, she informed me, owned one down the street, where the plow guy hangs out. She was kind enough to give me a lift to the manager's office a few blocks away.
I told the manager the story I just told you, and initially she didn't appear to care about it, either. Still, she gave a call to the snowplow guy, who unfortunately wasn't picking up. Nor was she able to provide anyone to shovel out the car because, well, that's the tenant's job. That I wasn't a tenant made no difference.
"Can I borrow a shovel?" I asked politely.
The manager sized me up. "Well..."
"What if I put down a deposit?"
"How much have you got?"
I fished out my wallet. Damn, I hadn't gone to the ATM yet! "Uh... how's $20?"
She studied the color of my money. "OK."
|Something like this.|
I had gotten more exercise that afternoon than the entire winter thus far. Damn, did I feel -- dare I say it -- manly. It actually felt good to shovel out the car, despite the possible fatal consequences. But by the time I returned for the car, the snowplow guy had finally shown up at the parking lot to further clear the space I had vacated, only to get stuck himself. "Get a shovel!" I didn't chortle at him, for he was half my age, twice my size and appeared to lack a sense of humor. He also looked at me as if thinking, Are you the idiot I got stuck for? Manly I might have been, but not stupid.
Yes, yes, that's all very well and good, I hear you saying, but what about your missing cell phone? That's easily explained. While I was in Hackensack, my wife called me... only to have the spooky tones of "The Hall of the Mountain King" drift from her purse. So yes, it did just get up and walk away.