by Adam Kluger
The green tongue of the monster was hard and spiky. The rubbery grey lips and dark hard outer shell were open, completely exposed.
Ok. So my universal remote fell off the bed onto the hardwood floor and broke open. Big deal. Who needs TV?
Uh, I do.
I like it, thought Perry McSchmatter. Helps fight off the loneliness and sadness. Also the Yankees. The Yankees are real good this year.
So, ok. At 4pm let's get up and out of this comfortably cool man-cave with cold beer in the fridge and go take care of this remote "situation."
Running a magazine is actually work thought Perry and he sent his final work email for the afternoon and looked to the windowsill where a half-smoked joint beckoned.
"Swuuupt!" Inhale. "Pheeeeeewwww" exhale.
Grab the keys and into the elevator out the front door of the building and...
Perry was overwhelmed by the heat and humidity that made it feel like he was inside a laundry dryer. Baked and sweating profusely, Perry finally lucked into an expensive air conditioned yellow limo known as a NYC taxi cab.
"Where are you going, sir"
"77th street and Lex."
"Where are you from?"
"I am from the holy land."
"Oh yeah? where's that?"
"Oh yeah?, great. Good for you."
The cab driver had white hair and a moustache and didn't seem like that bad of a guy at all but it was way too hot to converse so Perry decided to fill the empty space with the sound of his iPhone. He punched up some reggae on Spotify--as he mused to himself that maybe someone should develop an app called "Potify."
"Get up! Stand Up!" sang Bob Marley and Perry too. As loud as he could because why not? Bob thought he could heal the world with his miraculous music and while he couldn't stop countries from fighting he did leave behind some amazing music to get stoned to.
"Do you have cash?" asked holy-land man.
"No, why do you ask?"
"The meter isn't taking credit cards right now."
"That's weird. No problem, we can just hit a bank or ATM near my final destination."
"Yes sir, how about this bank over here?"
"K, be right back."
Perry jumped out of the back seat, closed the door, was assaulted by a hot, humid wave that almost knocked him down. Fuck it's hot out.
Of course, the bank the cabbie had chosen was closed.
Why? Why would it be closed? Made no sense.
Perry started to walk south toward his eventual destination. He scanned left and right as he walked searching desperately for any store or bank that had an ATM. Nothing for an entire block. OK, keep walking...slowly, no rush. Chill out. It's all good even though it is hot as fuck out. The meter had been turned off. Nothing on this block either. Suddenly it dawned on Perry he could simply skip out on the fare and just go attend to the business of replacing his broken remote that was nestled in the left pocket of his cargo pants.
How is this possible? Is this a Twilight Zone episode? Did someone zap away all the ATMs?
What would Holy-Land Man think?
It must have been over 5 minutes.
OK keep going.
Oop! hey that looks like pay-dirt.
A Duane Reade.
They always have ATMs.
Perry took out 40 bucks.
As he left Duane Reade he pondered once again, should I really head back to where the cab left me - 5 blocks away?
Let's just see if this guy truly is a man of faith.
One block, two, three, four... it must be almost 15 minutes I've been gone. He won't be there but just in case, one more block.
He was there! Parked a little bit further up from the closed bank.
"Hey you're still here."
"I had to walk five blocks to find an ATM"
"Here's your money."
"Thank you sir...I will drive you to your destination now."
"You're not turning the meter back on are you?"
"Let me ask you...how much longer would you have waited for me."
"Maybe five minutes, sir"
"Did you stay because you believed in me...that I would come back?"
"I believe in God, sir."
"Gotcha. Ok, thanks."
Perry got out walked into the Spectrum store with the broken remote and told the sales rep that "the monster" had fallen on the floor and exploded. The sales representative walked away briefly and came back and handed Perry a brand new remote wrapped in plastic. No fuss, no arguing. No cost. Free. Easy as could be.
"Do I need to buy batteries?," inquired Perry skeptical that anything in this world could be such an easy fix.
The rep smiled and nodded toward the remote.
In a separate clear pouch were two brand new double A batteries.
Wow. Go figure.
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