I mentioned somewhere awhile back that a friend was visiting from Canada. He not only brought my coveted Caramilk bars, he also brought me the nastiest cold I've had in years. The cold is gone but I still have one chocolate bar left, so I really can't hold catching the virus against him.
This friend, who I will call Murphy (not his real name, but it ought to be), has the most unfortunate luck. Years ago on a straight stretch of highway that was void of any vehicles, animals, ice, snow or other obstacles whatsoever, he rolled his car. (WTF??)
When he travels by plane, he's the one guy security always pulls over to the side for the 'frisk' - this was happening long before the current security procedures were in place.
Then Murphy extended his vacation here by two weeks which put him about eight days over his visitor's visa limit. I explained that immigration is not in the habit of kicking tourists off of the island for staying longer than permitted but, nooooooo, he got paranoid (he's like that) and had me take him to immigration so that he could inform them. He filled out the required forms and, after an hour or so of waiting, they told him it wasn't necessary. I swear I heard snickering as we left the immigration office.
If shit is going to happen it'll probably happen to him, which brings me to my story - just another one of Murphy's adventures - or should I say 'misadventures' (damn, I hope he keeps a diary).
Murphy has a small condo unit here that is within a complex which is part condominiums and part hotel. The management has keys to all of the units in case of emergencies.
I get an e-mail from his mom a couple of days ago. Call Murphy. He's got a funny story to tell you, she says.
Murphy is, basically, the only visitor to the condo who smokes and, in consideration of the family members that don't smoke and who are coming down in January, he's strictly been lighting up on the balcony. He's been here for one month.
Did I mention that it got rather chilly down here about a week ago??
So Murphy goes out on the balcony for his morning smoke the other day. He closes the sliding glass door to keep the cold air from invading the apartment. In doing so, the security pole (broomstick) for the door falls into the track on the inside of the unit, barring him from opening the door more than three or four inches.
He's stuck out on the balcony.
He calls out for help, but there isn't another soul in sight.
Having no other available options and the fact that he is wearing no shoes and only a t-shirt (I didn't ask about his pants - I was laughing too hard), Murphy drops from the second floor balcony to the ground and runs around to the entrance of the complex if not to get help but, at the very least, to get warm.
Now, one would think that re-entering the apartment would be as easy as asking for the keys from the management office. Two locks, two keys. Simple, right?? But, nooooooo, Murphy - in his infinite wisdom - decided to latch the un-keyed dead bolt on the inside of the unit before he went to bed the night before and, since he hadn't yet left the apartment that day, it was still latched.
I did say before that he was able to open the sliding glass door about three or four inches. Well, as Murphy's dumb luck would have it, Chuck the security guard (his real name is Charles - really) and the gardener, Miguel (pronounced "Migwell" - really, I don't make this stuff up) had a ladder and, of all things, a pitchfork, respectively.
Murphy climbed back onto the balcony with the pitchfork and was able to 'MacGyver' the security pole out from the inside of the track to regain access to his apartment.
I picked up Murphy yesterday to take him shopping. Before he got downstairs, I stopped by the security office to thank Chuck for his help. Chuck was on the phone at the time but, as soon as he saw me, he busted out laughing. I mouthed a "thank-you" and headed out to the car.
Murphy leaves on the 23rd of December. He was expecting his nephew to pick him up at the airport but, apparently, that isn't going to happen. Murphy lives near London, Ontario. London lives, geographically, in a snowbelt. His plane arrives in Toronto. For those of you who are not familiar with the distance between these cities, this is a four hour drive on a good day. It will be December 23rd.