Thursday, August 03, 2006

CONnED by Ted Danson

It was bound to happen sooner or later. My power went out during the damn NYC heat wave. It was horrible. I was lying in my bed around midnight trying to get to sleep because I had a massive headache from the heat. The lights were already out, but the fans came to a deafening silence and that's when I knew I was fucked.

"The power's ouuuuuuuuuuuttttt.", yelled my sublet from her bedroom.
"Yeah, this sucks!" I yelled back.
"What are we going to do?" she yelled.
(Please head, do not explode. You are filled with 10 Advil, 2 Allegra, and 2 snorts of Flonase).

I was not about to continue this conversation at high decibels because that took up too much energy, and I hate sweating. I called one of my friends and asked her to call me at 9AM so I could get up for work and then went out to try and look at the fuse box. Whatever that is...I mean really, I just flip the switches from one side to the other and that's supposed to solve everything. I'm not a believer. Rightfully so. No juice. I call Con Ed and they had nothing to say. All I get is, "Well, we have a lot of power down because of the heat wave but regardless, we can't do anything unless your landlord calls."
(That last sentence was paraphrased. No one who works in customer service at Con Ed would use the word 'regardless'. Too fancy).
"It's one in the morning. How's that going to work out?" I ask rhetorically.
"I don't know", she says.
(Oh she wants to play).
"Well what do you know?" and I hung up on her. It got me nowhere, but it felt good.

"Do you want to go to a hotel?" I asked my sublet.
"Oh my God. Yes."
"Well pack up, because we are SO out of this sweat box."

I pack an overnight bag and call a co-worker with my new dilemma.
"Hey I hope I didn't wake you." I ask.
"Not at all. What's up?"
"My power is out and I'm trying to figure out what to do."
"Our air-conditioner is out." she said.
"Does your fridge work?" I asked.
"Could I leave some groceries with you and then have you bring them to me at work? I know it's a lot to ask, but I spent too much damn money to let them waste."
(Please,please,please say yes. My head is throbbing and thinking about money makes it worse. I hate numbers. I hate math. I think I have dyscalculia. That's like dyslexia for math...that's a word, right?)
"No problem. Hey where are you going to stay?"
(Did she say yes? She did! Thank God. She said yes! I love her).
"I guess a hotel."
"You could stay here, but it will be uncomfortable. Do you want me to make a reservation for you online?"
"Please?" I ask, afraid that I'm asking for too much.
"Really, it's no bother. Just give me you credit card info. and I'll do it for you. I can't sleep anyway because my AC is out. Swing by with the
groceries and I'll give you the reservation confirmation."
"I'll hop in the cab now. By the way have I told you that I love you?"
"Yeah, about 20 times. It's starting to creep me out."
"I'll be there soon!" I said.

My sublettor is packed and ready to go. Her idea of packed is putting everything she owns into five extra large duffel bags. She is 5'2" and has bags that weigh twice the size of her slung all over her body. She looks like one of those worker ants trying to carry a whole chunk of pineapple across a picnic blanket. You know it's possible but you can't believe the ant thinks this is going to work.
I shine my flashlight at her and say, "This is only for the night."
"You never know" she says.

Back-story: She's from Louisiana. Last time she had to leave her house she didn't get to go back. If she's evacuating "temporarily" she's not screwing around. Who am I to argue?

Armed with our flashlight, my frozen TV dinners, and 6 overnight bags we make it down our stairs. She is grabbing on to me so tight that I'm starting to feel like her Mom. I keep reassuring her its ok. We get downstairs and we see a Con Ed truck. Salvation. I go up to the guy and tell him about our power situation.
"Did you call Con Ed?" he asked.
"Yeah Asshead", is what I'm thinking.
"Yes. But you're here, so can't you look at the fuse box or generator thingy?" I ask.
"Nah, doesn't work that way. I'm here to make sure this manhole doesn't get overheated." he says.
"What about the human beings stuck with no air or electricity? Who worries about them?" yells Louisiana.
"C'mon Lady. It sucks for everybody." he tells her.
I get Louisiana into a cab before she looses it, and we head to my co-worker's to drop off the groceries and pick up the reservation.

The drop off and pick up went smooth, but my head is about to explode. It turns out, that at a mere cost of $224.00 dollars, Louisiana and I had a reservation at the Radisson on 48th and Lexington. We get there with our reservation from and they have no idea who we are. They are sold out of rooms! Could this get any worse? I show them the confirmation and they get a manager. He comes out, apologizes for the confusion and tells us we will have to wait in the lobby until he can figure out what to do. I tell him we love AC and the couches look comfy so just let us know. Louisiana and I hit the couches and we are out. About 45 minutes later the manager (with security...we must look like dangerous sleepers) wakes us up and tells us he can't find a room that we requested but if we are willing to share a full size bed they can put us up for the night. I felt like there was no room at the inn and suddenly the heavens opened up and found us a full size manger. We have been blessed! It is now three in the morning. I have to be at work in seven hours, which isn't bad. I can handle it.

Louisiana and I crawl into bed. She snuggles into me. "Hey Lover!" I say, and start to cry with laughter. We can't stop laughing. We watch an episode of Becker on the hotel TV and it is the funniest show ever. That's when you know you are totally and utterly at the breaking point...when anything Ted Danson says seems like comic gold. Louisiana says she has to write a term paper on what she has learned this summer about her internship in auditing. I tell her she should write her paper on how in spite of all the obstacles this summer she still shows up at that internship in auditing. She agrees. I ask her why she wants to be an auditor anyway. She mumbles something about Sudoku puzzles and falls to sleep. Moments later she rams her knee into my ass. It's going to be a long night, but at least I'm not sweating. Even better...I think my headache is gone.


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