The Best Laid Plans…
A final summer adventure, before being a responsible adult sets in, and I need to start going back to work at the Edu-Mountain.
My friend was finally getting rid of all of his ex-girlfriend’s stuff, which has been taking up about fourteen cubic feet of space at his place for the past year. That’s pretty much the volume of his pickup truck bed, which was maxxed out by the cargo, so you get a pretty good idea of the amount of stuff. It had been sort of a chore to set up the transfer, so I of course went to help out.
First, there was the problem of the Gatekeeper. The Public Storage that had been selected had a manager that basically produced new challenges. When we arrived, the office was locked, and she was sitting in her car, informing us that she would not in fact leave her car for at least half an hour. Fine…we could wait a half an hour for the key and access code. Except…the ex had to be there to sign a document, in order to allow the space to be accessed in the first place, and she was nowhere to be found.
A call was placed. The ex was adversarial…so much so that I could hear the shouting through my friend’s head, as the cell phone emitted a rather scathing diatribe. Amidst that she said that she would arrive “soon” and we adjourned to Dark McDonald’s for a nosh while we waited. The presumption was that she would call when there, and we would traverse the few blocks back, papers signed, keys exchanged.
She did not do that. she showed up, signed the papers, and left, with the keys in her hand. Then the ex called my friend, primarily to give him abuse on the subject.
The result was actually a quest across West Los Angeles, to get the key from her…as she did not see fit to leave a key with the Gatekeeper, who told us of that wrinkle with no small amount of glee. She had showed up, signed off, and then left, only afterward to inform us of her “ghosting” on the rendezvous point. This marked the first time the suggestion of just dumping the cargo was made, but not the last time.
Back in the truck, we took back streets in order to avoid traffic, and made the rendezvous to retrieve the key. The access code, on the other hand, would somehow be transmitted via text message later, for reasons that are still unclear to me. Making our way back to the storage unit, we found that the Gatekeeper had locked all of the dollies and moving carts in her office, and left for the day.
While my friend started to unload the fourteen cubic feet of stuff, I attempted to crack the access code, which was missing two digits. A new discussion came about as to why we didn’t just Han Solo the cargo, dumping it and bolting. The point was made that this was how Solo got bounty hunters on his tail…but the counterpoint was made that in fact, the ex-girlfriend could not afford to hire bounty hunters.
The two missing digits turned out to be a “start” character and an “end” character, and the elevator granted access. The industrial elevator was pretty @#$%ing serious. We had put a box in the door to keep it open for loading, and the door straight up smashed the @#$% out of the box. C’est le vie. That box took the hit for everyone.
Arriving at the second floor, my friend says, “So where do you think the unit is?”
“Only one place it can be, ” I replied. “As far from this elevator as possible, while still being inside the building.”
I was right, of course. Like idiots, we split up, and that was terrifying. After locating the unit, we managed to rapidly load it, perhaps from the fear of being in a windowless catacomb with a carnivorous elevator after dark. Perhaps.
Getting downstairs, there was one last task to perform. We needed to fold the tarp that held everything down in the truck, the final stage of which involved my friend kind of wrestling it slowly, on the pavement, as it gradually deflated the trapped air within. He said that he could feel me staring at him as he did this slow motion WWE move on an inanimate object, and he was right.