When last we spoke, the New Kids on the Block had just moved a dozen mattresses, several large-screen TVs and an ottoman into the duplex down the street, gone on to set up a ping-pong table on the sidewalk, and had settled in for a solid evening of hootin’ and hollerin’.
And there was much rejoicing.
The cans littering the boulevard in the morning bespoke their affinity for Ice House, a lower-cost, higher-alcohol-content beer known for its ability to cause fist fights and impregnate at 50 paces.
After the christening of the new digs, things were quiet until the following weekend, when I happened to be in the front yard in time to see the oldest of the boys come running down the middle of the street.
As a quick aside, I’d like to interject that following their move-in, I never again saw the parents, but I did see the children, ad nauseam. All boys in that family, all with abnormally large, square heads. This is not an exaggeration. Those boys had big, square heads, particularly noticeable over the brows – which wasn’t so much a forehead as it was a fivehead.
Ba dum bum.
So there I was, as the old saying goes, minding my own business, when I see Head Number One – we’ll call him Boris – come running down the street carrying two large wooden stereo speakers. Remember the 70s? Remember those huge speakers in that one guy’s basement?
Well these are them.
Boris is running down the middle of the street with them, one on each shoulder. He is panting.
Clearly he has been running for quite some time.
A quick look over his shoulder, and he is satisfied with what he sees – or does not see – and continues to run at a somewhat slower pace.
He runs past our parked car, abruptly stops and backs up.
“Hey!” he yells.
I turn to him, my hands full of the plants I am moving from one location to another.
“You wanna buy some speakers?”
“You wanna buy some speakers?” he repeats. “I’ll give ‘em both to you real cheap. Fifty bucks for both.”
“No, thanks,” I say, turning.
I shake my head.
He may be speaking to me, but he is staring down the street in the direction he came from as he does so.
“Twenty bucks, and this is my last – oh! Shit!”
A Lincoln Continental comes tearing down the street, and Boris loses his grip on reality and the speakers and one of them crashes to the tar, wooden splinters everywhere. He juggles and manages to hold on to the remaining speaker. Dodging the speeding car, he cuts through our neighbor’s front yard and into the alley, where he yells his parting offer:
“Ten bucks! Ten bucks for the one speaker!”
I return to my flowers.
Come back tomorrow for Part III!