After crazy Chinese lunch at Hunan with the boys, dad threw his big Christmas shopping scheme into action. His big plan? For Alex to drive circles around Union Square while he and I run from store to jam packed store in the rain. By the time we were done, I was soaked to the bone and kicked out of the car so dad and Alex could run off to meet someone else somewhere better.
I hightailed it back to my car back at the Hunan. Desperate to get home and in no mood to wait for the defrost to kick in, I turned on Rhonda the Honda and backed her up.
Oh fuck. Oh fuck, fuck, fuck.
I get out of Rhonda to find that I’ve knocked over a Vespa, illegally parked right behind me. Amidst cats and dogs, I discover just how appallingly heavy Vespas are. I can only imagine how I looked, hair pasted to my face, grunting obscenities while attempting to lift some metro motorcycle I crashed into. I finally got the damn thing upright, although I had no idea how to get that kick stand thing to work. I was just balancing it while trying to figure out just how badly I’d fucked up my day. I couldn’t very well stand there holding it up in the rain for god knows how long, so I started asking random people to help me. The streets were surprisingly and disappointingly empty. My first request resulted in a shrug, my second in a look for fear. By the time I saw a third person on the opposite side of the street, I was starting to panic.
“HEY! Can you help me?” I scream at a cameraman getting out of a news van.
He comes running over. “Hi.”
“Hi. I just knocked over this Vespa and now, of course, can’t figure out the kick stand thing.”
“Oh, sure. I think you just pull it back.”
Together, we rolled it back and the kickstand clicked.
“You are a god.” I gushed, thrilled to at least let go of the damn thing.
“Is there any damage?”
“I don’t know. But I feel like I should leave a note.”
“Well, they parked illegally. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a parking place.”
“Are you suggesting I leave it?” I asked with hope in my voice.
“I don’t know.” He laughed. “Um, yeah. Leave a note.”
“Yeah, I feel like I should. I don’t want to be the asshole who doesn’t leave a note. But I wish I had a camera to prove that this was parked illegally. I mean, I really only scratched the helmet case thing.”
“I have a camera!” he said, and ran over to the news van, coming back with a digital camera. He proceeded to take photos of the Vespa and of Rhonda as a man emerged from a nearby building carrying a Vespa helmet.
“Hi! Is this your bike? I totally just knocked it over. I’m so sorry. I completely didn’t see it. I think I scratched your helmet holder thing.”
“That’s all? Oh, that’s okay.”
“Are you sure? I feel horrible.”
He looked the Vespa over. “I was just dropping something off. I parked illegally. Don’t worry about it.”
“Are you serious? Yes! Thank you so much. I’m so sorry.”
And then I turned to the cameraman. “And thank you, Good Samaritan!”
“Oh, no problem.”
“You’re tremendously nice. I really appreciate it.”
He reached in his wallet and pulled out a business card.
“Well, if you, uh, need anything else. Just in case.”
This is fabulous.
I shall now proceed to spend the next hour composing a charming, thankful and mildly flirty e-mail while congratulating myself on my refusal to wait for my windows to defrost…