The Stair Master In HellJanuary 30, 2008 at 3:58 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | 1 Comment
I don’t believe ANY weather forecast. This is Missouri, so you have to show me.
Yesterday, it did. At noon, it was 71 degrees, a record high for this day in January. Global Warming is nigh, Oh, wait– A cold front stumbled through like a drunken sorority chick, knocking shit over and blowing everything in sight. I worked at Domino’s last night, and for most of the evening, the temperature was in the teens.
Windy as well–windy as Hell. As Tim Robbins once said cryptically, "There’s a chill wind blowing–" Of course, that dick-head was talking about the country moving in direction that politically he did not agree with. I’m talking about a chill wind that I have to walk through carrying a pizza in an insulated bag to and from the car, to and from the door, up and down steps, and all over fucking creation trying to find an address.
Domino’s would, in theory, provide coats to it’s drivers. I mean, if it cared about putting on a front to show how much it cared about drivers while really not caring about the drivers all that much. There were two coats in the store, and the manager took one home with her. The other was an Extra Medium. I didn’t even have a hat yet. I had a tee under my Domino’s shirt, and normally that’s enough, but I wore my own coat with.
My first run is a triple–a three-stop. After being here a total of four days, I’ve proven I know what I’m doing. I get to the first one, and knock on the door. A short time later (thirty seconds? five seconds? The ability to gauge time accurately is affected by the cold), I rang the door bell. Finally, the woman opens the door. She seemed completely surprised by the fact that she ordered pizza. She says, "Oh. Wait. Hold on a sec," and closes the door, leaving me outside. I watched as she went upstairs, returning moments later. "Sorry about that," she said. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was my attitude, but she didn’t sound sincere. She handed me a wad of crumpled up ones, which seemed out of place in this nice neighborhood. Perhaps she was a stripper on the weekends? That’s what I would have to do to afford that house.
But it was too cold to sniff the bills, or even count them. I waited until I got to the car to discover a four dollar tip. I guess I’ll let her live. For now.
Later, I have a double. After scoring big on all three of the previous runs, I get a buck and some change from each stop on the double. One was an older guy with palsy–it’s a good thing he didn’t order soda. He shook the pizza box up pretty good. The next stop was an apartment complex. Fuck, I hate apartments. Hold on to your butts, I’m about to bitch:
The fuckers who plan and design apartment complexes apparently have little to no regard for human life. They don’t give a shit whatsoever about the people who will live there, and they have a severe animosity towards the visitors those hapless residents may have. Stairs are the bane of my existence, especially when it’s cold and windy and icy and my knees hurt. They fuckers put fucking stairs GOING DOWN into their cute fucking little courtyard, and from there, it’s a goddamn maze of ramps and stairs and potholes filled with shit disguised as walkways.
That’s what made this complex special. What it had in common with EVERY MOTHER-FUCKING-OTHER complex is the numbering system. Instead of using logic, they use some other method of layout. Look, I fucking know numbering systems for addresses. I’ve been doing this for 20 goddamn years. If there was a skill I have, it’s this. If I can see one address on the street, I have a pretty good guess as to where I need to go. If I can find TWO, I can fucking NAIL it. So don’t fucking tell me I’m not logical; the sadistic fuckers who lay out the plans for the apartment complexes are the fucking illogical ones, the pricks.
But then, just to make it fucking interesting, to make it fun, to make it fucking hilarious, the numbers to apartment buildings are always where you can’t see them. Not, like, behind a bush. No, that would be easy. That’s amateur. The numbers are right on the front of the building. Black letters. With a dark motherfucking brown background. Try seeing that shit at night. And lit? Oh, yes, the building is lit. But the number is in front, the light is back behind, blocked by the architecture. So not only does the light specifically NOT help, it’s actually in your fucking eye when you try to squint at the goddamn number. Neat, huh?
So forget being able to drive around and spot the building you need; that would be convenient. You have to park in a handicapped spot, and lug the pizza all over fucking creation. Up and down steps, trying to get a glimpse of the number. Just because some asshole wants a pizza.
If you know someone who is an architect or designer, and they say they have planned out apartment complexes, do me a favor: kick them in the motherfucking nuts. Don’t even explain yourself. You don’t have to explain yourself; they KNOW what they did.
It doesn’t help that my night vision ability is kind of like an anti-super power. I have the ability to squint and still not be able to see shit. Add that to the sleet coming down, my windows are dirty and hard to see out of, I can’t roll the driver’s side window down when it’s cold (don’t ask), and I am a Stranger in a Strange Land. I have no experience in this delivery area. All I have going for me–other than charm and charisma–is the ability, after almost 30 stores, of being adaptable.
After traveling up and down and around, I finally find the address I need. I have to go up some stairs and get close to the numbers to make sure, because the font they selected has a 5 and a 6 that look similar. I go in, but it’s not over yet; I still have to climb a flight or two of steps, then traverse a dark narrow hallway. A young punk answers, smiles and grunts, gives me the money and closes the door. I count. A dollar twenty. I’ve wasted time and I’m out of breath from running all over this fucking place. A goddamn dollar and twenty fucking cents. If I only had a time machine, I would go back to 1986, when this was considered a good fucking tip.
But then again, if I had a time machine, I would go back and slap the shit out of myself for coming to work here in the first place. Then I’d give myself some tips on investments, and tell myself not to pass up that opportunity with that one chick I could have fucked twenty years ago. That would have been sweet–
Back in this time, I hobble my frozen ass and stiff knees back to the car. I stop at McDonald’s for food, because I get the impression that this assistant I’m working with is not very forthcoming with the free food for drivers. I swear to God, the chick at the counter was hot–she looked like an Asian Dominatrix. I asked her if she had a website.
"Do you want one? I believe mcdonaldsasiandominatrix.com is available. Or dot-net. I’ll moderate it for you."
Later, I take a run to another apartment complex, one I had been to before. Still, see above per stair reference. They really don’t want handicapped people to live here–
–Although they have nothing against the deaf and the retarded. The place is full of them.
I get up the steps, only to find more. It was like a surprise in my fucking cereal, a chocolate-covered roach. More steps, and then, just for good measure, two or three more to get up over this intricate bullshit landscaping that I could give a shit less about.
I knock on the door. It’s a habit, and a bit passive-aggressive on my part. I know they have a doorbell, but I’m special. Plus many times doorbells don’t work. I hear voices in the apartment, and music. It’s loud. I count to 20, knock again, then wait 5 seconds, and ring the doorbell. There’s a change within the apartment. Oh, yeah.
A fucking vacuum cleaner starts up.
Christ. They’re never going to hear me. I knock again, louder, and ring the bell. All told, I am waiting perhaps 3 or 4 minutes. When it’s 13 degrees and windy, that’s a long goddamn time. Fuck. Finally, I bang loudly and firmly–on the window.
Excited noises from inside, the vacuum stops. Eventually they open the door. Luckily my eyes are frozen, or I would have rolled them. They did tip decently and apologized profusely, but if they aren’t going to offer to help me down the steps, what fucking good are they?
Again with the stairs:
One of the last runs is to the college, to one of the dorms. Well, I can find these as easily as I can pick up a college chicks (By the way, want to know why I like college chicks so much? Well, they’re old enough that they’re legal. But I’m old enough that they don’t feel legal.)–which is to say, it’s not gonna happen.
I call the guy (How did I ever do this without a cellphone? I honestly feel like it’s cheating.) and he gives me clear, concise directions to the building he’s not actually in. But it’s a common building, and some chicks there direct me to the proper unit. Lots of walking in the cold, then up and down stairs.
So it was a reasonably profitable night, and I got lots of exercise. A good person would be grateful for that, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air in nature. But I’m not a good person.
On the stairmaster in Hell, you have to carry a pizza with you.