Thursday, 27 September 2012

What Were We Doing

Today when I was driving along a road there were two city workers staring up to the top of a light pole. I knew they were city workers because as far as I could tell, they weren’t doing anything at all. One guy would point and describe a circle in the air with his index finger and the other guy would shake his head “No” and make the same circle with his hand. If you ask me they were both two or three bricks short of a full load and there was a very good chance that if you drove by that location three hours later, they would still be staring at the top of the pole and making circles in the air with their hands. And they would be getting overtime pay of course.

It reminded me of a time when I was in grade twelve or thirteen and my buddy Ken and I took the day off school and went downtown to check out Sam’s and A & A record stores. We had recently watched some spy movie that had the head quarters in a downtown Manhattan high rise building. The spy head quarters was on three floors somewhere in the middle of the building and was hidden by the simple means of not numbering the floors. The building had elevators that had 60 floors and there were 63 floors in the building. We thought it was ingenious.

It didn’t take our smoke addled brains long to start thinking that any of the buildings around us at Yonge and Bloor could house some spy agency. We went into one building and took a look at how many floors the elevators went up to. This particular one had forty two I think, so Ken and I went back outside to see if the elevator floors and the actual floors came out to the same number.

On the first count, I came up with thirty three and Ken counted forty seven. The problem with counting when you are in a smoke induced fog is that it is pretty much impossible to come up with five when you count the fingers on your hand. Shit! Going past that was a nightmare, especially for a math idiot savant like me. Minus the “savant” of course. We counted again and this time I was in the forties and Ken was around 39. We mulled over adding our figures together and then dividing by two, but that wouldn’t work. In the first place it kind of nullified the whole idea and in the second place it would involve addition and division which was nearly impossible for us.

We noticed that a small crowd had gathered around us. At first, we wondered what they were looking at, but then we realized they were looking up because we were. That was pretty cool. Ken was always pretty quick on the uptake and asked how many floors up that flag near the top was. Now we had about ten eyes counting floors. They must have been skipping school too, because they each came up with a different number. It is possible that there was some secret spy thingy that made it impossible to accurately count the number of floors. The more reasonable explanation is that one should never smoke good Acapulco Gold and attempt to count past twenty-one.

We wandered off south trying to find Sam’s and A & A’s, leaving the impromptu crowd arguing about how high the flag was. I thought that Sam’s was ten blocks from here and Ken was sure it was thirteen. We decided to keep count of the blocks as we walked.

Uhhhh…what were we doing?

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