Walking up from the Norwich Harbor yesterday afternoon on Broadway past City Hall on one of those days you just want to frame-absolutely blue cloudless skies with a slight breeze to take the edge off the temperatures. We're having sort of a Fourth of July weekend at the Norwich Harbor, from The American Wharf to the Howard T. Brown Park (I always put the T in there and have no idea what it's for).
I had walked down from our house, by way of the Heritage Trail over by the Yantic Condominiums and on my way over there I had passed a white panel truck with Florida plates and Comcast/Infinity corporate logos on its doors (not sure the plates weren't counterfeit as the left blinker wasn't on) near one of the row houses on your way to Uncas Leap.
I mention that because an hour and a half later, as I was walking home on the aforementioned Broadway, I saw the very same truck again, parked in front of a brown house a half block down from Saint Pat's. The driver, in a short-sleeve dark blue Comcast shirt with a tool bag and a clipboard with a work order on it, was turning past the far corner of the house back onto the sidewalk towards his truck glancing at his watch and scowling.
As the distance between us closed he looked up at me to ask 'do you live here?' which is not only one of the oldest pickup lines in the world but one of the least successful because when you say 'no,' as I did, your pursuiter really has no moves left. It turns out the only reason he was asking in the first place was that he had an appointment for an installation, had been waiting at the address for twenty minutes and was becoming frustrated at not getting his job done.
I slowly smiled as the irony of this situation sank in. The cable guy was waiting on a customer. All those old 'sometime between Monday at eight and Friday at four-thirty' confirmed appointment time routines came flooding back. Judging from his age, I don't think he could have provoked any of those jokes, but he was on the receiving end of them now.
He mumbled while shaking his head, complaining more to himself than to an indifferent universe about this being the second appointment today that had crashed and burned. I had to hurry along so I could laugh out loud when I was away from him because now I knew where the other one was and knew as well, as his customers had learned a decade ago, that after he got annoyed he'd get to go home and try it all again the next work day. And that was that. Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. Napkin, anyone? Guten appetit.