Oh, there’s a Nor’easter outside? Guess I should probably call every food delivery service in the city, offer them a 300 dollar tip, and see who can get to my house first without crashing.
Beep boop beep beep.
“Hello, Dominoes? You guys open?”
“Yea, we’re open, buddy.”
“Well, my power’s out, the toilet is welled up somethin’ fierce, and I need food pronto.”
“Well, there’s a foot of snow on the road. We’re trying not to send any drivers out…”
“Well customer’s first, right? Listen, I’m absolutely STARVING. Weighing 365 in a blizzard takes a toll on my fat reserves and I’m offering a 300 dollar tip to the first establishment who gets to my door first with food. Lots of food.”
“What do you want, sir?”
“I don’t need a lot, just like, a small order of breadsticks and forty sides of marinara sauce?”
“300 dollars, man. And I’ve got some quarters on the floor, too, if that’s not enough.”
“Sir, I’m going to alert our top driver for your order. (yelling in background) Bert! Delivery time, Bert! Time to make money for you and your infant child!”
“I’m playing with my Pogs!” Bert yells.
Didn’t we play with Pogs in like, third grade? Whatever, no time to quivel. I’m happy.
“Good, good.” I nod and an evil grin spreads.
I give my address. Click. Now…next.
“Hello, Chinese place on the other side of the city? You guys still delivery-efficient in the snow?”
Words. More heated words. Responses and whatnot. I nod my head.
“Yeah, it’s no big deal. It’s just, I’m so hungry and I’m offering a 400 dollar tip for whoever gets to my door first with a delivery.” Pause on the other end. I entice the deal. “Plus, there’s a bunch of quarters on my floor I’m willing to gather and throw in the pot.”
Words. More words. Something about Pogs in the background.
“I just need one egg roll with two packets of duck sauce.”
Pause. Excited response. Satisfaction.
“Oh, you’re sending your top driver? Excellent. Just be careful, snow’s coming down 1-2 inches per hour. Right, sounds good.”
Address given. Click. Despite the oddly perplexing Pog coincidence, things are going accordingly. Beep boop beep beep.
“Yeah, Papa John’s? Yeah, I need a storm delivery, right away.” A bunch of silence. Confusion. “I’m offering 500 dollars to the first college-aged, inexperienced delivery boy who makes it to my door alive with a small order of chicken poppers.”
“Sir, we’re not allowing our drivers out in this storm.”
“Did I mention I’ve got a large stash of American quarters which will be thrown in the pot upon arrival? Could be upwards of six extra dollars. But if you can’t come, that’s fine…”
(Heated yelling over the phone). “Danny, you’re up! Delivery time, boy! Get out there and be somebody! (Pauses, silence, more screaming) “I don’t care if you’re Honda hatchback hasn’t had new tires in three years, time to make some money for the Papa! Go, go, go!”
“My Pogs will get wet in the snow!”
I’m so confused. The Pogs, is this a delivery boy thing? Whatever. It will be the last cardboard-oriented retro-elementary school finger game they ever play. I glance over at the coffee table, where my own Pogs lie in a pile. I had pulled them out of an old shoebox to organize and potentially sell for a super low penny profit on Ebay.
Ok, and….one more.
Beep boop beep beep.
“Hey, yeah, Walmart, you guys deliver?”
A bunch of confusion and some awkward “um’s”.
“No, we don’t deliver. We’re Walmart.”
“Right, well what if I said I’m very hungry and I’m willing to tip one of your faithful employees 600 dollars personally. Just ask around the room. I’m sure somebody is poor enough to volunteer.”
I hear a bunch of questions in the background. My killer instinct tells me I’m on to something.
“What do you want, sir?”
“Just like, one can of Original Pringles chips? Can you do that?”
“Can I get your address?”
Excellent. “Yeah, I just live at the top of this hill on the other side of the city…Just watch out for the four foot sinkhole…Just remember, it’s only snow. And heavy, slick ice. And zero visibility.”
I nod my head. I hear what I want to hear. And now I wait.
I retreat to the refrigerator, which is fully stocked, and pull out some chicken, and some bacon, and a salad. Gotta be balanced. I open the front door. I chew on some bacon. I listen for sirens.
Sixteen minutes Later.
What? What is this nonsensical nonsense? I open.
There stands four delivery boys…men? Delivery man-boys. There they stand, all soaking wet and bedraggled. Three of them are on Razor scooters. The Papa John’s kid is on rollerblades.
Well now I’m just in a pickle, aren’t I? Four arms extend warm packaged grease in my direction and four hungry palms open, awaiting a hefty sum of cash and some floor quarters.
“Alriightttyyy, soooo. I’m just gonna put this out on the table right now.”
Snow falls heavy and fast and I hear the screech of tires followed by screams as some vehicles collide down the street.
“Yeah, I lied to you guys. I don’t have any money. I was just trying to see how many of you guys would crash on the way over here.” I mark an X on a notepad next to four names and scribble “FAIL”. I chew on my piece of bacon and glance around the room.
“You guys want to come in and play some Pogs?”
Four greasy faces alight with the shining desire of a thousand iridescent stars, the snow fades into the background and the glowy, ambient streetlight seems to filter in our direction and cast an approving glow upon my door step. The sacred word has been unleashed. Delivery boys love Pogs.
We cohort like childish men deep into the night. We eat bacon. In the morning we will prance about the streets like delighted unicorns and throw snowballs like we did in the foregone times of our youth. I will never forget the Valentine’s Nor’ Easter of 2014.
I check the time. Alright, it’s still early. Let’s see what delivery places are still open.