My wife and I were all packed and ready to leave on our end-of-the-season cruise from Boston to Bermuda. Seven days at sea sounded like the perfect recipe for much needed rest and recreation. Our close friends from North Dartmouth (who share our November wedding anniversary date) were joining us for the trip. It was going to be fun spending time with them to reminiscing about our families over the last 36 years.
A text appeared on my phone alerting me our friends were running behind schedule. I wasn’t concerned. We had plenty of time to get to the Black Falcon Pier before the ship set sail. In fact, we could do some quick odds-and-ends around the house while we waited. Less to do when we returned home.
My wife pulled her new Jeep Grand Cherokee to the top of the driveway to make room for our friend’s car since we would all be traveling together in our first Uber ride into Boston. She did not look happy when she came back inside the house.
“The air-conditioner is still in the second floor window. And why is there a plastic coat hanger wedged in the window frame?” she said.
“I put it there to prevent the window from slipping open. It fit perfectly,” I said proudly. “I used a white plastic coat hanger so nobody would notice it,”
“Well, I noticed it, so please get rid of it when we get back from Bermuda,” my wife said. She headed into the kitchen to do more cleaning while we waited for our friends to arrive.
Since I had some extra time, I decided to run up to the second floor and remove the air-conditioner from the window. I grabbed the white plastic coat hanger and removed it from the window frame. The window lifted up and the air-conditioner toppled from the window sill. I reached for the electrical cord but it slipped through my fingers. I heard the crash below and thought of how my wife just moved her car forward in the driveway. I looked down from the open window and saw the center of the hood of my wife’s Jeep. The heavy, crumpled air-conditioner landed a half-inch in front of the shiny new vehicle. My heart raced. I ran downstairs and out to the driveway”.
Construction workers from across the street put down their tools and gathered at the end of my driveway.
“Nothing to see here,” I said. “It was just my air-conditioner falling out the window.”
Through my downstairs window facing the driveway, I could see my wife at the kitchen sink. The running water combined with the noise of the construction workers outside prevented here from hearing the crash. I carefully picked up the mangled metal air-conditioner and moved it to the back of my house.
I ran upstairs to shut and lock the second floor window. I looked down and wondered how the flying unit missed landing on my wife’s car.
I ran downstairs where my wife was still working at the kitchen sink.
“Did you put the air conditioner away?” she asked.
“The air-conditioner is all set,” I replied.
My mind was spinning as I tried to concoct an elaborate cover story to tell her when we returned home from our trip. My son volunteered to feed our cats while we were away. He could say he found the air-conditioner in the driveway. It must have fallen out of the window while we were gone. I knew it was better to tell the truth but we were about to leave on vacation so I thought I could bend the rules to get me off the hook.
I got a new text from our friends saying they were arriving on our street. I carried our luggage out to the curb to meet them. They pulled their car into my driveway. My wife locked up the house and met us outside. I realized I could not keep this secret to myself for seven days at sea. I would have to find a way to break the news to her. My heart raced.This is it, I thought. It’s now or never.
“Sorry we’re late,” my friend Tina said. “George had to stop at Urgent Care.”
“Are you okay?” I asked George.
“I’ve been diagnosed with pneumonia, but the doctor says I can still go on the trip,” he said.
My wife looked shocked.
“It could be worse,” I said. “You could have dropped an air-conditioner out of your second floor window onto the hood of your wife’s new car.”
My wife looked more shocked.
“It’s okay. It missed,” I said. “Now call that Uber and let’s get this party started!”
I could hear the Jerry Seinfeld bass-line riff playing in my head. At this point, everyone standing in my driveway looked like they could use a vacation.