Mar. 27th, 2014

spatch: (Tom Lehrer is Smug)
I was eating lunch yesterday at the bar of a favorite North End pizza place, enjoying my slices of pepperoni and cheap beer before heading out into the mean mean cold and the wind tunnel that is Causeway Street. The television overhead had been tuned to a spring training baseball game (Washington over the Mets, 4-0, six months out of every year, yer blind, ump, yer blind, ump, you must be outta yer mind, ump, etc.) but as I ate the bartender grabbed the remote and turned to NECN because he had heard news of a wicked fire going on over in the Back Bay. Sure enough, there was breaking news about a nine-alarm fire raging--in the world of broadcast news, fires do little else but rage--and those assembled, waitstaff and customers alike, grew silent and watched for details. There were several listed injuries at the time, no fatalities, and an address: 298 Beacon.

"Holy shit!" an employee behind the bar exclaimed. "Can I, uh, leave for a sec?" The bartender nodded, and the holy-shitter ran out the door.

"Oh my god," someone said. "Does he live there?"

"Nah," the bartender replied. "But every time there's, like, a disaster and an address, he goes out and plays the numbers. And he almost always hits."

The winning lottery numbers yesterday were 0410. There turned out to be two fatalities: two firefighters trapped in a basement with no water and a sudden backdraft condition. I don't believe the two facts are connected and I know it doesn't make for a satisfying conclusion to an amusing slice-of-life story, but I'm pretty sure it's for the best. Nobody wants to hit the lottery on someone else's death.

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