After months of mulling over it, the inevitable office move went smoothly. For six weeks now the “fresh air” has been great.

No, it’s not the extra space. Surprisingly, it’s not even the one hundred and ninety-two less steps from the parking lot. Actually, it’s much simpler: everything just feels right. I wasn’t happy where I was, and hadn’t been — but now, for the first time in Obama’s second term I truly enjoy going to work.

(Not that I really ever thought I’d make the move. As recently as December I’d been resigned to pretty much playing out the rest of my run where I was. Sixty-six and counting— where was I going? Still, when I embraced the concept of going to Vegas for an event in this year’s WSOP, actually booking the travel …well … instantaneously it seemed, my phlegmatic “Why?” became an ebullient “Why not?”.

The landlord? Nice guy. Very nice. A Jew from California. Worldly. (Probably eats kale). Ah, but he can’t be that worldly. He doesn’t quite “get” me.


It was last Monday—

We were standing by the kitchen area when his secretary (Ed. Note 1: Make that “assistant” in Stacy/speak). (Ed. Note 2: Make that “admin” in Stacy/speak 201).

—When his secretary mentioned that she’d booked a trip to Costa Rica for her vacation.

“We were there,” said Ned, (referring to his family) “… and loved it. Have you ever gone?”
“No,” said I, not necessarily encouraging the conversation.
“Do you want to go?” he inquired. “Where do you like to travel?”
“My kids are out of town. New York and Chicago.”

Pausing, tilting his head oh so slightly, my new friend was clearly trying to figure out if I was toying with him. His mouth was closed but his face said “Really?”

“Let me make this easy for you,” I exalted, “You’re going to bump into people here and there and sometime, somewhere in this small world of ours someone is going to ask you if you know Bruce Bogart. Your answer should be ‘Yes, and he is one of the most intelligent shallow people I know.’ “

The whimsy (or perhaps accuracy?) of my utterance escaped him. Right-hearted, but from the Left coast, he lagged sentences behind.

“You really don’t travel?”
“I love Ohio.”
“So do I,” he said, “But—“
“Four places,” I told him. “New York, Chicago, Vegas and Florida.”
“Oh, so you do go to Florida.”
“East coast only,” I assured him, as serious as a heart attack.

He’s such a nice guy that I didn’t have the heart to walk away as he started his story of a recent trip somewhere. ‘Can’t remember where he went but it bore a Spanish name and apparently in the middle of the night down there his daughters heard, as he phrased it, a “pop pop pop sound”. The next morning, evidently, the ladies shared fears from the prior night — hearing gunfire and all — at which Ned laughingly told me how his kids had erred. Indeed, it hadn’t been gunfire that had frightened them, but merely the sound of falling coconuts.

Slipping back to my office I sensed an opening.  Time it was, I well knew, to let the landlord know where I’m coming from.

Quietly I called my admin Kathleen (Ed. Note 3: Stacy/speak 201—I’m a quick study), and asked her to make a stop on her way into the office. Happily, she obliged.

A bit later the two of us, arms deftly behind us, dropped grocery bags of coconuts in Ned’s office.

Pop. Pop. Pop.

“What was that?” asked the landlord.

“You’re having a great day,” I exclaimed. “I just saved you a couple thousand dollars.”

One Response to “HEY LANDLORD!”

  1. SG says:


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