Monday, June 14, 2004

How bizarre. Late last week, I got a call from a German fellow at DPW (Department of Public Works) informing me that I live in building 809 and that he would be coming at 8 a.m. on Monday to fix the boiler. I kept insisting that I do not, in fact, live in building 809 and that the houses out here don't have boilers (our hot water is piped in from somewhere else). No, no, no, he insisted. If I was at this phone number, then I lived at building 809. Finally, I agreed, just to get him off the phone.

I then called Housing and informed them that come Monday morning, DPW was going to be trying to get into building 809 and to please figure out who does live there, so they could let him in. Otherwise, I figured, he would just be calling for me again. They assured me that they would take care of the problem.

Fast forward to this morning: I just got another call from my German DPW friend, and he sounded quite irritated. "Why you not here at Building 809 for me to fix the boiler," he demanded. For all I know, this guy looks like Brad Pitt and moves like Patrick Swazy in Dirty Dancing; in my mind though, I see Rumpelstiltskin, hopping around indignantly.

I met his irritation with my own: "Listen, I DON'T live in building 809! I told you the other day--the houses in my neighborhood don't even have their own boilers!!"

"Yes, yes, you do!!!" he insisted and then started reading to me: "LOST: Swiss army knife. If found, please call . . . "

Then it dawned on me--this poor fellow was at the Scout hut, where my son managed to part ways with his Swiss army knife about a month ago. He was reading off of the posters we put up (in vain, as it turned out).

Long story short, I made a couple of phone calls and managed to track down a parent volunteer who does have the key to the hut, and she is on her way over to let Herr Stiltskin in. It cracks me up though to think that it seemed reasonable to him that somebody might actually live in that decrepit, windowless shack. Then again, considering the substandard conditions of so much army housing, maybe it makes perfect sense.

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