So our building here has a restricted access system that only lets delivery folk in if someone inside unlocks the door for them. There is this video phone access system to do this. As your favourite blogger cum author cum tweeter is usually the only guy in the building during the day, I end up letting in a lot of delivery, courier, flyer, post man type people all the time.
And occasionally they leave deliveries with me in case the recipient is at work or in a pub. In the evening the recipients come back, see a note in their mailbox, and then come over to pick things up. It is a nice arrangement. And it doesn’t bother me at all. It is nice to have the occasional human contact when you spend all day in front of a faceless machine. (Albeit the machine is a Mac.)
So earlier this morning a man came and dropped a Kenwood food processor. “Please give it to the people in 12,” he said. “Of course machaan,” I said. “Don’t make me stab you innit,” he said.
It was a hoot really.
And then a few minutes ago, five or maybe seven, there was a knock on the door. I sprinted, opened the door and reached for the food processor. (There is now a space in the hall, next to the door, for these deliveries.)
Outside the door was a rather well-dressed, well made up, tall, slim British-ish woman in a comely lavender dress. There was no doubt at all that she was preparing to go for some kind of high society event. Comprehensive eye make-up was spotted. I am no expert, but I think it was a one-shoulder floor-length dress with a slanted empire waist. Classy indeed.
“There you go,” I said, handing over the food processor. I was using small words because I was holding my stomach in.
We both said thanks and then I turned around to close the door. When she asked me if I could help for a second.
“O… K…” I said struggling due to lack of oxygen.
I am not making the rest up.
She placed the food processor on the floor, lifted up her right arm and then said:
“Can you zip me up please. I think it is stuck.” She looked tremendously embarassed.
But my embarrassment made her embarrassment look like an amateur weekend embarrassment who practised being embarrassed only for occasional office embarrassment tournaments.
And so it was. A tiny zipper was stuck halfway between her waist and her under-arm, leaving a few inches of her dress open on the side. I sheepishly pulled up the zipper a couple of times. Nothing happened. And then I held the dress and she pulled the zipper. Nothing. Then I pulled down on the zipper in order to do the old “rezip with momentum” trick. Which is when I realised that the zipper went all the way down.
“Oh I am so sorry…” I said when I realised I’d just made her dress gape open even more.
“That is ok,” she said unconvincingly.
We kept at it for another ten minutes. Without any luck. The bloody thing would run smoothly till a point and then crunch to a stop.
Eventually we realized that our relationship was going nowhere.
“Maybe I should go find a woman to help me…” she said, opening a whole new can of mental worms.
“I am sorry I am so bad at this…” I said.
And then we parted on amicable terms. She picked up the food processor and left, clutching her dress shut between her arm and the side of her body.
I closed the door and collapsed into the hallway gasping for air.
Moral of the story: Journalism might look like a pointless, underpaid career. But good things happen to those wait.