I was tinkering with a car I was remodeling when my iPhone rang. "It's Razor, wassup?"
The silky feminine voice on the other end of the line spoke in somewhat of a delicate whisper. "Heyyy, Razor, will you do me a solid?"
"A solid? What's a solid?" I asked.
"A favor. I need some assistance if you have the time."
"Happy to help you in a few; I'm just shutting the hood of my car here. I slammed the hood. What are the specifics?"
She hesitated for a beat. "I'm not sure, but I think my carburetor is not getting any water. My truck won't start."
I chuckled. "Ah, okay, well that's actually a good thing."
"That my truck won't start?" she queried.
"No, no, no; that your carburetor is not getting any water," I explained.
Silence. And then, her dumbfounded sigh was emitted followed by an exasperated, "Oh, I see. Well, would you mind stopping by and having a looksie?"
I took a peek at my iWatch, wondering why I even bought the darn thing. It tracked me like the flippin' FBI. "Gimme 10 minutes and I'll be there with bells on."
"Bells? Oh, yeah, okay - awesome! And if you fix it," she began, "I'll be happy to buy you your favorite bottle of wine. These winter nights are pretty chilly, after all."
I didn't know if that was a come on or if she was just being sincere. Either way, I didn't feel any need to be paid for doing someone a favor; and yet on the other hand a bottle of bubbly sounded pretty good. It was 22 degrees Fahrenheit at four in the afternoon in upstate New York, and getting colder by the minute. I shivered from the top of the nape of my neck to my damp snow boots below.
I wheeled my '65 Pontiac GTO into her expansive driveway right off the lake and came to a stop in front of her 2010 Chevy Silverado. She had snow chains on the tires, in expectation of a heavy snowfall later that evening. Eight inches the meteorologist had predicted.
Tiffany came out to greet me wearing a short-sleeved sweater, yoga pants, and a New York Yankees ballcap. "Hey, Razor. Well, here it sits like a 2-ton paperweight."
"No worries, we'll get it cranked up in a jiff," I promised.
"So, I haven't seen you in months. How's your love life these days?"
"Oh, my last relationship ended because I didn't open the car door for her," I teased.
"So sad," she breathed.
"Yeah, instead I just swam for the surface."
"Damn you, Razor!" A grin flowered over her narrow mouth, much like a Chia pet lamb. "I never know whether to believe you or not."
"How could you, you're rarely in touch anymore," I argued.
"Yeah, I know," she admitted. "I've been focused on writing a darn cookbook to self-publish on Amazon. I don't know whether to include the recipe for rum-flavored candy balls or not."
"Balls? Rum? Sounds delish!"
"Oh, you're gay now?" she needled.
"Gay? No, of course not. I don't mean that in a negative way; it's just that...well, no," I finished.
I checked to see if the carburetor was getting any gas. It was. Next I wanted to check to see if the engine was getting a spark from the coil. "Get in and crank it up for a sec."
She turned the key and nothing. I wiggled the wire on the coil and had her try again. Still nothing. Then I spotted the problem: the battery cable to the positive node was completely off.
"What is it? she asked with a tone of impending doom.
"Serious problem here, little lady," I began. "Looks like you're going to need an engine overhaul."
"Oh, no!" She hung her head in a melancholy way I'd not observed in her since she broke her leg in high school when practicing for a dance cheer 10 years previous.
"Just kidding!" I immediately responded. "Look here."
She bent over and brushed against me, as I pointed at the disconnected battery cable. I popped it on, tightened it with my right hand, then snagged a wrench from my toolbox and tightened it up properly. "Get in and crank it up."
The engine sparked to life with a muffled roar. She popped out of the truck clapping her hands in an excited glee. "Woohoo, you did it, Razor!"
I bowed, genuflected and then replied, "At your service, Madam."
She dashed to the house as I shivered in the cold and snow flurries caressed my cheeks. In a New York heartbeat she returned with her skinny purse. It was a Balenciaga Lariat. The gal had class.
She handed me a twenty dollar bill as her lips pecked by frosty, red cheek.
"I don't need your money, Tiff," I began; "I'll buy a six-pack of beer on the way home."
"But I insist," spat the queen.
"That won't buy my favorite wine, dear," I offered.
"Which is...?" and then her voice trailed off.
"Well, I don't really drink wine, but a fine champagne is more to my taste bud's liking."
"Dom Perignon," I stated matter of factly.
"Oh." She reached into the Lariat and pulled out two crisp Benjamin's. "That ought to do it," she pouted. "Sorry, I wasn't trying to be a cheapskate."
"Save your money and instead do me a solid," I countered.
"In what way?" she replied coyly.
"Let me take you out to dinner later tonight...on me, of course."
"I thought you'd never ask me, Razor!"
"See you at 7:30 sharp."
"I'll be here with bells on."
"Lemme have a look," I replied, popping the hood.