HardWare

Weaving in and out of traffic like a drunken New Delhi taxi driver at rush hour the driver of our vehicle expertly cuts into another lane sending me and my buddy The Turk crashing to the right side of the car against the side window. Funnily enough we find out later that the driver is in fact a recovering alcoholic from Delhi. The Turk shouts at me to be careful with the package. I look down to the box I am holding, it’s been beaten around badly but whatever is inside appears to be intact.

“Do you even know what it is?” I ask The Turk.

“No but let’s just assume it’s fragile!” he answers while holding on for dear life.

The car does a 90 degree turn that sends us crashing to the left side of the car this time far more violently than ever before, and then comes to a complete stop. We spill out of the car like sailors who haven’t stepped on land for decades and walk unsteadily forward to find ourselves in front of this high rise apartment. The driver mutters something about the 22nd floor and drives off with all the skill of precog.

Me and the Turk look wearily at this large looming building which covers us in shadow and cynical gloom. Turk motions for me to follow him, so holding the box close to my chest I do.

The things we do for friends, and then the things we do for money are widely different. Billy Flanagan aka The Merchant said he would pay us 200 bucks just to deliver this item; the only clause was that we were not supposed to look in the box. He had promised us it would not be drugs or anything that could get us in trouble but for some reason I kept thinking about the ending of the movie Se7en, when Brad Pitt finds his wife’s head in the box. The box doesn’t feel that heavy though but then again I have no idea how much a head weighs, maybe some heads weigh more than others. I would imagine so.

We find to our delight that elevators in this building do not work so we make the long trek upwards, 22 flights of stairs, painstakingly slow and just as we are about to make it to the very top I hear a loud voice saying “You made it!” which startles me so bad that I drop the box. The box starts to bounce and roll down the stairs, all 22 flights of them. I am rooted to the spot as it hurtles, bounces, cracks and tumbles down unceasingly. The Turk and the stranger stare at me incredulously while we all enjoy the symphony of the hurtling box making its way downwards. Finally it comes to a halting sudden stop.

“Well I better go get that,” I say.

By the time I make it back with the box that looks like it survived World War Two I find the Turk and the stranger seated in the apartment drinking tea and eating crumpets casually. “Open it,” says the host with a grandiose smile. Reluctantly I do so expecting to find the shattered remains of someone’s head.

Instead I find, completely intact, a 31 Piece Drop Forged Toolkit for Her, a complete set of tools engineered using the finest quality steels and ergonomic handle designs. It looks like it doesn’t have a scratch on it. The Turk and I share a glace of disbelief.

Well that’s some tough HardWare I have to say.