Our door bell never rings on Sunday afternoon, except it did, yesterday. There stood Susan and Norma, neighbors in the Sherwood Green condo subdivision.
“Do you know the woman who lives in the unit that backs up to yours?” they asked.
Well, no, because no one knows her. She lives in IL and comes over once or twice a month to see her grandchildren who live here. She bought the unit beside ours just for those occasional appearances. We have encountered her only a couple of times in the four years we’ve “lived” beside each other. We were friendly and welcoming, and she was pleasant, but she didn’t volunteer her name or contact information.
“She’s gone away and left her garage door up,” Susan said. “No telling when she’ll be back. We can’t leave it that way. We tried taking turns going in and pushing the “close” button by the kitchen door and then running out as fast as possible, before the door came down, but at the end we had to jump to get over that electronic beam that makes the door go back up, and the door was coming down, and we couldn’t jump high enough.”
I asked them to do it again. I’ve never gotten to put a video on YouTube, and I figured a movie of little old ladies in house slippers, dashing through an unknown neighbor’s garage like a bat out of Shady Rest, and trying to leap out beyond the door at the end, would certainly go viral. Unfortunately, they declined. [Norma’s house slippers were mismatched, even, but when you’re 89 you don’t worry about such things. Besides, she claimed she has another pair just like them at home.]
I figured I could try the garage run, but I am tall, and slow, and tend to fall over when moving, or standing, so Helen thought that was not a good idea.
We needed someone short and fast who could jump. We could think of no one in the 118 units of Sherwood Green who fit that description. I thought about Simone Biles but was afraid she might be too full of Christmas candy.
It was Sunday afternoon. We figured the condo office would know how to contact our mystery neighbor, but the office wasn’t open, of course, so Susan started calling and texting the realtor managers.
There was a number pad at the side of the door, but none of us had any idea what her code would be.
The four of us together have 337 years [actual count] of living experience, but we couldn’t figure out how to close a garage door.
Then I thought of William of Ockham [1287-1347]. Actually, I thought of Glenn Santner, but he looks a lot like Bill. When I pick up Glenn to go to Crumble Bakery for coffee with the other Crumble Bums [Tony, Charlie, and Ron], he closes his garage door with one button, not a whole code.
So, I pushed the Enter button at the bottom of the number pad. There went the door, right down, no running or jumping necessary.
Susan did all her phoning and texting again to say, as Rosanne Roseannadanna used to put it, “Never mind.”
And as “Old Bill” Ockham liked to say, “The simplest solution is probably the right solution.”
John Robert McFarland