Posted by: Doug Geiger | 2012/09/01

MacGuyver, PMP

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When I was little I used to love MacGuyver and I probably still would love it today. Maybe I will buy the box set after I get rich. Magnum PI wasn’t truly a bad-ass, I mean, who couldn’t take care of business with a moustache like that?. The A-team was very cool, but they always seemed to get locked up in autoparts stores, always together, and with an oxy-acetylene torch, a partially completed Hum-vee (with working engine and gas) and a pile of scrap steel plating …  Night Rider had the kickin‘ TransAm that could talk; then there’s Air Wolf, and his helicopter – but again; anybody could be totally boss if they had such sophisticated machinery.  Standing out from this pack of well-healed heroes we have one man; one swinging mullet of masculinity that truly typified the best of that which is male, American, and accident prone: MacGuyver.

If I were not a Christian I would be a MacGuyverian.  Our meetings would be held in temples made entirely of lint, duct tape, and 9v batteries.  We would have ranks like the masons.  A 32-degree MacGuyverian would be identified by his 32 piece Swiss Army knife.  

MacGuyver has gotten me out of some sticky spots in my life. One time I was working at a gas dock on Jefferson Ave. on lake St. Claire, just North of Detroit (I won’t say which one because I don’t know what the statute of limitations is on what I am about to describe).  I was the evening manager, and was responsible for closing up the store and balancing the register, restocking the pop and beer, etc.  At the end of every night I dropped an envelope in a safe that was located in the back of the building by the back door where I then exited, after turning off all of the lights.  Well, I guess I was not a full-fledged manager because I was not given a key to the building.  I always started my shift in the middle of the day when there was someone there and I was the last to leave and so they figured I didn’t need a key. This would have been true if it weren’t for Murphy’s law.

One evening late in the summer I was closing up shop at around 8pm and I stood in the door frame of the rear door; Which locked automatically upon being closed, and thought to myself, “there’s something I am missing…”  I went through a checklist and couldn’t think of anything so I closed the door.

Sometimes in the more dramatic moments of life time slows down or speeds up and all of the little noises gain a crispness or ominous quality that converts the memory from a home video to a full production John Woo directed motion picture.  At the exact moment the latch clicked into place, marking the point of no return – the latch made a sound like that one they use in Law and OrderKachunkkachunk… I said a very bad word very loudly and repeated it very often in the following few minutes.  I had left the envelope, “the drop,”; stuffed with about $600 in cash on the counter in the only illuminated spot in the whole building.  I remember looking at the plump wad of cash inside and against the white paper of the envelope – yawning at me like cleavage.  I could look, but I could not touch it seemed.

I remember thinking – and I am not kidding in the least – “What would MacGuyver do?!”  I concluded he would assess the situation and clearly define the problem.  He would look for a weakness in the system, and then he would inventory the tools available to him to exploit that weakness.  Then he would stay eerily calm.  I did just that.  I tried to make out my bosses home number from the small card under the front counter, but the angle was too severe and the window too dirty to read it.  I then proceeded to walk counter-clockwise around the small building checking each of its windows and doors to see if they were accidentally left unlocked.  No.  I had just checked them all 5 minutes previous from the inside of the building, making sure they were locked.  

All that is, except the one window of the building that was never opened.  In the back of the building by the back door, there was a window that had a shelving unit bolted to the wall in front of it on the inside, and a large dock box parked in front of it on the outside.  I removed enough of the contents of the dock box to allow me to try to open the window.  It was locked.  Fortunately, the years of exposure to the sun had made the plastic lip that contained the window brittle and I was able to remove the screen with only a little “convincing.”  A little more tugging and pulling allowed the sliding window to open sufficiently for me to slip through – at least side-to-side.  The remaining problem was the aforementioned shelving unit.  The shelves were spaced about 12 inches apart.  I feared that they were permanently affixed to the frame of the shelf, but they were not – this was a pleasant surprise given the heavy duty construction of the unit.

With a wallop from my balled fist the shelf jumped from its comfortable perch and fell to the floor along with its contents and a hellacious racket.  I wiggled into the building victoriously, put the envelope in the safe and spent the next 20 minutes hiding my trail.  I walked out through the back door twice that night, without walking in.  I guess you could say I was a born again MacGuyvarian.

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