The Best Things in Life
Moving was always such a hassle!
Methos, the world's only five thousand year old man surveyed the stacks of boxes in his new flat and sighed. Somehow, it never got any easier. With every change of life and identity… despite his best efforts… he collected more bits of life that he just couldn't do without.
Opening one box, he noticed the fine and nearly pristine stack of Playboy. Each issue was encased in an acrylic sleeve. This box contained the best issues of the 1960's. Flipping between the issues, he smiled, recalling every word and every photograph with his eidetic memory. He sighed. With a smug grin he dropped the issues back into the box, closed it and set it aside. He doubted he'd done more than that the past few moves. He didn't need to. The ladies were firmly entrenched in his memory.
The next box contained bottle openers. He never wanted to be without one… despite the fact that beer bottles had featured easy open caps since sometime in the 1980's. Granted he likely could reduce this box to one opener… but what if he lost it?
Nope. Better to keep them all right where he knew they were. Besides, he never knew when the situation might come up that he'd need one… and he wanted to be prepared.
That thought made him laugh as he set that box aside. "Be prepared, the motto of the Boy Scouts. I may be prepared, but I'm certainly no Boy Scout. I leave that for MacLeod. Let him help the widows and orphans. Let him help old ladies across the street."
The buzzer sounded.
Methos turned from the detritus of fifty thousand lives and answered the button.
"Cable guy!" came the reply.
Methos grinned. He cast a proud glance at his new sixty-four inch plasma screen with surround sound and high definition capability, even as he buzzed the cable guy into the building. Unpacking could wait. His entertainment package was here.
A bit fussily he adjusted the cleaned off couch. Once the set was hooked up, he wanted to be ready to sprawl on it and watch wrestling while drinking beer.
He snapped his fingers and opened the refrigerator to count how many bottles he had on ice. He'd reached thirty-seven when he sensed that tell-tale feel of another immortal.
"Bloody hell!" Methos snarled, turning swiftly and fumbling through boxes to find his broadsword. He found it and lifted it vertically before him even as the knock sounded on his flat door.
"Cable guy," the voice on the far side of the metal security door called out.
"Right," replied Methos as he slammed his back against the wall next to the door. "Who are you?" he shouted.
"Cable guy?" the voice said nervously. "Is this Pierce Adams… Apartment 17D? Damn headache," the voice changed tone and then sneezed.
Methos raised an eyebrow as he thoughtfully considered his next action. A quickening going off in his new apartment would ruin his new plasma screen. Not to mention that he'd lose his security deposit.
Another knock sounded. "Have I got the right apartment?"
Methos' lip curled as he stared at the security door darkly. Perhaps this was on the level. Perhaps this idiot didn't know what he was. In that case… he might be safe. Nevertheless, Methos held onto his broadsword as he undid the four locks and opened the door.
"Yeah," a middle-aged man with a pot belly and an unshaven face said as Methos peaked through the crack of the open door. "I'm here to install your cable box," the man said, wincing in pain. His high, broad forehead furrowed and the fringe of his dark hair glistend with sweat.
"Headache?" asked Methos archly opening the door wider. He kept a firm grip on his broadsword as the man, apparently unarmed entered rubbing his right eye and temple.
"Yeah… ever since last week," the man said. He didn't look well.
"Oh? What happened last week?" Methos dropped his broadsword into the umbrella stand and closed the door, leaning against it with his arms crossed.
The man knelt next to the screen and settled a decoding box on the floor. "I fell. I was working on a roof and got struck by a freak bolt of lightning. Fell eleven stories. Walked away without a scratch. Just this headache that comes and goes. I gotta tell ya… this is the worst it's been."
"Indeed," an amused Methos smirked. "So what's your name?"
The man scratched his protruding stomach thoughtfully. "Promise you won't laugh. I usually don't tell people on the job."
"Cross my heart," Methos drolled.
Methos stared for a long beat at Cable. Finally he swallowed his retort and prevented his laughter from erupting. "Your name is Guy Cable and you work for the cable company?"
"Yeah… but don't tell anyone. It's bad enough at the bank when I cash my paychecks. Besides… there was that Jim Carey film and even my job is something people laugh at." He looked around, noticing Methos' new camel-colored leather couch. "Nice. Is that one of those reclining ones?"
"Double recliner. How long will this take?" He sauntered to the icebox and retrieved a beer.
"Not long. It's pretty much plug and your set up anymore. Not like it used to be. This building is pre-wired. But the digital services for those special," he winked, "channels still takes a digital decoder box."
"Ah… yes," Methos responded. "Those special channels. I'll get them as soon as you plug the box in?" Visions of porno films danced in his head.
"Absolutely," Cable replied. He eyed Methos' beer thirstily but turned with a sigh as he knelt down and leaned over to plug in the cables, the decoder box, and to send the authorization code.
For his part, Methos took a long swig from the bottle, and then held it behind him. He'd seen that thirsty glance, but offering Cable any was not an option. Besides, he still needed to figure out what to do about this young and out of shape immortal. His tongue clucked in his mouth as he groaned, considering the man's apparent lack of physical exercise.
When Cable turned to say something, Methos once more donned the bland expression that usually worked with most people. "Yes?" the ancient asked when Cable opened his mouth as if to ask a question.
"Uh… " He shook his head with a moan. "Do you have anything that would get rid of this headache? I hate to ask… but I finished up a bottle of pain pills earlier."
Resisting the urge to glance at his broadsword, Methos nodded. "I might. But as I just moved in, I'm not certain just where it might be." He gestured toward the sacks of boxes.
"I can't think straight," Cable muttered. "It's never been this bad. I might have to come back later."
Later? He'd have to let him come back? Methos glanced at his watch. "Is there anyway I can help with the programming? Perhaps if I stand… over here?" The immortal backed away to the far side of the room. "Is that any better?"
Cable nodded blearily and turned back to the equipment. Methos groaned and averted his eyes from Cable's backside becoming slowly more visible as he leaned closer to the set. Methos swallowed. Once again, the urge to retrieve his sword nearly overwhelmed him. This man was an affront to the very idea of immortality. Yet losing his security deposit, his new plasma set and the cable box kept him in check.
Finally Cable sat back on his heels, picked up the remote and began to program it. Before long, the programming was complete and Cable punched in a code for Hot… the newest X-rated cable service. "Now this is something worth watching," Cable murmured admiringly as the blonde and redhead gyrated rhythmically on the screen in high-def color. At sixty-four inches… it was if the ladies were right in the room.
Methos' jaw dropped and he stepped forward. "My… that's even better than I expected."
Cable nodded, winced again, and then began packing up his tools. "I'll need you to sign the paperwork."
Methos nodded, his eyes glued to the screen.
"Oh… if you have a referral… someone you'd like me to call on, I can give you six months free."
Free? Methos smiled knowingly. Suddenly there was a way to handle the immortal problem and get free cable. "As a matter of fact," he murmured and wrote a name and address on the paperwork. He grinned as he handed it to him. "Be sure to take care of this personally."
Cable glanced at the name. "Duncan MacLeod? Right. And thanks."
"Don't mention it," Methos replied taking another swig of his beer. Let the Boy Scout deal with it. He beamed broadly as he showed Cable to the door. "Oh… and I think he also has a sure-fire cure for headaches. Maybe he'll take care of it for you."
Cable waved as he hitched up his pants and strolled down the hallway, "Thanks Mr. Adams. I'll give him a call. And enjoy your cable stations."
Methos waved, smiled, and shut the door, carefully replacing the four locks. He sighed and then eyed his set, again nearly mesmerized by the undulating action. He chuckled, got another beer from the fridge and sprawled on his new sofa. Idly he picked up the remote and began to flick through the stations, taking note of where he could find twenty-four hour wrestling as well as the X-rated channels. Six months of this free. He grinned. And with any luck, MacLeod would deal with Cable. He'd probably take him in as a student… something Methos hadn't wanted to do. It wasn't in his nature. If so, he'd likely remain scarce at the Boy Scout's place for a while. Once Cable was trained, Methos would have no compunction about taking his head. Nope… none at all. By that time, six months would have passed. After all… he didn't want to lose his free cable. The world's oldest man sipped his beer smugly, "Ah… the best things in life," he murmured and then became lost in his programs.