Revenge of the Stoopman

The Street Hustle

The Mouse and I must to learn to say no. It has become an imperative. Need $20? Here you go. One of the cousins wants to visit and crash at my place for a week? No problem. He decides he wants to move to New York and needs to stay a month? Don’t worry, my friend. Ben Franklin was wrong. This time we got conned into helping a move from apartment to apartment in New York .

Jennifer, one of Mouse’s bartenders, is from Louisiana and accomplished what is generally considered impossible: she found a loft share in Williamsburg for under $1000 a month. With her southern accent and very charming way, of course we couldn’t say no when she asked for our help to move her from a crowded Chinatown tenement to Brooklyn . We rented a van and went over to her place on Mott Street .

What Jennifer told us was only a few boxes and a bed frame turned out to be two dozen boxes of all sizes, clothes, mattresses, a box spring, a couch, TV’s and a host of other items. Of course, the great loft deal in Williamsburg was on the top floor or a five floor walk up.

“Christ.” I swore when I saw it all. “The two of us and all of this shit has to be moved? We’re going to be here all day.”

“Stay here and help her with the first couple of boxes. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Mouse said.

I thought maybe he was going to get his brother or another friend or seven to help out. I nearly fell over when he walked in with the Stoopman. I asked Mouse if it was a good idea for him to help.

“Don’t worry Zola; he’s been clean for a week. Plus he’s a Uke. (Short for Ukrainian) He’s a g-d damn horse.”

“How much is this going to cost us?” I asked.


The Stoopman was worth every penny. He moved most of the boxes and the mattresses up the five flights of stairs to Jennifer’s new loft space by himself. When the three of us wedged to couch in between floors four and five, Harry the Stoopman was the one that solved the problem. As the Mouse told the Stoopman when we finished, he was worth every penny.

Mouse called me the next day and asked if I could help him with the doors at his 7th Street bar. The locks were full of glue.

“What happened?” I asked.

The Stoopman had called him around 7pm the night before and demanded another $20 for helping us move Jennifer. The Mouse refused. They had agreed on a price and he had already been paid. The Stoopman screamed at Mouse and swore vengeance.

“I was expecting to be ceremonially eye fucked the next few times I saw the Stoopman but this….”

“It’s almost witty.” I said. “Do you know where the Stoopman is now?”

Mouse pointed east to the stoop three doors down and there he was, the Stoopman, doing the elevator on his broom.

No good deed goes unpunished.

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