I was jogging down the street yesterday and one of my Apple Earbuds fell from my ear and dropped into a sidewalk grating…about 5 feet down. I scurried home, grabbed some packing tape, gum and a wire hanger and headed back.
Quickly realized the hanger’s not long enough.
I get another hanger from a doorman. Tape ’em together to make it long enough. Put some tape on the end. Lower it. Touches the Earbud. Doesn’t stick. An Uber driver on a break is standing with me, fascinated. Calls his wife and begins to give her an emotional play-by-play.
“Shoot…the tape doesn’t work!” he laments to her.
I lower it again, this time with chewed gum on the end.
“He’s trying it with gum now!”
A pack of teen boys walk by.
“Hey man, you gotta get a MAGNET! I put one on a shoelace once to get mine. You know, they’re magnetized!”
I was seconds from running home to find a magnet.
And then a guy walks over and says, “I have a magnet!”
“You have a magnet?”
“Yeah! (points to the luxury hi-rise behind him). I’m the building manager here. I got everything! Be right back…”
“He’s got magnets!” the Uber dude beams!
Uber and I are making predictions for success.
Five minutes later MagnetMan returns with a professional magnetic pick-up stick. But it’s only about 3 feet long.
So I tape it to the already taped-together wire hangers to make it longer. The round head requires a bit of pressure to get it through the largest opening in the grate. I lower it to the Earbud with circumcision-like precision.
Boom! It sucks it right up like a Hoover on lint.
I raise it to the top of the grate, again to the largest opening, which still requires a forceful few tugs.
Slow and steady. Didn’t want to drop it…although the magnet seemed pretty strong.
One last yank and it was in my hands. Mission accomplished.
Unbeknownst to me, a small crowd had gathered to watch. Lots of high fives and fist bumps.
The moral of the story? Get a 5-foot magnetic pick-up stick ASAP!
And, New Yorkers are fucking amazing…