On Thursday afternoon in October, a young man in a fourth floor apartment on the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Humboldt shut the window against the crisp fall breeze. An unglazed ceramic container of begonia plants broke loose from its hanger and fell with an acceleration of 32 feet per second per second towards the pavement below. Nearing the pavement, the begonia container grazed the side of a 26 gallon galvanized trash can manufactured by Witt Industries of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The 19 inch diameter lid sprang from the can and began rolling edgewise along a north westerly course. The lid rolled within 0.23 meters of the rear bumper of a 2006 Mack MR688S refuse hauler equipped with ultrasonic proximity sensors which was backing into the alley on the north side of Humboldt. The proximity detection system produced a one hundred four decibel alarm which varied from three to four thousand hertz for 20 seconds while the lid passed the bumper.
A 1 year old St. Bernard/Black Lab mix puppy with the improbable name Apocalypse was investigating a discarded Burger King wrapper in front of a building on the south side of Humboldt street when the alarm sounded. He became startled and began running down the street in an easterly direction snapping his canvas leash in the process. With his owner in pursuit, he proceeded back towards the intersection of Humboldt and Sixth.
Passing the building at 602 W. Humboldt, Apocalypse brushed the grocery bag being carried by 73 year old Margret Sandford as she returned from the Whole Foods store at Sixth and Negreponte, three blocks away. The bag broke resulting in the breakage of two eggs, a jar of 365 brand pesto/sun-dried tomato sauce and the spilling of a quart of milk. Gazing at the spilled food on the sidewalk, Margaret concluded that she would take her niece up on the offer of a condo in Rockport and learn to live in the suburbs. She crumpled the note explaining how she was too old and set in her ways to adjust to a new environment and headed home to call her niece.
On the fourth floor of the apartment building, the young scholar put down the mug of coffee that was steaming up his glasses, set aside his copy of Martin Heidegger's "Schelling's Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom" and wondered what all the commotion was about.