In the morning, Niles slung his coat on and stepped outside. Within a few steps from his home, a sudden rush of wind stampeded down the street and remained. He quickly changed sides of the street and went into headquarters to start a fire. Then he walked to the Harbor Inn.
He had to tug at the door to shut it as he entered.
“It looks like she just started up,” Niles said to Steve who sat at the far end of the dining room near the window to the harbor.
“If you think the last one was bad,” Steve said, “wait till this one. This one will be the reason folks retire and go to Florida.”
Niles hung his coat and poured a coffee. “And what about you?”
“Somebody has to stay around and guild the misdirected like you and Charley and Shelly through the winters. You folks would freeze to death without of folks that stay around to hold your hand.”
“What are they saying?” Niles said as he pulled out a chair from the table and sat across from Steve
“Two feet at the most, 24 inches at the least,” Steve said. “We’re going to break some records.”
“Break records,” Niles said. “What does that mean? We’ve been breaking records for as long as I can remember.”
“They mean for that particular date,” Steve said.
“And you buy that,” Niles said. “In sports do you ever hear that Tom Brady broke the record for most passing yards for this date? No. It’s all about the weather guys wanting to announce a record was broken. Now if the weather guy had something to do with it, that’s another story, but he don’t.”
“You’re starting to sound like a Maineiac, you trust nothing or no one,” Steve said. “It’s finally getting to you. Charley and Shelly are too busy to think about things like that.”
“Like what?” Charley said pouring his coffee and walking to the table.
“Weather records,” Steve said, “and whether they are real. They say it is a record, but what they mean is just for a particular date.”
“Yeah,” Charley said. “I’ve thought about that one before.”
“How come you never said anything?” Niles said.
“I don’t often talk about things like that,” Charley said. “Somebody always has a simple answer and it makes it look like you aren’t in touch with the world.”
“I just wish they’d quit with the record thing,” Niles said. “It makes no sense to me. Yeah, I know it adds a few more sentences to a conversation at the coffeemaker, but it’s mostly irrelevant.”
“Kind of makes you wonder why they even keep records,” Steve said. “The only thing that really counts is who won or who lost.”
“I remember this guy I went to school with, Harry Head,” Charley said.
“Wait a minute,” Niles said, “Harry Head?”
“For real,” Charley said.
“And I didn’t think Maine was getting to them,” Steve said.
“Go on,” Niles said, “I can’t wait to hear about the rest of his family. Curly and M T.”
“Okay,” Charley said. “He played for our high school basketball team and in one game he had 10 assists in one half. He claimed that was a record. He made a big stink about it and his picture hangs in the lobby of our school’s gym. It will be there until they tear the place down. Nobody keeps track of assists by halves or quarters. They don’t even have a picture of the guy who made the most in one game!”
“That wind sure has picked up,” Steve said.
“About blew me over on my way over here,” Niles said.
“You should hear it howling from the second floor,” Charley said.
“By the way,” Steve said. “what is the record for most passing yards on this date?”
“Darned if I know,” Niles said.
“I heard we’re going to get two feet,” Charley said.
“That’s what I heard,” Steve said.
“Who has the record for most assists in one game for your high school?” Niles said.
“I do,” Charley said, “19, that means I got the most for one half too.”
Niles stayed a little longer than normal at the Inn. Shelly had a coffee with everyone, but soon she and Charley disappeared into the kitchen.