“Sometimes I tell people these stories and they don’t believe me,” Lenahan said as he turned off of Court Street. “I feel like I’m gonna be that grandpa where I tell my kids these stories and they’re gonna be like, ‘Oh, grandpa didn’t take his medication today.’”
As we pulled onto Washington, we scanned our eyes over every yard for anything that might slightly resemble his hot tub.
“My intelligence told me they just have it out in the open,” he said.
No dice from a street view, so Kevin parked the car to search on-foot for the address we were given: 195. On the left-hand side of the road, we found 193. The next house after was… 201. After poking around for a good 15 minutes, we soon learned that the address didn’t seem to exist, let alone a hot tub.
We began to think this was very strange. Two girls were sitting on their porch across the street—one of which Kevin knows—so we crossed over to see if we could convince any info out of them. Luckily, they offered their knowledge willingly.
“Yeah, when we moved in we saw one up the street,” one girl said. “We were like ‘Oh, we need to befriend them!’”
They were nice and pointed up the hill. Thankful to have any lead at all, we expressed our gratitude and headed in what we hoped to be the right direction.
“I’m not gonna make a big deal about it,” Kevin said, “I just want my hot tub back.”
We still didn’t know exactly which house, so Kevin stopped a girl walking on the sidewalk.
“Hey, which house does George live in?” he asked.
“Oh, um, I think that one on the corner,” she said, pointing.
We walked onto the front porch of the large brown house and knocked on the door, fingers crossed.
The door creaked open, and a man of average height stood in the doorway. He was in running clothes and slightly out of breath, looking flushed in the face and slightly confused by the two strangers standing on his porch. Had Kevin found his hot tub thief?
“Hey, George, is it?” Kevin asked.
The man shook his head. “No, George is my roommate.”
“Oh, well George has been keeping my hot tub for me,” Kevin said. “I’m coming by to get it.”
The man didn’t know anything about a hot tub. He had just recently moved in—found the place through Craig’s List, as it were—and didn’t even have George’s phone number.
“He’s hardly ever here. He’s always at his girlfriend’s across the street,” he said. “You could check there.”
The roommate took Kevin’s phone number before wishing us good luck and shutting the door on our backs as we turned to cross the street.
“How adventurous are you feeling?” Kevin asked me. “Do you want to go check out his girlfriend’s house?”
We had come too far and the story was already too weird to back down, so I obliged. I could tell Kevin was getting frustrated and I didn’t want his search to be a disappointment. Glancing up at the house George’s roommate had indicated, we spotted people on the porch of their neighbor’s house.
Kevin walked over. “Excuse me, have any of you seen a dog?”
The old “lie about losing your dog to poke around the backyard for a hot tub” trick. Classic. They responded that they hadn’t, but said we could take a look if we wanted. Once in the back yard, I murmured under my breath, “Hey Kevin, what was your dog’s name again?”
“I don’t know,” he whispered back. “What’s a good name for a dog?”
“Hey,” the people on the porch called out immediately after I said this. “What’s your dog’s name again?”
“Jasper,” Kevin and I replied in perfect unison. We looked at each other. “People are never going to believe this actually happened this way,” I said.
A small hill covered in shrubbery formed the backyard, and one quick glance produced no hot tub. But this wasn’t the house in interest. We quickly climbed up a dirt path to the top of the hill and walked until we were behind George’s girlfriend’s place.