Down in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, there’s a little outpost of late 20th-century automotive culture. Accepting only cash, Hatoff’s gas and service station is known around the city for consistently providing some of the cheapest gasoline you can find. It’s hard to imagine impatient New Englanders willing to walk away from their car, ask the man behind bulletproof glass for “$20 on pump 4,” and watch as the numbers on an ancient pump slowly climb—but without fail, Stan Hatoff’s station is one of the busiest in Boston.
The last time someone knocked on my door, I answered to the flashing lights of a fire truck.
While scary, it turned out to be nothing more than a warning about a burn ban and a firm request to put out the remains of a campfire I had smoldering in the front yard. I mention this only to illustrate the fact that I live in a rural area, and people simply don’t come knocking on my door.
So when the rat-a-tat-tat of a door knock happened again last weekend, I prepared for the worst.