Edited by Anne Goddard
© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard
I jumped when Jaxon burst through my field office door. “Boss, he hollered, come with me, ---hurry! He turned and ran back to the construction site.
When I caught up to him, he was holding the door open to one of the rental plastic toilets for the workers to use.
I passed him and entered the unit.
“Wha---?” was all I could say when I looked at the configuration sitting on the hole in the toilet seat It took a few minutes to absorb what it was and how we were going to either dismantle it or get it out of here. It resembled a pound of butter but it was pink and appeared to be soft. There were two metals straps over it and fastened with smooth head bolts attached to the toilet seat. There was another metal strap welded across between the others and evidently it was well secured. A small fixture was embedded in the top and a light was flashing to indicate that there was just a bit more than thirty-two minutes left. I was temporary mesmerized and now it was less than thirty-one minutes.
I looked at Jaxon who was also transfixed. It’s a bomb. Did you just find it?
Jaxon said he had to use the toilet and he found it.
Reality set in and I had to do something to get rid of this thing. It made no sense to remove it from the seat, it would take too long. We had to get it to where there wouldn’t be as much damage if it exploded.
“Jaxon, go get the truck with the tip deck down at the south end of the construction and hurry.” While he was gone, I broke the vent open at the back so I could pass the cable though there and the door to be able to overlap and fasten it with the hook.
The tipping bed cable could be operated from the truck cab and once we had the cable through the door and re-hooked, I jumped into the truck and pulled the toilet off the ground to transport it.
I put the truck in gear and yelled to Jaxon to call 911.
The property at the southernmost edge of the city where we were in the process of building a strip mall was on a wide strip between residents on both the East and West sides.. If I could get past the cross road through the ditch and out into the field, it should be a safer area. I drove straight into the ditch but the front bumper lodged in the far bank and the truck suddenly stopped with a jolt. Time was running out. I backed up and angled up the side of the bank and nearly tipped the truck over. The toilet slid down on the right side but stayed dragging beside the truck. Some small trees were broken down and then I was on level ground. My advance was, to my estimation nearing a three hundred yards into the field. I let the cable run out its full length and that meant the toilet was almost a hundred feet behind the truck. This location separated the truck for about three hundred feet on each side. Back and front was probable double that.
I checked my watch, less than three minutes. The relative safety at the front of the truck was a logical place for me and I ducked down on my haunches not sure how far I was away from the truck.
I arrived there was an ear
When I became aware I re-awakened and looked straight up at the piped barrier, I call the animal guard. Why would I see that? Why was I almost under the front wheels of the truck? Oh yes, the thing that I had attached to the truck exploded. I remember the noise but nothing until now. I could hear a strange screeching noise in my ears. The heat that I felt was probably from the hot motor but there was no smoke. Something was running down the left side of my face, I reached up with my left arm to see what it was. My hand wouldn’t work, it just dangled there and shot me through with a pain that my vocabulary couldn’t explain. A headache that was in conflict with my left side, it was total body pain.
Let’s take stock of the situation. Trying to pull myself from under the truck was useless. My right arm did work and I managed to move a few inches until I was exhausted.
I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. At least my lungs were working but the pain in my left side was still there.
I tried to listen for sirens but all I could hear was the noise in my ears. The calvary will be on the way.
The ambulance arrived and moved in close to me. The EMTs checked my vitals and said that they would get me on a hard board and pull me out from under the truck.
One of them asked me my name and a few other questions and I guess I passed the test. He said that a cut in my forehead was bleeding profusely and they would attend to that before they took me to the hospital. A very attractive lady told me that my wrist was in need of surgery and that it appeared there were two broken ribs on my left side.
Just at that moment Jaxon appeared before me and with concern, asked me how I was. It was likely he noticed that I was not having a good day.
Questions about damage and if anyone was hurt crossed my mind but the lady EMT said that could wait until they checked me over at the hospital.
Arrival at the University Hospital Emergency was no different than any other time, except I was the emergency.
The EMT’s gave the necessary information to the ER Doctor. They sutured the cut on my forehead and a comment that chicks like men with scars. Then through that noisy tunnel that sliced your body into thousands of thin pieces far more than an apple pie but it is a tell-all machine, an MRI.
The results weren’t much different than what the EMT said but a concussion was added. Two broken ribs that had to heal and a wrist that required surgery. With that done, they assigned me to a room with one other patient. My hearing was slowly turning back to normal.
The Doctor allowed Jaxon to visit for a short time. He was awed at the sight and noise of the explosion. He said that the back of the truck cab was wrinkled with some flying debris. Said debris was scattered over three hundred feet east and west. North, where our construction was located didn’t seem to have suffered but Jaxon and staff will closely examine structures. He was amazed that I was to get the toilet far enough away from our work but we still had to check with the residential neighbors.
As far as my tour at the hospital, the Doctor hasn’t offered a time line yet. With a sedative and a pain killer I quickly went to sleep.
Doctor Gunn arrived early the next morning and advised that I would be having a head scan and now that my wrist was going to heal, a more comfortable covering will be installed.
A hospital is not a quiet place as I listened to the activity and I wished to get out of here.
Ten minutes later, the nurse came in and told me I had some visitors. She said, “they are policemen and if you don’t feel like talking to them, I can send them away.”
I was glad that I could talk to someone so I gave the nurse permission to bring them in.
Two gentlemen came in to my room and the older and bigger one said, “I’m Detective Brennan for the city of Canlon and this is Sergeant Dvorek from the County Sheriff’s department.
Brennan asked me if I was Dar Lewis and had been involved with a huge explosion yesterday?
“Yes, sir, I’m Lewis, and yes that’s why I’m in here,” and I raised my plastered hand.
Brennan was tall, at least six feet, a little paunch starting, looked about forty, he wore a brown (Ugh) suit. The Sarge was almost opposite in appearance, very dapper, dark suit with stripe and it fit perfectly, lean and fit.
Brennan asked if my first name was my legal name.
Yes, I had a longer name that I didn’t like, and I shortened twenty years ago to Dar.
“Can you give us a report of what happened?”
“Sure, at about eight fifteen my foreman, Jaxon rushed into my office and he got me to look at one of the potties. It took me a while to understand what we were looking at and decided if this thing was going to explode and had to get it away from our buildings. The toilet was within ten feet of the building under construction. So, I hooked up a cable on the tip truck and dragged it south into the field and Boom.”
“Where were you when it blew?”
“When I got to the field and looked at my watch there was no point in trying to run away so I squatted in front of the truck. I came to some time after and found I was nearly under the truck and wounded.”
“The sergeant advised me that the reason he was here on behalf of the Sherriff, the explosion took place on county land. “You were about fifty feet into the County and obviously other than your injuries, we have no evidence of any other person hurt.”
Brennan added, “Even though the explosive was set in the city, we have to cooperate with our border friends.”
I answered, “no problem.”
My company and a number of investors banded together to build a high level, unique strip mall with ten units. Each unit was different, shape and color and they were to line up in a semi-circle so that when customers entered the parking lot, they could see all the units. It was arranged to have my firm, Darned-Good- Construction, build it.
“Now let’s change this meeting somewhat. Do you have any, or did have any disagreement with another company or individual who may be interested in stalling your construction?”
I thought for a bit, “Off the top of my head, nothing or nobody comes to mind. I did fire a worker about a month ago but as far as I know, he went to Saskatoon a few hundred miles from here.”
“Are you in charge of the rental or sale of the mall units?
Yes, largely because my crew is on site during construction, but there is another company that one can contact. It’s called Street Real Estate.
“Is each unit the same amount of rent?” Dvorak asked.
“No, it depends on many factors such as the amount of work, we have to do for the client’s specifications and other costs,” I replied
“In your relationship with rental clients, have you or anyone else had any conflict with potential clients or one that has already signed a contract.?”
“We have five contracts signed and one is just waiting for a signature. So far, we haven’t had any real problems that haven’t been resolved. No severe problems to date.” I told them.
“We have to determine any relationships and contracts to see if one of them might be involved with the explosion.”
“Right, I understand.”
Brennan continued, “All right, that’s all for now but if you think of anything that even if it doesn’t seem to fit in the current investigation, give me or Dvorak a call.”
“Are you able to be at work when you get out of the hospital?”, Dvorak asked.
“I hope so, but I know I’ll have to be very careful for a few weeks and get rid of this cast.”
“When do you think they will release you?”
“Not sure but I’m feeling fairly well and hope I won’t be here much more than a couple of days,
After two more days and a number of examinations, I was released with strict instructions not to be involved with strenuous exercise for at least three months and they set up appointments each month for follow-up.
It was totally refreshing when I left the hospital on the 16th of July. It seemed to be a long time since the explosion.
I called Jaxon and arranged to meet him and the rest of our staff at the construction site and have a face-to-face meeting with everyone. My staff all welcomed me back and we small talked for a bit and then we got down to business. Six of the workers went back to work and Jaxon offered to go with me and view the damages.
The tip truck was a definite write-off, it looked like something huge kicked in the back and the cab broken wide open and the wooden top of the deck was ripped up. Apparently, a piece of the toilet hit the back of the cab and ended up inside. The truck was blown forward a bit more than six feet but could have been much further as the force of the explosion pushed the truck so that the wheels skidded along the ground. It appears that with the deck tipped to maximum it minimized the force of the blast at that angle. Whew, I might have been killed!
Trees all close to the blast site were ripped out of the earth and the ones out to what appeared to be at least a hundred yards were leaned over in various shapes and sizes.
We couldn’t tell if any of the dwellings on the East and West were damaged. I asked Jaxon to take a thorough inspection of the closer units.
Back at the office I arranged to purchase a new truck similar to the one we had and determine if insurance covered the damage. My chair felt comfortable enough but it didn’t take long for the pain emerged in my left side. To Hell with sitting around, it’s time I checked the progress of construction.
I found that no unit had been involved with the explosion. No damage and everything was as expected after a thorough inspection by all staff..
The Police had conducted their investigation and taken a multitude of photos. Apparently, as Brennan advised that the “blue jackets” (his words), have inspected and interviewed the people that were able to see the construction site. They haven’t told us if they found anything yet.
No one had to tell me that I soon tired and needed to go home. Tomorrow is another day.
I called Jaxon the next morning and said that I was going to stay at home for a while. Actually, it was my wife’s decision. It was very comfortable and I slept.
At eight, the 18th July, I was back in my office chair then went through the usual discussions and decisions with my employees. Jaxon has been my foreman for a few years and he is very reliable so I told him about the sixth contract was for number five in the middle. My partners and the client had a very long meeting. The customer asked if we could construct the unit with a top story that would make it a three story. He wished to live on the third floor. Being that the planned unit was one of a double wide the rent was thoroughly argued and we reached a compromise.
Brennan came by today and said that one of our neighbors to the west had said that he saw someone walking the night before the explosion. The description of the person was described as walking with some difficult. He didn’t limp but it seemed he sort of threw his right leg forward and outward. Mr. Earnshaw always takes his dog out right around 11:30 and he had seen the man near our construction.
Brennan told me his name was Frank Earnshaw.
“I know him, I announced, he comes around during the day sometimes, just wanders and looks at everything and always thanks me. Nice elderly gentleman. I’ll speak with him when he visits.
Brennan asked if I knew anyone with that physical difficulty.
Unfortunately, I did not.
Mr. Earnshaw’s description stayed with me all day. I decided to stay over in my holiday trailer for a couple of nights. Additional lights were installed so that the fronts of buildings were quite visible.
In the next two weeks, I stayed on site intermittently and no night visitors. Perhaps I spoiled the plans of the perpetrator and he gave up. The police had not been able to track the one visitor we had had.
A policeman stopped by one day when he was on parole in the area and said that they had seen man similar to the one Mr. Earnshaw had reported but he had since disappeared.
One early morning at home, I heard sirens. It was not hard to recognize that they were fire trucks proceeding to a fire. To go to work was a bit early but I set out anyway, As I drove closer, I realized that it was one of our construction units on fire. It was totally in flame with an indication that fires had been set in a number of locations. I swore and stepped out of my truck, and stood there with a deep feeling of disappointment and failure.
The Fire Fighters fought a great job and had it under control. The one unit was toast but the second unit that was finished on the outside suffered minor damage.
The Fire Chief told me that whoever started the fire used an accelerant, probably gasoline since an empty Jerry can was found. He said that he would notify the police and wanted to know who was working on the explosion. I thanked the Fire Chief and they left a truck there just in case of a flare up.
Brennan and another Detective showed up within a half hour.
“We’ll see if we can determine if this is the same guy,” he said. “Dar, this is Detective Nolan.”
Nolan wasn’t quite as tall as Brennan but he was just as large and he was a Black person, with a bit of grey in his neat beard.
He shook my hand firmly and I welcomed him to the fire site.
“The Fire Chief said that the fire was set and by the looks of it, if someone hadn’t seen it, you would be in a huge bind with the way that the wind was blowing North to South. You might have lost everything. This guy sure has a lot of hate for you.”
“I have been staying in my trailer once in a while and this was the first night of the last two, I went home.”
Nolan suggested that someone might have seen someone or---perhaps the responsible person may live close in this area. He knows what you do and where you go at night.”
“I never thought of that and I don’t really know the people who live close by. I guess I should hire Security and cover every night.”
Brennan agreed, “that’s a good thought he said. Let’s get a handle on the people in the area. We’ll take a section at a time and re-do our interviews ourselves and see if anything clicks.”
I thanked them and they left and went back to sit in their car. They spent a lot of time in the car and then, I noticed that they drove up and down a number of adjacent streets before they disappeared.
In the meantime, my staff asked if they should clean up the mess or keep building. I asked one of my youngest employees to stay with me and help while the other five would continue building.
The cleanup lasted into the next day and I found that we could salvage the next unit except the wall next to the burned one.
That afternoon, I hired Security and advised I wanted them on site from 8:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M.
Over the next couple of weeks, we made excellent progress and it seemed we would succeed with our plans. With Security watching over night, there had been no problems. During this time, I noted that one detective on the East side and one on the West side were knocking on doors quite regularly. We were notified that the police were looking closer at the back grounds of certain individuals. They promised to keep us informed.
Finally, after a month or so, I started to relax but still hoped that the responsible person would be found and arrested. Police were still investigating and kept us up to date.
One morning after my usual conference with Jaxon and our group, I need the new dip truck to load roofing material for the unit that had been burned and it would actually be complete.
“Where’s the dip truck?” I asked Jaxon. He said he hadn’t seen it but it was always left parked by the porta potties each night. But it wasn’t there.
When, I called Brennan, he answered, “My God what next and I’ll be right over.”
Brennan said that he had dictated what he called a BOLO for the truck and that every cop would be looking for it. “In the meantime, I’ll bring Forensics in and see if they can find anything. Do you leave it unlocked and with the keys in it?”
“Yes, I said, so that it’s ready to move when any one of us need it.”
“Well, he gave me that look, “it’s just a matter of time, isn’t it?”
I stayed where the truck had always been parked and watched when Forensics worked. Within a couple of minutes, he pointed to the foot prints that appeared odd. He took me closer and shone his flashlight on the ground. “See those boot marks, rather large but that’s not all, his left foot is pointing straight ahead and his right foot is sideways. I’ll create solid prints that can be used when we find the guy who stole your truck.”
“Thank you.” And I walked away to find my foreman.
“Jaxon, without that truck, we will have to shift to another unit where we can work inside.”
He acknowledged accordingly.
We had rented a bobcat to fill in the depression where the explosion took place and I started it and drove to the site. Around and around several times and ended up with a slope rather than a hole. I noted that there were a few Deer in the trees and thought to myself that I should bring them some food but really didn’t know what to bring. Another thought ran through my mind, it was lucky that there were no animals there during the explosion.
Adding to our present problem, it started to rain. I mean “rain” in buckets and soon the construction site was quagmire and because we had stripped the black dirt into a pile, the clay that was left was like glue gumbo. Even the Rain Gods were against us.
It rained steady for two days hindering some of our construction so, I sent everyone home with a day off with pay.
Later that day I received a call from the police. They had located my truck and it was in the ditch beside a gravel road about fifteen miles north of the city. The officer related that he found the robber sitting in the truck smoking weed.
A few hours later they had confirmed that the man that Mr. Earnshaw had seen prior to the explosion with the wonky leg and they were in serious interviews with him to determine if he was responsible for the other two disasters.
The robber apparently was not responsible for the fire, the Police informed. He has a solid alibi for that time and he said he was at the site the night before the explosion but went home right after that.
We were still a long way from finishing our construction and I hoped that we would have no more serious problems.
It seemed that just as soon that I thought about problems, one loomed. My phone rang at home at around 3:00, A.M. and it gave me an instant feeling of dread. Who would be calling at this hour unless it was exceptionally important? It was!
The caller identified himself as a police officer who had been on patrol and came upon our security guard lying on the ground near his car. It was apparent that he had been beaten and he had been lifted to the University Hospital. Forensics were at work but it was so wet that they couldn’t promise anything at that moment.
When I arrived at the hospital, they advised that they were sewing him up but had no life- threatening injuries. He will be sore for a while. I could talk to him later that day.
I waited until a more reasonable time and called Brennan. He said that this has to stop and we’ll do our damndiest.
For the life of me, I could not think of anyone who hated me and if he did, why didn’t he come after me personally. The stress was getting to my staff as well and noticed that no one was in a good mood.
In the afternoon I received a call from Detective Nolan who advised that he and Brennan have conducted an interview with Jim, our security guard and if I wished, I could visit with them and go over the new information.
Any new information is welcome, I hope it will lead us somewhere and to someone. Jim had a couple of stitches in his lower lip and his face was obviously going to show a lot of bruises and both his eyes would be black. He was raised up in the bed. His hands were covered in bandages but he said that it was just to make sure he didn’t get any infection from his bruised knuckles.
I told him that I was sorry that I put him through this. He smiled and said that he got a few licks in defense before he was overpowered.
Brennan suggested that he give me a rundown on what he remembered.
“It was around three and I was a bit sleepy and to stay awake, I always made my rounds to view the whole site. I keep a record in my car and as I opened the door when I returned from another walk, I received a wallop on the back of my head. Before I fell, I turned my body so that I would land on my back. The overnight light helped and I got a pretty good look at him. He appeared quite tall, not that big around but obviously in good physical shape that showed his biceps in the short-sleeved T Shirt he was wearing. He had a goatee and mustache almost all black and also, he had ample very dark hair. I was able to get back on my feet in an attempt to protect myself and offered a few hits on him. Before he zapped me and I lost consciousness I noticed that he had a scar diagonally over his right eye and into his hair causing a small gap in his hair.
“Whew, he said, “that played me out thinking of it.”
“Jim, you are certainly a very observant person and you have just given us a major lead at who this guy could be. Thank you ever so much,” and I shook his hand. caught myself before I pressed too hard.
I turned to Brennan and he was smiling. “He reminds me of a neighbor to Mr. Earnshaw. I spoke to Frank one day when he was planting some rosebushes in his yard. In fact, the suspect lives a little over a block from his place on the same side of the street. I interviewed the dude about a month ago and he was one of my top suspects because he said that he thought the strip mall was an eyesore and the city shouldn’t have allowed you and your partners to build it. Nolan and I are going to round him up and take him downtown. Maybe this is the end to your problems, Dar.” And he and Detective Nolan left.
I immediately went back to the mall and told my staff what I had learned. Then, I thought it was a good idea for everyone of us go for a drink and have some fun. It became a drunken activity so that one of my men got up to go to the washroom and he walked up to the counter. “Find what you want?” the woman said. She weighed at least two hundred and fifty pounds and swelled out like an inverted washtub below the waist. She was smoking a cigarette and flicking the ashes into a bottle cap, her lipstick rimmed crisply on the filter, a V-shaped yellow stain between her fingers.
“Where’s the men’s washroom,” he asked.
She drew in on her cigarette and exhaled slowly, taking his measure. “About four feet behind you, the door has a sign on it that says Men’s Room.
We all just about died laughing.
When I arrived home a few hours later, I had a call on my voice mail from Brennan stating that they had sweated him into confessing that he had conducted all accidents. He also said that we should have a meeting the next morning at eight at the construction site.
Before eight, I cleaned the mess off my desk in preparation for my meeting with Brennan. A screw driver needs charging, a level, an old hammer, you mention it, screws, nails they all gather on my desk.
Brennan knocked on my door and brought Detective Nolan with him. I managed to clear two chairs and I sat on a cardboard box full of wood screws.
“Mr. Lewis, you and we have had a busy few month, an explosion, a fire, a security officer beaten and a stolen truck thrown into the mess.”
I just nodded.
“His name is Maurice Lebret. He has a record but I can’t divulge what it says but we believe that a solid case is being built against him. Now we need your help to fill us in on sales and purchases of property and help us understand what Lebret claims.”
Again, I just nodded.
“He claims that you somehow cheated him, made plans with the city under the table, took short cuts with your work and you need to be investigated.”
“OK, I said, where do you want to start?”
“What was the first things that you conducted when you and your partners were planning to buy the property for the mall?”
“Zoning is critical to a development such as we have. It’s the way governments, primarily cities, counties and towns control physical development.”
“It was mentioned that you may have not processed the application for zoning having negotiations that were not recorded.”
“When we decided to buy this parcel of 18 acres, my partners and I negotiated a non-refundable down payment in the event we didn’t buy. We applied to the city for a temporary business license. There is a series of steps to validate our intentions and the type of commercial development.
“Were you aware that if you went ahead, that the city would provide an additional entrance from the North in addition to the one that runs perpendicular East and West?”
“No, we weren’t made aware of that but it was something we had in our plans.,” I answered.
“So, you wouldn’t have known the owner of the small parcel to the North of your parcel, or did you?” Brennan asked while Detective Nolan took notes.
“Oh, we knew about the parcel but never enquired about sale or ownership,” I countered.
“This is where it gets a bit dicey, Lebret says that he has information that you were aware of the parcel that he had just placed a large down payment on and gained ownership and that you didn’t include that in your application to the city that you would want an additional roadway.”
“No, I just assumed that it would be commercial zoning because our parcel was determined as that and we didn’t emphasize that. The land on the West and East of our parcel is still owned by the City,” I related and showed them papers to prove it, “At that time we hadn’t finalized our of size of development and what total buildings we would have.”.
“And this was all above the table?”
“I’ll go through it with you. We then obtained a lease from the owner so that we could start marking sites and apply for zoning approval, obtain the necessary permits related to Building inspections, adjust density of population and search for any zoning problems with the city again.”
“How did you research for the zoning?”
“It is all on the city’s website and we copied everything that we needed and then some. The rest was left to meetings and obtain a Development Permit to construct ten individual units of varying size, shape, color and height. Sorry, I forgot to mention that we had concluded ownership a few weeks before.”
A knock at the door and I got up and answered it. “Hello, Jim, good to see you and how are you doing?” I asked., remembering that the last time I saw our Security Officer, he was in the hospital.
He replied, “Coming along just fine and should be back at work in a couple of days.”
“Great, me too, and I waved my left hand to let him see that the cast had been removed, “I will phone your Boss to make further arrangements.”
He thanked me and left.
I looked at my visitors. “We arranged to have our zoning relationship with the city to exclude the same type of commercial development in the area that was devised.”
“That really rankled Lebret because he couldn’t continue his plans on the parcel to the North.” Brennan almost smiled.
“Well, that’s too bad because we followed the letter of the law,” I returned.
“Just one more thing, do you have your office in your home?”
“I have a small room where I conduct personal concerns but the Zoning By-law doesn’t allow the rental office in my home.”
“How do explain the unit where they will be living?”
“Oh, you mean the one that will be three story?”
“We haven’t made a contract with that person but we will train him to be the on site manager for rentals, repairs, and anything that needs attention.” I thought, oh, oh, I ‘m glad we have that under control.
Brennan and Nolan looked at each other and both shrugged.
“We thank you for your honest and candid remarks and information.” They both allowed.
Brennan looked at me across the desk, “We expect that a trial will be held and Lebret has employed a lawyer to question your activities that you have concisely laid out. You will probably be subpoenaed to attend. I am a Homicide Sergeant and normally there would be a corpse in your investigation. My Lieutenant sent me because it appeared from the setting of the explosion could lead to a homicide. It nearly did so had you not effectively saved your life and perhaps others. It certainly kept us busy.
Detective Nolan advised that he was an assistant throughout and thanked me.
“You know, Brennan spoke, Lebret is very much like murderers often do. Human emotions develop such as anger and a sense of being deceived and thinking only of themselves. Common sense has slipped from the brain and the only thing he wants is revenge. I’m sure you will agree with me that revenge is never what the individual thinks it would be. When we interviewed him, he often said, I’m going to get even with him. In this case, he also lost money as well that made his anger turn to rage and it caused him to try and stop you in some manner. At that stage, there was no turning back but he’d just lost it. The human mind can exert incredibly dangerous thoughts that can alter anyone around that person. You know, and he knows that his actions did not help anything.
They shook my hand and offered good luck saying let them know about the grand opening.