Friday, April 15, 2005

...Missing Out on Part 2

Probably a good nine years ago, when I was still living in the Bay Area, some friends and I went to Cobb’s Comedy Club, which at the time was located near Fisherman’s Wharf. As anyone who lives in or has visited the San Francisco area can confirm, this area of the city is virtually devoid of free parking, requiring you to park in a heavily overpriced parking garage. The rates are completely outrageous, being located in the heart of the city’s biggest tourist trap.

At the risk of contradicting a recent post, I can understand why someone might consider it important to get his or her parking ticket validated in a situation like this. But only within reason.

The line to exit the parking garage was long that night, but that’s not unexpected being in a popular part of San Francisco on a Saturday night. It was the fact the line wasn’t moving at all that was causing concern. Obviously something out of the ordinary was going on.

All became clear when the on-duty parking attendants attempted in vain to coordinate a massive repositioning of cars backwards and sideways so the vehicle currently at the payment booth could pull back into the garage.

As the line of cars numbered well into the double digits this request was met with much frustration, anger and hostility. It was late, we were tired, the two-drink minimum was taking it's toll, we just wanted to get the hell out of there and on our way home.

Finding out the reason why the owner of this vehicle had requested to be allowed back into the garage only served to add fuel to the fire. Seems he had been out on a dinner date and had forgotten to get his parking ticket validated by the restaurant. I have never seen such a horrified look on the face of human being as I saw on his date that night.

I guess this is the writerly part of me. The curiosity about human behavior. For all these years one question has nagged at me constantly – Did they end up staying together or was that the dealbreaker?
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