Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lock Me Up and Throw Away the Key

Forgive me Internet (and parking authority), for I have sinned. I have forsaken the narrow path of good and turned to a life of crime.

Yesterday was Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. Because we are jaded slackers such hard workers who deserve a break, my coworker Gwynn and I decided around 2:30 to leave work to go get some ice cream. The trip hit a bump fairly quickly as our dear friend Google Maps suggested we drive down a sidewalk to find our destination. Seeing how we were still law-abiding citizens at this point, we found another way to go. Parking was limited, as always in our particular part of the country, but we found a lot with a very clear sign that said "Parking after 11am: $1/hr". Internet, I promise you that's what it said.

So, we waited in line with hundreds dozens of screaming kids in private school uniforms, got our ice cream (peanut butter cookie dough, yum yum), and then headed back to the car. When we pulled up to the pay booth and hand the man our ticket he says, "three dolla". No, we were not there for three hours, or even for two hours and one minute. We were there for 35 minutes. Ordinarily I would not have argued about this unannounced price hike.

But, um, we didn't HAVE $3. Between us we were only able to scrounge up $2. Actually, Gwynn had $1.99 and I provided the last penny. Because I was only carrying about seven pennies with me. I mean, who needs cash on FREE CONE DAY? When I tried to point out to the man that what he said was contradicting the sign below him, he only repeated his mantra: "three dolla!". I was tempted to get out of my car and go pan-handling for the rest but unfortunately, I had left my permit at home.

(that was a joke)

Finally I explained that we did not have enough cash with us he told me I had to write my name and phone number on our ticket so that he wouldn't lose his job. Over $1. As I held that pen and ticket, I had a moral dilemma. Because how would he possibly know if I wrote the wrong name? But, I am proud to say that I decided to return to the straight and narrow and face the consequences of my parking theft. I wrote my REAL NAME and phone number (at work, just in case).

Today I'm not answering the phone for any numbers I don't know. Also, I'm going to the ATM. Because now I'm down to only 6 pennies and that's a lot scarier than 7 pennies.

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