Mike Geraci has a favorite line. "They always stick it to the little man." In the 25 years we have been married, I've heard this line more than I've cared too. More on that later.
So last Saturday, Mike Geraci and I went to see the Seminoles play. We were playing Clemson, and the future of the ACC championship and world peace hung on the outcome. Well, okay, maybe not world peace, but definitely the ACC championship. You see, if we could beat Clemson, then have NC State lose their next game, and if the clouds aligned themselves perfectly in the Universe... You get the drift. We HAVE to beat Clemson in order to have a rat's ass chance of getting in the ACC finals.
More than his empathy for the little man, Mike Geraci loves getting things for free. No, I mean more than the average person. He's not cheap, mind you. He just loves feeling like he's made a bargain. He has a "special" parking spot somewhere near Gaines St (I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you) that he always parks at whenever we go to the football games. No one is there to collect money and although there is a "No Parking. You will get Towed!" sign, nothing ever happens. The only down side to this premiere spot is that it's kind of far from the stadium. Yes, we can park at the civic center and take the bus to the stadium, but Mike Geraci says the bus "is for old people. And we are not old." I always agree with him when he uses this logic on me, btw.
Last Saturday I was tired.
So I say to Mike Geraci, "would it be okay to just stay home and watch the game on TV?"
The look of horror on his face made me sigh.
"Okay," I say, "but can we park closer to the stadium? Can you just for once in your life, PAY to park the car?'
"Sure, sure," he agrees quickly. "Whatever you want."
(If I had known it was this easy, I would have played the TV card a long time ago...)
Fast Forward a few more hours:
We get near the stadium at 6pm (game starts at 8) only to find that everyone and Bubba has decided this is the game that they must come to and we "overshoot" the paid parking lots and have to turn around and start over. This will cause a delay of at least 15-30 minutes. Mike Geraci's upper lip begins to bead with sweat despite the chilly 50 some degree temp and I begin to feel bad for him. I see a near deserted parking lot on our left. There are about 15 cars parked there but no parking attendant. There is no business nearby. We are blocking no one. Jackpot! Yes, there is a "No parking you will be towed!" sign, but this means nothing to the Geraci's. We are rebels with good causes. We've come to cheer the Noles to victory, damn it! No one will stop us now.
Fast Forward to the End of the Game:
We win in what is arguably one of the most dramatic field goals in Seminole history (and we've had a lot of those). We are happy. We are singing the fight song and chopping every one we see and they are chopping us back. We don't care that it's cold outside and that our thin Floridian skins are protesting. Our happiness is keeping us warm!
Fast Forward to the moment our happiness is sucked away...
We get close to our "special new spot" and I begin to feel like something is wrong even before I know what it is. You know that feeling, right? And then I see it. The new special spot is gone! In it's place is a deserted (as in NO cars) lot. This can't be the lot we left our car in, is it?
Yes, it is. We, along with about 15 other groups of people stare at the empty lot in dismay. They have towed our cars! Someone (with balls too big for their own good) flags down one of the many cops patrolling the area and demands to know where our cars are. The rest of us listen as the cop smirks, points to the sign and says, "As you can clearly see, this a tow away area. I suggest you all start walking. The tow place is only a mile down the road."
Even if we could get a taxi, it wouldn't matter. Traffic is now blocked in every direction as the rest of the happy Seminole nation is tucked away in their heated cars trying to get back to their house/hotel room/bar/wherever.
After about a mile and half of walking with my fingers freezing, I realize we have been lied to. Mike Geraci walks a lot faster than I do and keeps giving me the 'hurry up' look. I try to walk as quickly as I can because it just occurs to me we are now in the worst neighborhood in Tallahassee and it is midnight and although we are walking with the other idiots who parked where we parked, it doesn't feel too safe.
After our 2 mile trek we finally find the tow place. Only to find that they only allow 1 person in their secured building at a time. I guess this is so the poor schmuck who works there and has to tell you that it will cost you $118 to get your car back doesn't get attacked by an angry, innocent citizen who just parked where no one else was parking to begin with. But, hey, even though we are out some bucks and didn't get home till well after one in the morning and placed our lives in jeopardy by walking where no one should walk after it's dark, you have to look at it this way. No one got hurt. No one got killed. And we are helping the economy by providing business to this poor tow truck place. Or as Mike Geraci says, "Once again, they stuck it to the little man!"
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