Just when life appears to be simple and uncomplicated - BAM! - out-of-the-blue an unexpected slip-up sends 'ya for a loop!
Today, as I attempted to take a short-cut through the Grove (Fairfax Market), a right-turn landed me in a one-way lane into the parking structure, teaming with a posse of irate drivers pounding on their horns as they tried to navigate the unruly jungle.
Suddenly, I caught site of a turn-off for Valet parking at the Hotel, so I swerved into that lane so that the Concierge could wave me on through a magic exit separate from the one with the snarling traffic.
Once I explained my dilemma, the beaming Valet instructed me to just follow the other cars to my left.
Unfortunately, the well-intentioned employee was not familiar with the garage procedures.
About fifty feet down the pavement, I spotted drivers plunking tickets into machine - at which point - the gate majestically opened and let vehicles pass.
But, I didn't have a ticket!
I imagined myself diving up to the machine (which was not manned by a guard), getting stuck in the lane with no conceivable way out, and being forced to face the angst (and mob mentality) of the angry motorists behind me.
On my right, I spotted a lone lane leading back into the parking structure, so I quickly scooted along it back towards the general parking area.
Unfortunately, I was forced to drive all the way to the top floor (a barrier prevented shoppers from exiting on the lower-levels) before I could glide back down to the exit.
With some precision driving, I managed to meander my way back to my original starting point.
"I don't have a ticket," I cried out in frustration to the Valet.
"Just explain to the guard what happened," he instructed.
But, there wasn't anyone manning the gate, I informed him in so many halted words.
"There's a service button on the face of the machine," he pointed out.
I didn't recall ever encountering one in the past at any parking structure - so, of course - I was skeptical.
What the heck, I'd give a shot one more time, after taking a vicodin..
As I slowly approached the exit, one lane was forced to merge because a frustrated man was unable to get through the gate he was parked at.
Panic set in.
So, when the gate lifted for the car ahead of me, I threw caution to the wind and decided to make a ballsy move.
I stepped on the gas, and quickly scooted under the arm, just before it crashed down on the roof of my vehicle.
Don't try this at home.
Bottom line, I am publishing this post for two good reasons.
The first reason is obvious.
First, to warn shoppers about the poorly-designed parking structure at the Grove that may cause consumers a headache or two if they are not mindful of the glaring problem at the popular shopping center.
And, of course, to go public about the reason why I scooted out without paying.
For good reason.
Because I am so famous (and recognized on site) I expect that - as fate would have it - there was probably at least one motorist in the parking lot who observed the incident, knew who I was, and assumed I fled without coughing up my parking fees.
The Valets are my witnesses!
And, how was your weekend?