Friday, March 17, 2006

Picnic in my Car

Today , I had an appointment in downtown Boston. It was at 11 AM, which was later than usual. I felt that , since it was later than usual, and the spots reserved for deliveries become available at 11 AM, I had a good chance of geting a good space. I was wrong. Most of the parking spaces are taken up by pick-up trucks that individual laborers have driven in to work and monopolize all the spaces. I got from my driveway to downtown Boston in 15 minutes , and then I spent 20 minutes looking for a meter and then bagged it and paid for parking.
The lot was underground. My spot was two floors below street level. I was going crazy because I was stuck behind an Audi driving way too slow. I couldn't tell if she was on a cell phone, but I don't think driving THAT slow is going to help anybody find a parking space. It's not like a free space might jump out at you and you have to be real slow to take advantage of it or to avoid hitting it. She's in front of me, I can't get to it before her. We're the only two cars driving around, real close , one behind the other. The Audi , oblivious to her environment /Me screaming for her to speed up , just drive 15 rpm instead of 8. Am I being unresonable ? No. I' am not . I don't care what you think . You weren't there. I'm right.
What was unusual about this lot is the sound was baffled. It was so far below ground, there was no wind. The sound was deadened. The one other car driving around could be heard from where I was walking. I'm guessing , since it was the Back Bay, it probably has something to do with the ancient pilings that filled in that part of the city. In conclusion, it sounded weird. Oh, and it cost $20.00 for 2 1/2 hours. Still, it's cheaper than a parking ticket.
Because my appointment was late, that meant I would get to my Engineering job late. I got there about 1 :45 and decided to go get lunch at the local seafood store. They usually have a lunch special-tuna salad sandwich (in a hot dog bun), chowder and a bag of chips for around $5.00. I didn't pack my lunch today.It's Lent and I usually stay away from meat on Fridays during this time. When we were in school, the tuna salad was always served in the hot dog buns. At the time I thought it was some sort of culinary delicacy. I think now, they probably got a deal on hot dog buns and wanted to use them up before they went bad.
I took my lunch to my car, pushed back my seat and crushed the potato chips in the bag. I decanted the oyster crackers into the chowder and placed the chowder on the dashboard. I unwrapped the tuna sanwich, opened the bag of crushed chips and sprinkled the chips onto the tuna fish. I had to sprinkle more chips for each bite - just like when I was kid. After the sandwich was gone, I started on the chowder. I had chosen to eat in the car because sometimes, when someone has a pungent lunch, it lingers in the office for hours. What smells so delicious at noon rarely has the same allure at 3 PM.By this time, I had started clocking myself by the parking meter. I found a meter that had 40 minutes on it. I didn't try to find a meter with time on it, I noticed after I had already turned the car off. The universe was making up for my downtown parking situation ! Anyway, It took me 12 minutes to consume my lunch. It felt like it took a lot longer. I had enjoyed it that much.
That is all. That was the best part of how I spent my St. Patrick's Day. I'm Irish every day , but they only have the tuna sandwich special on Fridays.


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