Good Intentions and Sheer Stupidity
"Have you seen my car?"
"Well, I saw the backseat."
"No, I'm talking about the whole thing."
- Classic lines from "Dude, Where's My Car?"
Wednesday was Shayna's last day of winter break. The boys were already back in school, as their school's winter break is completely non-overlapping with hers (as I ranted about last year). So Debbie and Shayna decided on a day in the city to visit the American Girl Place and other such feminine pursuits. Being the doting dad that I am, I decided to take the day off as well and tag along. Which meant that we (OK, I, against the advice of my better half) decided to drive into the city instead of taking the train. I can picture you New Yorkers cringing already.
Our timing was pretty good in terms of avoiding the worst of rush hour traffic. We found some apparently legal street parking right near the area of the store. I say "apparently" because there were four different signs posted describing the status of that parking area, and they all utterly contradicted one another. But the consensus seemed positive - at least to this country bumpkin. And hey, there were lots of other cars parked there, so it had to be OK, right?
We had a reasonably pleasant day, during which Debbie and I pretty much indulged all of our budding glamour-girl's window shopping whims. I figured, if I'm not shelling out the big bucks for ridiculously overpriced junk, it doesn't hurt me to look at it. If nothing else, it satisfies my morbid curiosity, sort of like watching maggots, or a live execution, or even (shudder) reality TV. And hey, bonding with my two favorite gals and all that.
Finally, it came time to head home. Together, we strolled back to the street where our car was parked. And kept walking. You can picture the conversation: "Are you sure we parked here?" "It can't be any farther, this is Madison already." "Let's walk back again, slowly..." "Honey, where the **** is our car???" "Let's ask that Fed Ex guy over there - he probably knows something."
Yes, no trip to the Big Apple is complete without visiting Manhattan's world famous impound yard. I can't understand why it's not included in the tour books. You get to see morons like me, first hand, shelling out roughly the GNP of most third-world countries for the privilege of getting back the same car they had earlier in the day. Don't get too close to us, it might be contagious.
Well, at least I can say that I learned a half dozen valuable lessons from the experience:
- No good intention ever goes unpunished.
- New Jersey Transit - don't leave home without it.
- Listen to your wife, she's probably at least slightly less of a nitwit than you are.
- When there are multiple street signs which contradict one another, whichever one is the most machmir [stringent] is correct. Sort of like what they tell you in today's Jewish world.
- You are never allowed to park anywhere in Manhattan. Never ever. No matter what. Not even during an alien attack. Just fuggetaboutit.
- All things considered, next time we go to Philadelphia.