December 4, 2005

We Could Use One for Our Shoes

Parking garages are some of the creepiest structures around. Even when they are well-lit, there are still dark spooky corners, dead ends, and menacing columns. The film and television industries do not contribute to a healthy image for parking garages. Someone's always getting attacked or found face down in a puddle of blood or some equally as icky fear fodder for an imaginative mind such as my own.

My employer provides parking in our building's garage for the three days a week I am in Old Town. It is self-serve and has more "compact car only" spaces than it does regular spaces. That's fine for me, but many of the other patrons take up two compact car spaces with their humongous gas-guzzling SUVs sporting "W the President" stickers. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. We live in America after all. Please plaster your car with any stickers you deem fit. Just don't ask me not to mock them.) It beats the hell out of street parking in Old Town where one has to be vigilant and move their car every two hours or risk facing the wrath of the chalk-wielding ticket automatons. Those people have no souls.

The stairwells in that parking garage are sparkly clean enough to eat lunch off the steps. No one actually does, but if they did, they'd live to tell the tale. The same cannot be said for the stairwells in the parking garage at the Huntington Metro where I park several times a month. I will walk way, way, way out of my way to avoid those stairwells. Like miles-uphill-in-a-snowstorm-naked way, way, way out of my way. People pee in those stairwells. Closed Stairwell + Pee = Massive Olfactory Overload Possibly Leading to Dry Heaves. I'll risk the frostbite.

The best of the best is my favorite parking garage in DC, the one off the alley. I park there twice a month. I've never seen the interior. I drop the car at the entrance, toss the attendant the key, return several hours later and off they scramble to retrieve my car from the depths of wherever it is they stash it. Those attendants have memories like steel traps.

About two weeks ago I had been a major bedslug was running a bit later than usual. I zipped into the alley and was chagrined to see a large sign proclaiming "Garage Full. Monthly Parkers Only." There was quite the flurry of activity around the entrance: people, cars, more people. I caught the eye of one of the attendants, who shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. I pouted as I turned my car around and headed to my second garage of choice.

It costs $13 to park in my favorite garage: $12 fee and $1 tip for the attendant. The next closest garage, literally at the entrance to the aforementioned alley, charges $15 to park which morphs into $16 with a tip. How does that make sense?

Last Friday found me turning into the alley again. The attendant waved me into the garage. As he handed me my ticket, he said, "Hey, the next time the garage full sign is out, don't pay attention to it. Don't ask me anything. Just pull on in. I'll find room for you."

Who knew I had friends in such high places?



Bent Fabric said...

Now that you mention it they are creepy!

SassyFemme said...

I'll do anything I can to avoid a parking garage, especially if I'm by myself! Definitely a good thing for you to know the parking garage attendent though!

The Scarlet Pervygirl said...

Wow. You've touched omnipotence. I'm genuinely awed.