In spite of my feelings of inadequacy, I must keep up with my career; and so I found myself today tasked with the job of delivering my latest pack of self-promotional mailing cards to my “agent” (as loosely defined, even by her) in downtown Asheville, NC.
Actually I was on my way back from taking my wife, Karin, and our cat, Callie, to the Vet for a follow up visit after her (the cat’s) recent surgery. So we were on a bit of tight schedule, trying to accomodate both items on our list before it was time to return home for our day’s appointments.
I pulled onto Otis Avenue in hopes that I would find a parking space in the Battery Park Parking Garage (a redundancy that has never been dealt with by the Downtown Asheville Association), only to find it “FULL”. “Never mind that,” my wife informed me, “there’s a space opening in front of the Grove Arcade right now.”
I pulled in, only to find that we had not a single coin in the whole car, or our possession at all. But I pulled in, nonetheless and attempted to secure a dollar’s worth of change from those purveyors of all things non-corporate who were peddling their wares at the kiosks in front of “The Arcade”.
“Does anyone here have change for dollar?” I said, brandishing a slightly limp piece of paper, allegedly still in use to pay for all debts, public and private. They looked at me as if to say, “Paper money? How bourgeois!” (Clearly missing the irony that they themselves were actually attempting to make something of a living by the selling of goods to the public). “Most of the parking meters are set up so you can pay using your phone!” One not-terribly-helpful member of the non-corporate merchant class told me.
Great, except that I don’t carry a phone. I can’t afford one, and the one my wife carries is not of the “smart” variety. All I really needed was a quarter.
So, throwing caution to the wind (in a rather mild mannered way) I told my wife, “I’ll be back in a minute. I just need to drop these cards off.” Handing her a dollar, I added, “If the police give you any trouble, here’s a buck.”
I wandered down the street, only to find that my intended destination was not yet open, as it was a little before noon. I walked back toward the car and then noticed that the local Subway eatery was, in fact open. I stepped inside and produced another well-worn dollar.
The gentleman behind the counter of this well-known-corporate-cultural-icon was kind enough to offer me change from his own pocket. So I returned to my car, pumped two quarters into the meter (just in case) and told my wife the situation. She reminded me to be of all haste and so I returned to my previously intended destination to wait for the door to be opened.
While standing there I decided to look through the windows and observe the latest artwork displayed therein. Up to this point that I had forgotten that Asheville is a “pet friendly” city–but I was reminded of that fact when I stepped in dog-poo.
Moments later I heard the front door open and proceeded to scrape what I could of the offending goo (pardon me, I mean natural organic fertilizer) from my shoe. I delivered my promotional cards, my mailing fee and probably a few bits of the “fertilizer” along with the more appropriate items–then beat a disgusted path back home.
It’s not all Asheville’s fault–I do realize that. It was just one of those days.
I’m sorry that I had a sour attitude. I’m sorry, Lauren, that I tracked poo into your shop. I’m sorry that I don’t have the wherewithal to afford a smart phone so that I can take advantage of modern inconveniences like tech-savvy parking meters. I’m sorry I still carry cash rather than my debit card at all times. I’ll attempt to adapt. Really I will.
But for now I’m going to be snarky about it.
And I’m sorry if this blog ticked anyone off. I’m the guy with dog-poo on his shoe!