Those of you who are familiar with the downtown Colorado Springs area may have heard tell of the fabled Secret Spot: a magical place where vehicles can be deposited without cost and without fear. The spot has no parking meter and is guarded by a clever sign which tricks the eye at first glance, giving it the appearance that it is a loading zone and therefore parking there would be illegal. In reality, it's only illegal between the hours of 11pm and 3am, leaving a twenty-one hour window during which an elite group of sign-savvy motorists may simultaneously park their cars and renew their sense of stickittothemanitiveness...without actually having to go to the trouble of sticking it to anyone.
Or so we all thought.
Today, my coworkers and I went to Il Vicino for lunch to celebrate my birthday. My actual birthday isn't until Monday, but we won't be at work that day because it's a national holiday. You may have heard it referred to as MLK Day; I prefer to call it MLE Day. You're all welcome for the day off, by the way. (I mean no disrespect to the good doctor; he's my homeboy as you may recall.)
Samantha and I headed over early in Sarah's car in an attempt to beat the ravenous hordes to our favorite table. As per usual, I triumphed at the sight of the Secret Spot's being available. It was the kind of thing that made me want to take a leaf out of ol' Leonard Bernstein's book and write a song about this great city...but not enough to actually try to figure out a way to fit its awkwardly long name into a melody line.
Coloradosprings, ColoradoSPRINGS, it's a hell of a name!
The CC kids all jaywalk without shame!
A home to trust funds and crackheads the same!
New York, New York!
(If your parents didn't let you watch The Simpsons as a child, you're probably feeling pretty confused right now, and that's ok. Just be still and know that you were raised more carefully than I.)
Anyway, back to the story. We managed to enjoy our lunch despite the fact that Samantha and I were stared at the entire time by a couple of "gentlemen" at the opposite table. I guess I have to give them credit for not giving up even though I made every effort to make my wedding ring visible whilst eating my spinach salad (the sight of which should have been repellent enough in and of itself) and Samantha is visibly pregnant with someone else's child...well, give them credit, or be really creeped out. I'll give you one guess as to which path I chose.
We returned to the car to find this on the windshield:
This leads me to one of two conclusions. Either The Man changed the sign without my knowledge or permission and the Secret Spot has ceased to exist, OR, far more likely in my opinion, Sarah's car has been cursed. In the last six days, it's been pulled over by a mean lady cop, slid into by our down-the-street neighbor while parked in front of my house, and now parking ticketed through no fault of my own. (Or...every fault of my own. Whatever.)
I'm sure it's all a big misunderstanding, because Sarah's pretty much universally liked, so no one would have a reason to put a jinx on her or her car (who has never done anything to deserve this either, to my knowledge.) You'll see, in a week or two it will all come out that there is someone else in the Springs with a red Ford Focus with expired Texas tags who's been running around making enemies of one or more of the many voodoo hexing residents of this grand old town; half-hearted, gothic apologies will be made, and all will be as it was before.
UPDATE: Remember how I said someone slid into Sarah's car while it was parked in front of my house over the weekend? Well this afternoon, someone ran into my BROTHER'S car while he was parked in front of my PARENTS' house! Some dude fell asleep at the wheel and he ALSO lives down the street!
WHAT! ARE! THE! ODDS!?!?!?
It's almost like that time Greg and I both got into head-on collisions on the same day...except it's not really like that, because we were in a head on collision with one another.