Read the Signs

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned humiliating bachelor party. Get a group of guys together, have some good fun, make a guy wear a giant foam cowboy hat and a bright red bow around his neck, and spend all night playing arcade games. Good times. Especially when the arcade games are at Gameworks, and the guys are the swell bunch that showed up for Bryce Schober’s party the night of January 15th, 2003. Good times, good times.

ALL VEHICLES MUST BE REMOVED BY CLOSING TIMELooking forward to this swell experience, J.R. and I giddily headed downtown on that fateful night. Lured by a sign promising $4 parking for the duration we would need, we pulled into the parking garage at the 520 Pike Tower. Ahh, things were going swimmingly. Upon arriving at our private suite (read: a small room with a few round tables) for Bryce’s party at Gameworks we wasted no time at commencing the humiliation. Of course, it would be terrible of me to post any of the pictures here, so I would never even think of doing that. Ever. Well, as much fun as we had, it was all soon to come crashing down on us. Staggering out of Gameworks at midnight, we made our way back to the parking garage. Which was locked. Doh.

All we could access was the stinking ticket-giver-outer-thingy. Which, as it turned out, had stated very plainly “ALL VEHICLES MUST BE REMOVED BY CLOSING TIME,” followed by the hours, which stated closing time as 11:00PM. Dang, we’re stupid. O-kay. Locked out of a parking garage downtown, without a cell phone, on a Thursday night (in other words, nobody is around but a few sleeping homeless people). Not exactly the way we thought we would be spending the evening.

VIOLATION NOTICEWe scoured the short section of the garage entrance that we had access to, looking for a phone number or some information on how to get J.R.’s hot rod out of the belly of this cement beast. Finally, we found a number. Which we called on the nearby payphone using a few coins that Paul gave us. Oh yeah, Paul was with us. He didn’t have a cell phone either though, so he wasn’t much help… except for the change he gave us to call on the pay phone. I guess that was pretty helpful. Plus I think he said a few funny things, too. Too bad I don’t remember them. Wait, where was I? Oh, right. So that phone number had a recording that gave us another number. Great. I wonder what percentage of the money from that pay phone goes to the owner of the parking garage? Fortunately we were able to flag down Nick (who had been at the party) and borrow his cell phone to call the second number. A real person answered this one and assured us that they would be down to rescue us in a few minutes.

At this point, Paul ditched us. I can’t blame him. We are such losers. Well, I’m a loser anyway. All right, I admit it, I was the one who told J.R. to park in there. I was the one who basically got us locked out of a parking garage downtown just because we didn’t spend three and a half seconds to read a sign. Sheesh. Well, true to their word, the night shift security guard for the tower showed up not too much later to rescue us–for a price. Oh yes, that’s right. Twenty-seven dollars, to be exact. Not such cheap parking after all, when you can’t follow their simple rules. It’s okay though, I’m thinking of going back there later to umm… well, nevermind. Let’s get this back to the main point. You should always read the signs. If you don’t bad stuff could happen. Seriously.

– Tim

Do you want to end up stuck outside a parking garage downtown at night, glossy-eyed and brandishing a sombrero like a madman? I didn't think so.
Do you want to end up stuck outside a parking garage downtown at night, glossy-eyed and brandishing a sombrero like a madman? I didn’t think so.