Ok, I might be able to put a fresh twist on a bare recital of the facts--add a little zest to things, say, with a description of the way my hand got frozen to the car door this morning--but chances are, anything I'd say would have been said before.
But I want to tell you about today's parking situation, anyway.
On Sunday mornings, I park around the corner from the cathedral where I sing. The garage I park in is part of a development: there are a few shops, a Whole Foods, a Blockbuster, and an apartment complex. It's a typical one-block city development. Usually it's pretty quiet on Sunday mornings. And today, it was extra quiet because it was freezing--literally. When I left the house this morning, it was five below zero
After church, when I went to pay, the machine kept telling me I was using an invalid ticket. I tried four times, and the same thing happened every time. So I had to call the garage office on my cell phone, and they told me to go to the office.
When I arrived, things were pretty chaotic. There were two angry customers in the office, and two more customers yelling at the girls via cellphone. The girls were pissed off, too. Pretty much everyone was pissed off--even me. I mean, at first, I was sort of glad to have to go to the office, because this meant the problem probably wasn't my fault. (Because--let's face it, after all these years I know myself pretty well, and most of the time, IT IS.) But after a while, I started to get pissy, too.
I mean, I really shouldn't have had to make three separate phone calls just to figure out where the office was. But I did. And then when I finally got there, things were so ugly, it was like someone had let a bunch of aldermen loose.
At least with all the yelling going on, I found out what the problem was. Apparently the computer that runs the parking machines got so cold that it wasn't working properly. That's right--it was so cold the computer died.
So that's Chicago for you: a unique combination of freezing cold weather, dead computers, surly incompetence, rude assholes, and bloggers who don't know when to shut up.