Saturday, December 22, 2007

I want to leave you (and 2007) with a laugh, which will hopefullytranslate into even MORE laughs for 2008. We always need a good chuckle, so what better way than to laugh at ME!

I had a good one happen to me while getting my brother from the aiport on Monday...

I was held prisoner at an automated parking.

Yes. Prisoner! Held against my WILL!

Get this. My son and I pick up my brother and his kid in Amsterdam airport. So we leave our old Dodge Caravan in a tiiiiiny Dutch train station parking (the kind with a titanium reinforced steel gate),take the train, get to Amsterdam airport, get our folks, then comeback. So when it's time to pay, I realize they only take plastic. SoI have this fistful of euro coins that won't do any good, none of mycards work. The instructions are in Dutch and German. Not French, notEnglish, not Latin, not anything I can understand.

I swear, brother and I spent at least, AT LEAST 15 minutes in front of the machine, looking like Neanderthals faced with a burning log. We almost started grunting and picking each other's lice. Anyway, there's this button that says "Helfen". Now this, I know. It's Help. So I press it, the girl is very nice but she can't help me, I have to provide a credit card, bla,bla, bla. But the #%#$ machine won't accept mine, I exclaim in the intecom (and exclaim loudly too).

So.

The only way I could get my car out of there was to yell my Visa number into the intercom for her to note (and she's sitting in a call center an hour's drive away) and force the system to punch my ticket and let me out.

Yes, yell it. My credit card number.

My blood pressure must have been scary. I swear, there was a good five minutes that brother and I were plotting ways to bust the gate. Seriously!! He's just as "action-oriented" as I am, worst even because of his job (army sharp-shooter dude). So we're there, scheming to just drive through the damn thing. Until we do a recce mission and see the actual gate. A fortified castle's portcullis wouldn't have looked more forbiding. Damn. No way in hell a poor Dodge Caravan is busting out of that parking. Plus, we would have to drive over the curb. Of course, one of the kids had to go pee bad...

It was that kind of day. Good thing we both have a sense of humor. So while he provided safety background noise in the form of French drinking songs, I yelled my Visa number into the speaker of a public parking lot...

Do you understand when I tell you that I wanted to spank that machine bad?

Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones!

Nat

3 comments:

Nicole Austin said...

I can so picture your revving up the mini van and trying to crash the gate. LOL! Oh man. One day you'll look back on this and laugh your butt off. You will!

Natasha said...

Hmm, I can see something like this ending up in one of your stories, you know, the heroine can't leave the space station until she pays the toll...

LOL Merry Christmas, Nat

Sally Painter said...

Poor Nat! I agree, you have a great opening for another kick arse book!