Wednesday, April 30, 2008

They Tried Charging For Parking But the Entertainment Was Free

We pulled out of the parking garage a little before five o'clock to head to the hotel and I was worried about getting caught in rush hour. Instead, we made excellent time and were barely two miles away from our hotel when we pulled off of the interstate onto the major road that runs by Midway airport. Gridlock. It had taken us just minutes to cover the previous 15 miles but took an hour and a half to cover the last two miles. I won't bore you with those details.

I checked into the hotel and had to have a lengthy discussion with them. They advertised free parking but wanted to charge me $10/night for the privilege. I had to show them the advertisement, which I'm glad I brought with me, to receive $10 off my bill. At that point, I was tempted to just throw away the advertisement but didn't and was thankful again the next morning when my bill was slipped under the door with the $10 fee added back on. I probably wouldn't have cared except that the reason I chose them over three other nearby exactly priced hotels was because they were the only one of the four that advertised free parking.

After getting the room keys, we decided to just walk across the parking lot to eat at a TGI Fridays. Normally I eat as the Romans when in Rome but the traffic was still bumper to bumper ruling out driving and threatening rain ruled out walking. Just as we got back to our vehicle to grab our bags and head up to the room, we heard a loud bang right behind us.

A cherry red Grand Prix had just slammed into the back of a cherry red Chevy Blazer. (At least they didn't have to worry about the other's paint on each other's bumpers.) The Grand Prix now had a radiator pushed back about a third of the way to the passenger compartment and the Blazer, well lets just say that from where I was standing 40 feet away, didn't even appear to have a scratch. The Grand Prix guy got out, staggered around a bit looking at the damage while bleeding superficially from a cut in his forehead where he slammed the windshield and then sat back in his car. The Blazer guy then got out, looked at the damage, put on a jacket and stood there. Neither even glanced at the other nor said a word.

Traffic kept on rolling past and just as I started to feel guilty about not going over to help out which would have meant climbing a ten foot tall iron spike fence or running half a block away to the entrance and running back again, I heard the sirens coming. In about 2 minutes tops from the sound of the collision, two police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance were there. In my neck of the woods, that kind of saving power takes a good forty minutes to arrive. At that point, we went up to our room, which as luck would have it, was overlooking the scene of the accident. It would take two hours before everything was cleaned up and back to normal.

I really don't have a point to this story other than to fill you in on our entertainment for the night. I guess if I was to pull out some nugget of wisdom, I would say don't buy a Grand Prix because it was pretty much totaled in what was probably a less than 25 mph collision. But then the engineer in me would probably say that it did what it was supposed to do, i.e. crumpling, to protect the occupant who escaped with minor bleeding. So just take it as a story to fill you in on our entertainment for the night.

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