City Mouse, Country Mouse
Other than four years of college in Virginia, I’ve lived on Cape Ann for my entire life….however, I’m also fairly well-traveled. I’ve traveled in Africa, I’ve been to Central America, I’ve been all over Mexico, to the Caribbean, the West Indies, and throughout the United States and into Canada. And, for what it’s worth, I’m pretty city savvy. I spent a lot of time playing in the city in my teens, 20s, and 30s….and photographed inside Fenway Park for several years in a row…heading in and out of Boston each night during home stands.
So, while I call this post “City Mouse, Country Mouse”…I’m not necessarily either. However, I sure as all hell played the role of Country Mouse the other night in Boston…and I am NOT happy about it.
I am truly, truly an idiot.
This is how it went down.
I was meeting a friend in the city…just outside of Faneuil Hall. I know the area well, but was heading to a particular parking garage that I had never been to. I took a left onto Broad Street and saw the 75 State Street Garage in the Financial District ahead…a bit ahead, on my right. The traffic was total clusterf___. Horns were honking. Almost in front of the entrance to the lot, a white taxi was stopped, coming from the opposite direction, blocking a good part of my lane so that I couldn’t go forward. A nice man, on a cell phone, with a pile of money in his hand, appeared in front of my car and helped me navigate my kind of large SUV around the taxi and towards the garage entrance. He asked if I was parking, asked how long, and asked me for $10. As I didn’t have a ten….I handed him a $20…with a smile. He flipped through his pile of cash….as if looking for change….and then said, “just pull on down there (pointing to the garage) for a second and I’ll catch you.” “No problem,” I said.
I’m not sure why I wasn’t on my A Game during that exact moment in time….but, it only took about 6 seconds for me to realize that effer was off with my $$$ and that I’d clearly not be seeing him or my “change” anytime soon. I literally sat on the entrance ramp to the garage for probably a minute contemplating how I could have been such an idiot. Large parking lots never ask for money outside upon arrival. I know that. Everyone knows that. I also replayed my short conversation with the “kind and helpful” gentleman….and couldn’t help but think what a tremendous actor he was. While I was mad as all heck….I also couldn’t help but give him kudos for standing right there…in the middle of a super crowded busy city street…stealing money in broad daylight. And doing so with such manners and such a calm demeanor.
Shame on him….shame on me.
You may be happy to know that dinner at Strega in the North End was excellent, drinks at the Sail Loft were just like old times, and the company of an amazing friend more than made up for the $20 that I was scammed. My ego, however, is still bruised.
Consider yourselves warned my friends.