Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Memories

I was reading a blog the other day, and the author asked people to share something they have done in the past that they would not be brave enough to do again today. Her examples were diving with sharks and skydiving.

I thought for awhile about this. I'm not easily frightened by dangerous exploits. I love to rock-climb and white-water raft, I used to own a python, and I've rappelled Aussie-style several times. Living with roaches in my apartment in Virginia did prove to be too much for me, but I spent a summer living in the ghetto on the west side of Chicago.

Hmm . . . what have I done that I would not do again?

It didn't take too long for me to figure out that it would have to be something involving my two good college friends, Tim and Randy. The three of us were a few cents short of dollar when it came to good sense.

One afternoon we were throwing the baseball in my back yard and decided spur-of-the-moment to head up to Turner Field to watch the Braves-Cubs game that started in two hours. (It was about an hour and a half from my house.) It was game three in the series, and we knew that the first two had not sold out, so we hopped in my car and headed up.

We arrived to find that the game was sold out. We suspected it from the number of scalpers, it was confirmed by the parking lot attendant at the little lot we always parked in. If you've never been to Atlanta or Turner Field, let me edumacate you. There is no good section of Atlanta. There are good square feet. You're in nice upscale area one block and ghetto the next. Turner Field, like everything else in Atlanta, abuts some really bad areas to which you would not want to wander alone.

So, we get to this little makeshift parking lot about 1/4 mile from the field, and the guy working there tells us with darting eyes that he's got some tickets we can buy. Great, we said, we drove all the way up here, we may as well buy some scalped tickets and at least get to see a baseball game. Problem was we left in such a rush we didn't get any cash, figuring we would just use credit cards at the field. Mr. Shady Parking Lot Attendant didn't take credit cards.

No problem, he says. He knows where an ATM is . . . it's really close says he. "I tell you what, let me hop in, and I'll show you how to get there."

Our response? "Sure! Hop in!"

Yes, we picked up a random parking lot guy in a makeshift lot in ghetto Atlanta and drove him in my car . . . to an ATM.

Definitely something I would not do again, though I'm not sure "brave" is the most accurate term for what we did. Miraculously, he did indeed lead us to said ATM and did not divest us of our vehicle and our cash. We drove him back to the lot, paid an arm and a leg for tickets, climbed to the under-appreciated top row of Turner Field, and watched a good baseball game. The Braves even won, so I guess maybe it wasn't such a bad adventure after all.

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