Last night (Saturday night) was the annual birthday party for my immediate family - parents, siblings and spouses (and hangers-on like Revvy Al and Jendy Wo). Instead of the 12 of us going to a birthday party dinner every few weeks, we've consolidated it into one dinner a year that we spend more on than what we should.
Overall, it was a bit of an odd day. Because of the dinner in the evening, my brother Mr. Uncie and sister-in-law Knobbleknees came up from Elgin early in the day and asked us to watch Dick Clark and Rockin' Eve. My-Sugar-Na handled inside duty while I went to park cars (Side note; you know it's funny... I reserved a spot during the day for someone who didn't show up, and when I finally sold that spot, somebody else called around 5:30 to reserve a spot - specifically in the garage - around 7:00, and was a little hosed off that my garage was already full. I suppose I need to institute a policy to take a credit card to accept reservations.)
As I am starting to park cars in the afternoon, I hear crying in the house. Apparently, Rockin' Eve wasn't particularly happy with the accommodations. Me - being the great guy that I am - enlisted her help in parking cars. I put her in the stroller, parked her by the curb, and within minutes...
Yep. Sleeping like a baby. Just like the rest of the non-My-Sugar-Na help that I had all week (but I digress). But even with Rockin' Eve asleep at the switch, I had parked the full (well, I had room for one more car) 12 cars within about an hour or so. However, I started at $5 with the expectation that as the first seating left the Fair, I could turn the spots over for $10.
(Fast forward through Mr. Uncie and Knobbleknees picking up the kids, me watching the beginning of a 1983 Royals/Yankees game on MLB Network and a quick nap).
Around 5:00 PM, I had some spots to fill in and I went out expecting the higher price... and I was amazed that the entire neighborhood was at $5. The neighbors were all noticing that there was traffic, but maybe with the economy, the three-block distance didn't hold the value that it had in past years. Soldiering on, I filled every space as it opened until 6:30 (when it was time to shower and get ready for dinner). Sloppy did manage to fill in a couple of spots while we were gone, and the total vehicle count was 23 for the day (the high water mark this year) and a 10-day total of 94 cars and one motorcycle.
Dinner was at the Five O'Clock Steakhouse (formerly Coerper's) on 24th & State. I had 60% of a shrimp cocktail and a kick-arse porterhouse, topped with bleu cheese and onions. As I enter this, the Vier Pogo Squad 51 is tearing apart the bone. The total cost for dinner and drinks for 11 people? Double this year's parking revenue. But once a year to blow seven sawbucks for my wife and I for dinner, it was worth it.
The trip home was strange. Something seemed up, but not sure what was going on. We got off of I-94 at 84th St., and it took about three stoplight cycles to make the turn left. It was odd, as in theory, nobody should be getting off the freeway to go to the Fair at that time. Heading south on 84th, there was a little commotion across from Scrub-a-Dub. By the time we got there it was just one dead car getting a jump start from another. "Hmmph", said I, as we continued home.
My-Sugar-Na and I changed clothes and slumped exhausted into the living room furniture, as Johnny and Roy drove past our house - and stopped two blocks away. About two minutes later, they went past again... and a third time a minute after that. My wife surmised that something big was going on, while I just figured it was an episode where they keep going back to the same adress for multiple accidents in a day. My-Sugar-Na told me, in an authoritative way, that this was not an episode of Emergency!, and even if it was a poorly written episode, they wouldn't be making three runs in five minutes. Fair nuff, I said, as we went to bed.
As someone commented on my Day 9 blog posting, you may disagree with the man politically, but it takes some cajones to try to stop a fight that you're not involved with. But Mr. Mayor, your son played on my son's summer baseball league. I would've held a spot on my lawn for you.