I’m gonna be honest with you, my last post I stated that my favorite store that can be found in shopping malls across the United States is Sunglass Hut. This was an outright lie. I’ve only shopped at SGH, as they sometimes refer to themselves, once in my entire life. I bought a snazzy pair of Oakley 5’s blue tinted frames, polarized lenses, cause hell, I deserve somethin’ nice every once in a while. On tragic day, I took a gig playing trumpet at a reception for the University of Denver Golf Club (or team, I just think it’s funny to call an organization of Golfers a Golf Club). The gig paid 100 or 125 dollars, I can’t remember. Let’s say 125 dollars.
The only place that I could park that fateful day was a small pay lot just a couple blocks southwest of the Ritchie Center where the event was being held (if the geography is foreign to you, don’t worry, it really isn’t important to the story at all despite the several dozen words I have wasted, and continue to waste, discussing it). The lot was some ridiculous price, but not so ridiculous that it wouldn’t require change from a 20 (which the machine claims to be able to take and make change from). As a 20 was the only bill I happened to have, and having no time to venture to the nearest gas station convenience store (a good 40 kilometers, the required gas alone would have outweighed the worth of traveling there) I inserted the 20 into the parking ticket dispensing machine. Is there a better term for that? It sounds like I’m paying to get a parking ticket, as in a traffic violation for which I will later have to pay a fine, or justify my stupidity in court as to why I purchased a piece of paper that would require me to later pay additionally to the county in which said paper was purchased. So, parking voucher dispenser? Proof of Parking Purchase? Proof of Parking Payment perhaps…. Possibly, Proof of Parking Payment for Purchase Pending Person’s Present Parking Parameters. Ok that’s enough alliteration.
Might I mention I was wearing my mighty fine “Fives.” The nature of the electronic interface of the Parking Machine thing was such that (as is with most LCD screen) the polarized lenses rendered the screen invisible. And by invisible, I mean black, not that I could see through it. That would be damn cool though. So, I removed my beloved “fives” from my beautiful face, and placed them atop the parking payment machine so that I could handle the artificial monetary transaction to the best of my ability.
The best of my ability would have no bearing on the following events (ok maybe half of them). The machine claims to have given me change, after clearly dispensing no fancy golden dollar coins (I was owed at least 12 or 14 of them), and then spurts out this oh so important parking voucher. Pissed about the missing 12 or 14 gold coins (I love the idea of just having gold coins, even if they aren’t actual gold. Once, I had a small pouch and insisted that all my change be given to me in dollar coins. It was a fantastic couple of hours.) I took the ticket, tromped over to my car, and placed it on the dashboard. I suddenly realized… Where are my sunglasses? BACK ON THE PARKING PAYMENT MACHINE. I ran back over to the machine, and was greeted with the heart-stopping view of a flat blue metal surface supporting no objects of any kind atop it.
In the (literally) 5 seconds I was at my car, someone had STOLEN my Johnny Fives as I liked to call them. Thinking I MUST have just misplaced them somewhere in my car (when you’re desperate for the truth to not be, you’ll convince yourself of anything) I searched for hours beneath the piles of half full bottles of soda, paperwork for my neighbors’ tax returns (don’t ask) and boxes upon boxes of jellybeans that had melted together to form three giant super-jellybeans, in hopes that the I’d find my precious shades. I finally gave up, and amazingly made up time running a sprint up the Ritchie Center steps, to be entirely too early for the gig, and sat around for a good hour being sad about my sunglasses before having to get up and play happy jazz tunes for the rich athletics students and their families, who would just scoff at losing a pair of sweet sweet sunspecs.
So, I spent an entire day of misery, a parking ticket costing 20 dollars, lost sunglasses, and only 125 dollars to do the gig. In all, the day ended up costing me 50 dollars. I never went back to Sunglass Hut again, for fear of effectively throwing my money down the drain once again.
That being said, my favorite shopping mall store is in fact Cinnabon.