Lock-up

The last few days have been been the sort where we work long hours, come home in the dark (although admittedly it gets dark pretty early these days) and then collapse in a heap either in the living room, or in the office, too tired to care about much of anything. So you’ll have to be content with yet another story from the weekend today, since otherwise this entry would pretty much read “woke up. went to work. came home. blerg.”

This weekend was Christmas Concert weekend for Vox Musica. Dress rehearsal on Friday, and then concerts Saturday and Sunday evening. There’d been a lot of messages flying around for the Saturday concert in the days building up to the concert, primarily centered around the fact that a group of Midtown businesses decided, last minute, to put on some kind of light parade sort of event, which would result in blocking off the streets around the church where we perform. Since this was to take place at 6, and the concert was to start at 7pm, parking (and driving) near the church was likely to be problematic. However! The church where we perform owns most of the block, including a large office building around the corner, that comes with its own multi-level parking garage. They would have the garage open, just for us! Crisis averted!

I carpooled to the church  at 5:30 with several other singers, since we figured it was better to have fewer cars to deal with due to the aforementioned possible parking problems, and we got there just as they were unlocking the garage gates. Off we traipsed to the church. We did warm-ups and vocal exercises. We ran through a few last minute checks on the songs. And because of the aforementioned parking/driving problems, we started the concert about ten minutes late, just to make sure everyone had a chance to get in.

It is important to note here that the parking garage, once opened, had a sign, clearly displayed, which said that it would close at 10pm. Richard, having followed the email flurry, chose to park in the parking garage. So did many other people. The concert began at 7pm and with intermission and such, it usually goes for about an hour and a half, leaving plenty of time after to hang out with friends before returning to the garage to head home. This was all working out so well, since good friends of ours came to the Saturday concert, so after it was over, the four of us went across the street to a little crepe place and ate delicious crepes and chatted and generally had a good time. We all made sure to keep a close eye on the clock, however, because the sign in the parking garage CLEARLY SAID that it would be closed at 10. With twenty minutes to spare, we headed off toward the garage, figuring it was better to get there on the early side, just to be safe.

The first sign something was wrong was how dark the garage was as we walked down one side. The second was the presence of the gates, now closed and locked, with nary a soul to be seen to let us inside. The four of us were joined shortly by another small group of people who had also been fooled by the presence of the sign, and based on the number of additional cars visible in the garage, we obviously weren’t the only ones.

We all pondered the situation. One of the other group – a young woman who had had far, far too much to drink, decided to hop the gate (although what she thought she woudl be able to do in there, I’ve no idea). There was a lot of chatting and laughing about the situation. Several people whipped out their cell phones and worked their way through the list of numbers to call for after-hours, and eventually, someone answered. Ten minutes later (although it felt like longer, since it was quite cold out), a truck pulled up and a man came out to let us in. He wasn’t the one responsible for locking the gate – no one quite knew who that was – since his company merely leases the garage from the church on weekdays, but he was at least nice enough to let us go in and get our cars. Shortly after he arrived, a police car also drove up. I suspect someone heard the overly drunk woman hollering around in the garage and called them, but while the security guy who’d come to let us in handled the police officer, the rest of us made a beeline for our carst and decided to get away while the getting was good.

Now, remember that I had carpooled in with some of the other singers. So Richard had to drop me off at my car, halfway to home. By this time we were both extremely tired, and more than a little punchy (standing outside in the cold, trying to get to your car behind locked gates, can do that to a person). So the two of us headed home, each of us in our own car.¬† And that’s when I had a funny idea. As the street split from one lane to two, I pulled up along side him at a red light. It’s kind of hard to rev your engine in a Prius, but I was able to at least make do by hitting the brake pedal a few times, so the car would rock. He looked over at me and cracked up. The light turned green, and we both took off, because drag racing a Prius and an ancient Honda is just the sort of thing sober middle-aged people do on a Saturday night.

It didn’t last very long though. We only got about half a block before we both slowed down. Later, once we were both home and giggling about it, we agreed that we’d both had the same thought – that with our luck, there’d have been another cop, lurking somewhere around the corner, and one near-police encounter was enough for the evening. And we have all – our friends, and Richard and I – agreed that next concert, despite what the sign might CLEARLY STATE, we will not be parking in the ever so convenient parking garage. Or at least make sure to move the cars to somewhere that isn’t behind lockable gates if we decide to go out afterwards.

Tis the season for Holidailies