Last night Ploman and I headed to downtown Hartford (where parking is always a bitch) and after driving around the block a few times, attempting to find a spot close to McKinnon’s, I noticed a spot just big enough that I could squeeze in and still leave the appropriate 3-foot gap for the fire hydrant. The problem – & of course there was a problem, it’s Hartford and people are fucking rude – is that a taxi driver was double-parked in front of the hydrant, just enough in the way that I couldn’t pull into the spot. I sat and waited, gesturing to him to move up, before finally giving a little HONK! What does he do? He pulls MORE into the spot, thus completely blocking me. Ploman gets out and goes to ask him to move so we can pull in (he is my diplomatic half, because I probably would have said “get the fuck out of the way before I report you for blocking a hydrant”) and I can hear enough of the conversation to know 1) this guy doesn’t speak much English so we’re having a communication issue, and 2) he actually told Ploman that yes, he was parking there, and no, he would not move his cab. He also tried to tell him I didn’t have room to park my car with the hydrant there – thankyouverymuch Mr. Taxi Cab Driver, but I know how long my car is!
Now before you say to yourself, “whatever, stop bitching and go find another spot,” keep in mind that parking in Hartford is more expensive than NYC. That’s right, I’m saying it – I’ve parked close to the Garden in a lot for six hours in NYC while watching a NIN concert, and didn’t pay as much as I would pay on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night in Hartford at one of the little parking lots. The signs DO NOT DISPLAY the price; rather the man who works the booth decides the price each night depending on demand. Parking in the lot on Asylum near Koji on a Monday night? Maybe you can talk him down to $5. On a Friday night? He’s going to want $20. Thursday? OK, maybe $15 will get you a spot – but it’s only for a few hours!
I motioned to the guy a few more times to move – while giving him my most impressive and intimidating stink eye – and finally he pulled out of the way so I could park. Finding on-street parking once you no longer have to feed the meters is ridiculously time-intensive, and if I thought there was the slightest chance in hell in me stumbling upon TWO of them in the same night, I would have gone looking.
Parking drama aside, our trivia night was good. The pub was wickedly overpriced ($5 for a pint of Smithwicks? Really? And no cider on tap!) but the trivia was handed out on slips of paper, with three questions going out each round. The girl that ran it – and I quote Ploman when I describe her as a “white hat dating idiot” – couldn’t quite keep track of points, or rather, couldn’t add the ones we did earn. I think I would prefer to stick to La Boca, where it’s harder to hear the announcer, but you can get a pitcher of on-special beer for the same price as a pint at the pub.
On to the funny part of the night – as we were walking back to my car we bumped into a friend of Ploman’s from his building (and by “friend” I mean “neighbor who suckered Ploman into loaning him money and driving him around a few times”) who said to Ploman, “yo, I saw your red car back at the building, what are you doing out here?” Ploman informed him I had driven, at which point Dave looked at me for the first time. “YO! YOU supposed to drive HER around! She stayin’ with you?” was Dave’s response to that. Ploman informed him no, I was not staying with him, before being told “YO, I just got back from down south, had to go visit people, ya know, trying to get back home,” but Ploman, thankfully, told him we should go, and we were off, sans extra guest in the back of my car. On the way home he told me how he first met Dave.
“He was at the building when I got home, and he said he needed some change for gas. I offered to drive him to the station and buy him some, and on the way he was thanking me repeatedly, and then asking me if I like women, because he’s got some women, and he could get me a woman if I wanted.” (I would like to point out that Dave is most likely some sort of pimp, though I’m sure that though never crossed Ploman’s mind.)
“I got a girl for you, I got a lady for you! Now wait a second – she black – that OK?” Dave asked him. Ploman informed him that he was taken, but thanks for the offer.
So now every time the topic of Dave comes up, Ploman puts his finger out in gesticulation and says, “now wait a second – she black!”