This morning I attended a meeting that also included people who are thought to be very wealthy, though I have never seen their financials. Nor have I ever seen my financials, which is to say our financials, though my wife has, and she assures me it's not looking too good.
Under ordinary circumstances, publicizing that fact would be considered a breach of domestic security, but these are not ordinary circumstances and most of us are broke, anyway.
So I pull into Clayton this morning for the meeting that also included rich guys. Rich guys usually have a different take on parking than the rest of us, a little more take-it-as-it-comes. For me this morning, it was touch and go. I forgot to ask if they can validate my ticket at the lawyer's office - if they can't, that could be bad news; I had no paper money. And, if I pay at the meter and the meeting is good and I forget to go back out and feed the meter, I have an expensive Clayton parking ticket on my hands.
So, I pull into the lot by the little fragment of Wash. campus on Forsyth at the eastern end of downtown Clayton. There is a young woman working at thhe booth. I suddenly decide I owe that little fragment of the Wash. U. library system a visit. I ask the girl at the booth if this is free campus parking, She says they won't validate my ticket at Wash. U. So I discuss my poverty (she understands, I'm sure) and ask about street parking.
She sizes me up. She says if I'll be done within three hours, I can window shop at The Wine and Cheese Place and see if they'll validate my ticket.
I decide that's the ticket.
I attend the meeting. That's all fine. I walk back to the parking lot. I window shop said wine and cheese store. I discover it is also a beer store! A really, really good one!
I walk away with several varieties of deluxe, delicious craft beers. They stamp my ticket before I go. I drive off, having parked in downtown Clayton - without any cash money - for free.
I know, I didn't make any money off this deal, like those hustlers in the city who cut a deal with the cops to confiscate citizen vehicles on petty drug charges so the vehicles could be flipped for quick, hot cash. But that deal came undone - and I predict there will be indictments to show for it.
All I got to show for my hustle this morning is silver I didn't feed into the meter and a new place to buy fabulous beer, wine and cheese, right there in scenic downtown Clayton.
The Wine and Cheese Place has several locations, but the one with free parking in downtown Clayton is at 7435 Clayton.
Photo from a blog devoted to the joys and grievances (mostly, grievances) of life in West Hartford, CT. Looks like the kind of blog that is rendering community newspapers less and less relevant.