Sunday, January 11, 2004

how to misplace your car in a parking lot in niagara falls, new york

Even though there were a couple of cancellations from others intending to come along, I ended up shufflin' down to Buffalo on Saturday. All signs pointed toward a good day. First good sign - no lineup at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. Sign #2 - the first border guard I've ever encounter there who didn't have their humanity surgically removed (made jokes after he asked where I was going and I rambled off all potential destinations). Sign #3 - immediately finding what I was looking for (a new backpack).

Then came the comedy. After spending an hour at the outlet mall, I headed back to the car. No sign of it. I wander the parking lot for 10 minutes, frantically looking but finding no sign of the car. My pulse quickened, my mind raced and a steady stream of obscenities flew out of ny mouth.

I flagged down a security vehicle, who then did a search of the entire lot. He assured me that usually people had forgotten which entrance they came in and wound up miles away from where their vehicle was. I waited in the entrance of the Gap while he roamed.

My brain raced in every direction. Nothing valuable was in the car. Thought of who could rescue me. How to break the news to the folks back home. How to finance another vehicle. How the security guard looked and sounded like a skinnier version of my sister's boyfriend (who's in the same biz).

After 15 minutes, he came back. Vehicle found. I had looked in the wrong area. Cue maniacal laughter.

The rest of the day carried on in the same vein as it began - found things i wanted, picked up stuff for friends, got back across the border with no hassles.

Tip: if driving by Niagara Falls in the winter, especially along the Niagara Parkway, and it's colder than the Arctic, watch out for the spray forming beautiful but annoying ice patterns on the windshield.

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