Here is the story of a fellow named George who made a significant decision when faced with a tempting choice.

 

George had been working on a business proposal for the past few months and he had a very compelling prospectus for an investor willing to give it a look. The proposal was beside him in the car. He had spent almost the last of his money on a printing and binding job that gave the proposal a very professional look. He had spoken to an investor who said he was willing to give it a look if he could get it to him today.

 

George did not have the money for a same-day courier. But he had some gas in his car, so he drove downtown and was now waiting for a parking spot to open up.

 

George could not even afford to go in the parking garage. The sign said, “$5 minimum”. He didn’t have that. The very last of George’s money was in his pocket. A toonie and a quarter. That was it. A two dollar piece and two bits.

 

The parking meters in this prime location cost $2 per hour but for a quarter you could get seven minutes. The meters were strictly enforced. Anyone in violation would get their car towed away, warned a glaring sign.

 

Seven minutes would be all that George needed. He just had to get in the building, get up to

the 16th floor on the elevator and leave his presentation with the receptionist. He would wait.

He thought to himself that once he got this done, he would reward himself with a Tim Hortons’ coffee with his last toonie.

 

Finally a man came to vacate a space.

 

Just before the man could move his car out, another car pulled up parallel to the car ahead of his. That made it very difficult for the man to move his car.

 

The man was reluctant to move, so George got out of his car to ask the person blocking the way if they would move just a little. When George approached the car, he could see that the driver was a woman about 30 years old. She had loud music going in the car, and the windows were closed because she was using the air conditioning. She looked at George and gave him “the finger”. She was not going to speak to George, let alone move her car.

 

So George helped the man negotiate his car out of the parking space, and with a little deft traffic direction he was on his way. George got into his car to manoeuvre it into the parking space, but just as he did so, the woman who was blocking all the traffic backed her car into the parking spot. She knew very well that George had been waiting for the space. He had his signal on, and his car was in a waiting position. What a witch!

 

George approached the woman as she got out of her car and said “Madam, I was waiting for this space.” The woman looked at George, gave him another “finger” and walked away.

 

What a witch!

 

George decided that he would look for another parking space. He found one 10 blocks away. At least this one was cheaper. He got a whole hour for his quarter, and he would need it for the 20-minute walk to the building where he was to deliver his proposal.

 

As George walked to the building, it began to rain. He tucked the proposal into his jacket and even though he was soaking wet, George got it delivered dry and in good shape.

 

As George came out of the building to walk back to his car, he consoled himself with the thought of a warm cup of coffee. It would take the chill off from his wet clothing and celebrate the fact that he got a very good proposal delivered.

 

George noticed that a parking enforcement officer and a menacing tow truck were headed down the street toward him. Then George noticed that the woman who had in effect stolen his parking spot had neglected to put any money in the meter. Her car was going to be ticketed and towed away!

 

George was beside himself as he thought of the great justice that was about to unfold before him. The witch was about to get payback! This was going to be great.

And just then another thought came to George. He took out his last toonie and put it into the parking meter.

 

The enforcement officer walked right past the car. The tow truck did not tow the car away.

George remained there for a couple of minutes more and saw the woman return to her car. She noticed him standing in front of the building and remembered him. She gave him the “finger” again, got in her car and drove away.

 

She would never know what had just happened.

 

Heino Molls is publisher of REM. E-mail [email protected]  or discuss this article in the REM Discussion Forum.

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