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'Brother, we'll pray for you'

August 18, 2010 - Bill Speer

Before heading out on a recent trip I shared with a group of male friends my itinerary. Hearing that the trip included first a wedding on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend and later, a multi-day stay in Columbus, one of the men turned to me and offered "Bro, we're really going to have to pray for you."

I appreciated the prayers. However, probably what I really needed was a miracle.

Certainly the prayers were helpful. Certainly they helped with my ongoing lesson of patience as I sat in construction traffic jams in Michigan. Certainly they (and Jill - my GPS co-navigator), helped teach me trust as I go lost in downtown Columbus at rush hour. I'm not sure what the lesson I should have learned, however, from North Market in Columbus.

There is a whole lot of Scotch in me (watch it, I know what you're thinking) when it comes to financial decisions. My wife might disagree, opting instead to describe my ancestry as a little bit older, as say, Neanderthal.

Whatever. One morning while in Columbus we decided to visit North Market and pickup some fresh items for a picnic lunch and visit the market stores. Since I knew the stop was going to be relatively quick since we had another destination we needed to be at in less than an hour, I opted to park at a meter on the street rather than pull into a parking lot and pay the minimum fee.

I watched the time and in fact, according to my watch, we left the market just as I had noted the money in the meter should be expiring. Apparently if this career tanks I could be a Swiss watch-maker as that apparently was the case as I looked over to the car and there stood a Columbus police officer, ticket pad in hand, jotting down information.

I walked over and politely stated the meter must have just expired, as I had expected, as my wife and I were just leaving the market. He said he didn't know, finished his ticket writing and handed it to me, then hopped on his bike and away he rode.

By my estimations we missed the meter expiration by a minute, maybe two at the most. Remember that Scotch blood in me? Trust me, I would know when that meter was about to expire.

I suspect  the Michigan license plate was like a magnet for him. Especially since I noticed that as we went to leave, the meter to the car next to me also was expired.

The prayers were great, but at that point I needed a miracle. I have pleaded my case to the Columbus Police Department and await their verdict. Stay tuned.


As for the lesson I learned, next time I'll pull into the parking lot.

Duh, that's something even a caveman should know to do.


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