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Capitalism…

This week, the news has been good.

Thanks to the efforts of our CFO, the Addison Avenue credit union are going to lend us some money. I’m an official American 🙂

This is a major relief because we will no longer be handing over large amounts of money to Enterprise for the rental.

That said, the other night I was grateful we still had a rental because of a stupid mistake.

Sam’s sister has been here for a few days with her boyfriend and we took them around the tourist traps at Pier 39 and did the cable cars and horse rides etc. etc. We spent a long time there and a good time was had by all. After the evening meal at a restaurant ( making sure they validated our parking ticket ), we headed back to the car park only to have me tap my pockets and realise that I didn’t have my car keys.
We’d been all over the city that day so there were any number of places they could have disappeared. When we got to the car, I peered through the window to see the keys sitting on the back seat. Why the car hadn’t been stolen, I don’t know. Maybe the 294m Americans are more honest than we thought. I won’t test that theory.

The car has manual locks (it’s a Dodge) but there were no doors we’d forgotten to lock so I needed to call Enterprise Roadside Assistance. I spoke to a couple of operators who both asked me how I was. “Fine”, I replied, “except for the fact I’ve locked my keys in the car”. They both laughed weakly. We then proceeded to try and define my precise location.

“Do you have a zip code, sir ?”.

[ At this point, I only know 2 zip codes: the office and our house ( and maybe Beverly Hills 90210 ) ]

“Sorry, I don’t know the zip code.”.

“That’s OK, sir. Can you tell me where you are ?”.

“I’m on level 4 of the parking garage directly opposite Pier 39 in San Francisco”.

“What street is that on, sir ?”.

“I have no idea. Embarcadero, I think”.

“How do you spell that, sir ?” (They start to sound like Marcie, Peppermint Patty’s friend in the Charlie Brown cartoons).

“E-m-b-a-r-c-a-d-e-r-o”.

“Sorry, a-r-c-e-d-a-r…?”

“No, E-m-b-a-r-c-a-d-e-r-o”.

“Thankyou, sir. What’s the nearest cross street ?”.

“Again, I have no idea. We’re opposite Pier 39. The biggest tourist trap in San Francisco. If you send someone out who’s local, they’ll know where I am”.

“I understand that, sir, but I need to write something down on the form”.

“OK. I’ve just looked on our parking ticket and there is no address. Do you have a map in front of you ?”.

“Yes sir”.

“Can you find Taylor ?”.

[ Pause ]

“Yes sir”.

“If you go North on Taylor, you’ll hit the water. When you get to the water, work East along Emarcadero until you see Pier 39. We’re in the parking garage directly opposite”.

“No, I still can’t see it, sir. Is that San Francisco in California ?”.

[ This time I pause ]

“Yes it is”.

I breath a sigh of relief as she decides that is all the information she needs about the location.

She asked me whether the car had automatic locks or an alarm. It’s a Dodge, it has nothing. So, now she has the make, model and registration of my car and the fact that she could break into it at any point.

The mechanic turned up in about 30 minutes, got out of his truck, jammed a wedge into the driver’s window, thrust a coat hanger through and opened the lock. All in the space of about 2 minutes.

Remind me not to buy a Dodge Neon when we go car shopping.

This week has been very short due to the Thanksgiving holiday. This is taken more seriously than Christmas as it’s an all-encompassing holiday because it’s non-religious ( unless you count the bit about the pilgrims ). Like Independence Day before it, all of our friends and work colleagues have asked us if we’re going to celebrate it.

My usual answer to Independence Day is that we will celebrate the time we got rid of the colonies. For Thanksgiving, I usually tell them we celebrate the forced take over of land belonging to the Native Americans. Surprisingly, most of them agree.

We’ve been invited to our neighbours’ house for a meal. They are Swiss and Venezuelan so they’re just looking for an excuse to eat and get drunk.

What more reason do you need to celebrate ?

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