Lovely Rita, Meter Maid


Saturdays are best when they are busy.  I like to have things to do.  Yesterday was fun from morning to night.  I spent most of the day in overly-metered Walnut Creek.  The town of walnut orchards has turned into a buzzing destination for shoppers.  It boasts a Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus (Needless Mark-up), Tiffany, Apple, Macy’s, Gap, Coach, Tesla, Pottery Barn, and every high-end store and chain store one can think of.

People come from all over this side of the Bay to shop, eat, and celebrate. That’s a lot of cars. Walnut Creek has meters in every parking lot, street spot, and even some parking garages. I save my change in the cup holder in my car just for Walnut Creek parking. You don’t want to get a parking ticket at $45.00 a pop.

My son lives there.  We met for lunch in one of the few lots with no meters. Then I went to my fave thrift store with its own private fenced lot and parked there for free. My meeting at the library was coming up, so I went there early to sit in my car and listen to the rain while I read the newspaper.

Remember those? Sis likes the birthday section and the today-in-history section. Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the deaths of three great musicians: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. They’d chartered a small plane after a gig in Clear Lake, Iowa, and the 4th musician, Waylon Jennings, gave up his seat at the last minute since the Big Bopper had the flu.

Sis and I had Alexa play three songs to commemorate the young musicians whose lives were lost. She asked for Every Day by Buddy Holly. I asked Alexa for La Bamba and Chantilly Lace. We sang along when we could remember the lyrics.

I got out of the car to plug the meter when I saw the tiny meter maid truck/cart pull into the library parking lot.  The meter said it was for four hours, but it wouldn’t take my coins after the two-hour mark. When the meter maid came by I told her my dilemma.

“My meeting doesn’t start until 3:00,” I said.

“I am in training,” the young woman said. “Let me tell my trainer.”

Soon a young guy came over and asked me for a dime. He put it into the meter and confirmed that it wasn’t giving me any time past two hours.

“We’ll write it up,” he said. “You can park her until 6:30 tonight.”

“What’s your name?” I asked, thinking that I might still end up with a ticket.

“Maltonado,” he said.

I was caught off-guard, expecting it to be Jim or Bob.

“Is that spelled M-A-L-T-O-N-A-D-O?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, looking slightly impressed.

I had my meeting with two fellow authors as we yucked it up in the library coffee shop where we wouldn’t bother anyone with our conversation.

Then I went out to my car at 5:00 and was pleased to see no ticket. Maltonado had kept his word.

I went home, let the dogs run in the park for a bit, ate a salad and then met two girlfriends for live music at 8:00.

It was a busy day.

Couldda Wouldda Didda

I spent my rainy day running around.

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