Thursday, June 29, 2017

50 buck

My orthopedist is located very close to Fenway Park.  The game tonight against the Twins starts at 7. My appointment at the orthopedist was at 4.

Already as I was driving to the doc, I saw groups and couples in Boston gear, walking toward the stadium.  It is a humid night, not horribly oppressive, but we could get some rain.  It did not stop the small army ambling toward the park three hours before game-time. This sight of early fandom was not what caught my attention the most as I drove toward the doc.

I noticed what is familiar all around Fenway even hours before a game.  A fellow--in this instance a guy with a gut for the book of records--was waving a red flag to indicate that game parking was available down an alley.  The waving man with the red flag, was not what was novel. What made me move my head backwards, almost involuntarily, was that the fat man was standing behind a sign that indicated the cost to park in his lot.  Fifty bananas.

Fifty dollars to park your car!

It always sounds like you are an antique when you begin a sentence with "when I was a boy a hot dog cost..."  My parents would say that and we would roll our eyes because we had heard, more than a hundred times, that a dog cost a nickel.  At the time when we regularly heard the refrain, a hot dog went for the outrageous sum of a quarter.  (sauerkraut add a nickel).

So, I know I write at the risk of sounding like a geezer, but fifty bucks is an outrageous sum to pay to park your car. Unlike many stadiums Fenway park has almost no parking lots of its own. Most parks have dedicated lots. I have not been there for a while but where the Mets played in Flushing Meadow there were spots for nearly all congregants.  At Fenway, entrepreneurs with nearby lots can make a shekel or two with their space. There was a time, and it still may be the case, that a gas station near the stadium shut down the pumps at 5, and made more money cramming cars into their space than they could ever dream of making with gas.

But fifty bucks?

Let's say you are a family of four.  Each (even cheap) ticket runs you about 50 at Fenway.  Buy a hot dog and a cold one for the adults, and a hot dog and a coke for the kids.  You are now out a cool 300 for the night if you have to park your car.

Occasionally I try to figure out what it will be like when I retire in terms of available dough.  I ought to do just fine because I have been putting money away in what amounts to a tax deferred annuity since I was in my mid 20s.  I am doing okay now in terms of salary, but I am likely to make more when I stop working.

The thing is, what will it be worth?  Will it cost me 100 dollars to park my car at the end of the Trump administration? Will I need a loan to buy a hot dog and a cold one?  Will I need to ask the vagrants for money for coffee?

Oh, and today, it cost me 30 dollars as a co payment let alone what they extract from my check every month, for a (well meaning) and conscientious PA to tell me that I am doing fine.  But it was cheap to park my car, only six dollars for a validated ticket.  A few steps away the fat man was packing cars into a tiny space and collecting 50 bananas a motorist.

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