Parts 1 and 2 below.
I don't have any friends down here yet, so when I heard that a coworker's band was playing at a bar in Fayetteville (about 30 minutes south of me) I figured it was the perfect opportunity to carouse and maybe find a lady friend. Well, what with security deposits, first and last months' rent, getting a new phone because T-Mobile no workie so good down here, paying off student loans, and basic living expenses, my bank account was running on fumes. Nevertheless, I figured a cheap night out watching a band and maybe having a couple drinks would be okay. I earned it, right?
I get to Fayetteville and park in the parking garage (I guess having to pay for parking is a very recent addition in Fayetteville) and proceed, by myself, to a bar I've never been to. I walk inside and some old guy is glaring at me expectantly. I say hi and he says there's a $5 cover. Well thanks to the parking garage I only had $4.05, so I tried to cut a bargain with him.
Me: "Well, I have about $4. Will that cut it?"
Geezer: "About $5 will cut it."
Me: "Oh, come on, you can let it slide this time right?"
Geezer: "The cover is $5."
Me: "I have money on my card, if I promise to buy drinks with it and tip, can you let me in for $4."
Geezer: "It's $5. Besides, if you spend money on drinks you'll have even less to pay cover with."
Me (under my breath): "Fuck you, old man. You make no sense."
I'm a bit steamed, but I head back outside to brave the weather and try to find an ATM in a town I've never been to. I figured that since I drove all this way, plus it being a Friday night and my coworker's band was playing, it might be worth it. I finally found an ATM and it charges me a $4 service fee. The steam continues to build.
I got back inside and hand Scrooge my $5 and decide to order a drink. A rum and coke. A normal rum and coke in a normal establishment is like $6, max. Well the bartender makes it and tells me it's $13, and with the customary $1 tip, I'm well on my way to blasting through all my bank account's fumes. I don't see anyone I know at the bar, and the crowd is all 40+, so I become the stereotypical wallflower and chug my overpriced drink to drown my sorrows.
After the show I finally meet up with some work friends and they invite me to a restaurant to eat and chat, which I agree to. "First," I say, "I must put money in my parking spot because it expires soon." I'm told that a ticket should only be like 4 bucks so I'm not too worried and head over to the restaurant, but another person tells me that if my car gets booted it is a $100 fine. Since my feeble bank account could handle no such stress, I went to check on my car. "It should be fine, I'm only 15 minutes late," I tell myself. But sure enough, there are 2 bright yellow boots on my tires and a sticker on the window telling me to call a number to get the boots removed for $100. I went back to my party and told them that I would not be joining them for tea and crumpets as my steam level had risen past the point of good spirits. I go back to my car and I call the number and am told it'll be $105 for them to come help me. I'm now fully prepared to overdraft my bank account.
Just then a security car pulls up and this nice old man gets out and asks to see my ticket. I pull the ticket out of my pocket to show him and he says, "Well you are supposed to place this ticket on the dashboard so we can see it." I tell him that I was just following the big sign that read, "HOLD ONTO TICKET AS PROOF OF PAYMENT." He tells me that I should have ignored that sign and followed the other sign saying to place it on my dashboard. I flash him a "really??" look and he assures me that he will remove the boots, noticing I have Kansas tags. He warns me that the other security guard is not as nice, and I thank him for understanding.
Just then my bank account gave a sigh of relief.
With the good news, I decide to go find my new work friends at the restaurant, but two of them are missing. After questioning their absence, I'm told that they rounded up $100 and were out looking for me to help me pay for my new boots, and it was as if all my steam had been released. I was very thankful, and enjoyed the rest of the evening. All's well that ends well I guess, right?