Friday, August 25, 2017

Juneau, You Know This Feeling

Who among us, I ask, does not know this feeling? At least those of us in Juneau do. 

Juneau the feeling.

You drive your car to the airport for a one or two day trip to Seattle or Anchorage. It's not worth taking a cab since it's almost just as expensive, and you don't feel like waiting 20 minutes for another cab on the back end. One that you'll end up sharing with six cruise ship passengers from Ohio, which means you'll have to make small talk about fishing and rain when all you want to do is get home to your own bed immediately.

And no, America. We don't have Uber, at least not yet, and no one's coming to get you at this hour. So you leave your car. 

You make a mental note, or try to, thinking once again about the fact that this parking lot is too small for numbered spaces, yet somehow too big to remember where the fuck you parked your car.

It's sort of like a microcosm of the whole town in a weird way. Juneau: too big to know everyone's name, but too small to have an ex. The city assembly should pass an ordinance making that the town motto. It would look great on a flag or a bumper sticker. Picture it:


Good, right? Anyyyyywwwwaaaay.

So you land after a super harrowing 20 minutes that you feel like could easily have been the last 20 minutes of your life, only to walk out into a monsoon of cold November snain ("November Snain" was the original title of that GNR tune. Look it up.)

And now your mind goes blank. Where are my keys? Fuck the keys. Where is my CAR? You haven't thought about your car for 48 hours, and now that POS will have its revenge!

And you walk up and down every aisle like a total asshole, because here's the problem: every other car is either a beat-to-shit Subaru or beat-to-shit pickup truck. And you can't find yours for the life of you. And it's dark. And it's cold. And it's pissing rain. And you're wheeling a little piece of shit suitcase behind you wearing whatever weather-inappropriate clothes you put on in another city or town 17 hours ago.

And then you finally find your car and pray that it starts. When it does, mercifully, you curve around to the exit, and you say to yourself every time: really? They still have this concrete barrier with a spray-painted arrow on it to show you how to get out of here? Isn't this the capital of Alaska? 

Come on people. This is bananas. Let's get our shit together here. PULL UP YOUR FUCKING GRUNDENS, JUNEAU! Maybe that should be our motto. 

Then you dig around for the ticket, and you think about the ticket robot. The one that told you two days earlier in a creepy Sharon Stone voice to "TAKE THE TIIIIIIIICKET." 

And you wish she was there to tell you where you left it, and where you parked. Like why can't she be more useful? You know you have to take the tiiiiiiicket. You're not a moron. What you could really use is a reminder of where you parked your fucking car.

How about that? Huh, Sharon? Of course not.

And then just as you get ready to pay your parking fee, you pull up to one of the two attendant booths and realize you've pulled into the one that has no attendant and you dropped your TIIIIIIIICKET between the gearshift and the passenger seat, all while a line of 10 politely not-honking cars has gathered behind you.


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