My friend, Keona, asked me last night if I would be interested in going to an Indianapolis Indians game; she said she had free tickets. After checking the schedule and realizing the Indians were playing at Durham, we figured out that the tickets were actually to the celebrity softball challenge that is put on by the Tony Stewart Foundation and the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund. I told her I was still interested in going, since I didn’t have tickets to the Kenny Chesney concert that was taking place at the same time. She said her son, Eian, would come by and pick me up before the game started. Eian picked me up around 4:00pm and we headed to Indianapolis.
Once we got there and got through the gates, Eian and I went and located our seats. We had a great view of the field right down the third base line, fairly close to the field. After sitting there for a few minutes we decided to walk around and see if we could find this free food and drinks that Keona thought she heard we would get. Well, we didn’t see any free food or drinks, so we bought a couple of drinks and hotdogs and made our way back to our seats.
Before the actual softball game began, they had a Budweiser sponsored home run derby. There was a huge line of people forming in the aisle between us and the field; they were all hoping to score an autograph from one of the many celebrities in attendance. At that point, Eian and I decided to move to some seats on the other side of the aisle to watch the home run derby.
Once the home run derby was finished, we decided it was probably best if we moved back to our seats to watch the actual softball game; since other people were most likely going to be sitting in the seats we had been occupying. We sat in our seats for a few innings, but our view kept getting blocked by kids (and some adults) who continuously kept running down to the third base dugout looking to get an autograph. There was only one security guard working that area of the stadium and he was doing his best to keep people in their seats. The autograph seekers just weren’t listening to him though. At that point, Eian and I decided to relocate. We found a couple of empty seats in the upper deck, still on the third base side.
We sat in those seats for the remainder of the game; which was a great game! I was kind of leery about the whole ‘celebrity softball’ thing when we first got there, but it was a surprisingly good time. I’ll definitely be returning next year! The softball game lasted only seven innings and we were told that one of the celebrity players, Corey Cox, was going to be putting on a concert for everyone at the conclusion of the game.
So, once the game was over, Eian and I walked over to the first base side and found some great seats in the upper deck area to watch the Corey Cox concert. Corey played several of his own original songs as well as a few other well known songs. The crowd had thinned out considerably at this point, since there were several children in attendance at the game and it was getting late – and cold. Corey ended up playing more songs than we thought he would, which was pretty cool.
After the concert ended, Eian and I walked back to the car that we had parked across the street in the parking garage. Once we got in the car, Eian started looking for the parking ticket so we could leave. He couldn’t find it anywhere. We had seen a van pull up to the exit of the garage and, from where we were parked, it appeared as if they had just driven right through the barricade. Eian pulled up the the stop arm and it didn’t go up for us. It was at that point we figured either the van drove through the stop arm, or they had a monthly membership smart pass for the parking garage.
Eian backed up and parked the car. As he looked for the parking ticket some more, he thought he would just walk over to the entrance and print out a new ticket. That wouldn’t work though, as the ticket dispenser has a weight sensor and if there is no vehicle there, it won’t print out a new ticket. After that didn’t work and we still couldn’t find the ticket, we drove around until we found the other exit.
We had decided that we weren’t going to pay the $20 fee for a lost parking ticket, so we devised a plan to tell the attendant that we only had $10 and that we had only been parked in the garage since 5:00pm. We drove up to the window and Eian explained to the fella that he lost the parking ticket and that he only had $10 to pay for parking. The guy said that the fee for a lost ticket was $20. Eian again explained to the guy that he only had $10. That’s when the guy said he could talk to his manager and that we could get out by showing the vehicle registration and his drivers license and they would just send a bill for the $20.
We ended up backing up and parking the car. A lady, later identified as Denise (the manager), walked up to the car and said that we couldn’t park where we were. She said, “That’s a nice car, I wouldn’t want it to get smashed by another vehicle coming in.” Eian explained everything to her and she came up with a genius solution. She said that we could either find the ticket, or come up with $20. Gee, thanks, Denise. Neither of those options ever occurred to us!
Eian backed the car up and we parked in a spot for a few minutes trying to figure out how we were going to get out of the parking garage without paying their ridiculous fee of $20. At that point we decided to drive back to our original parking spot, mainly so we were out of sight of Denise and her hawk-like eyes!
Once we returned to our original parking spot, again searching for the parking ticket and not finding it, we decided that we would just go through with showing them Eian’s license and the registration to the vehicle. The vehicle was borrowed from a friend, who Eian was just going to tell the attendant, was his uncle. So, we drove back up to the attendant with the registration and license in-hand. Eian handed them to the attendant, at which point the attendant told Eian that he would once again have to back up, park, and speak with Denise.
Back in a parking spot, Eian and I walked up to the office door and knocked. Denise was on the phone at that point and I’m guessing she didn’t hear the first knock, so we knocked again. Denise came to the door and Eian explained to her that we didn’t have the $20, we couldn’t find the ticket, and we couldn’t contact anyone to bring us any more money. Denise looked at Eian’s license, she looked at the registration, she looked at the car, and she said, “Your license doesn’t match the registration.” That’s when Eian explained to her that it wasn’t his car, it was his uncle’s car. Denise became incredibly inquisitive at that point, almost accusatory in fact. She said, “That’s a really nice car. Your uncle just gave it to you?” Eian explained to her that his car wasn’t fit to be driving to Indy, so his uncle loaned him his car. Denise continued to look at the license and registration and finally said, “I’ll need to do some paperwork, give me 10 minutes.” Eian and I walked back to the car to wait for Denise to do whatever 10 minute paperwork she needed to do.
As it turns out, ol’ Denise didn’t need to do any paperwork at all. She actually contacted the State Capitol Police! The officer drove up to the office, spoke with Denise, then came out and spoke with Eian. Eian explained everything a few times to the officer. He told the officer what we were doing there, and the entire dilemma with the lost parking ticket, and that we just wanted to leave the parking garage and have them bill the $20 fee.
After speaking with the officer for several minutes, explaining everything to him a few more times, the officer looking through the car windows with his flashlight, then running the license plate to make sure the vehicle wasn’t stolen, the officer then went back to the office to talk with Denise. The officer then told us that the reason Denise contacted him was because there had been a series of assaults in that parking garage. He said late at night, two males would come into the garage and assault people so badly, that nobody was ever able to get a description of the male subjects. So, when Denise saw two males having trouble getting out of the garage, she got suspicious and contacted the authorities.
I’m not sure what world Denise lives in, but in the real world, two fellas who are out committing assaults on citizens, most likely wouldn’t freely give up their license and registration to get out of a parking garage. If we were there to commit crimes, chances are, we would have just driven through the flimsy little stop arm to get away without anyone getting any kind of identifying information on us.
Anyway, the officer spoke to Denise again and she came out of the office to talk to us. She said that she would do us a favor for all this mix up and for keeping us there as long as she did. She said she wasn’t going to send a bill for $20 for the lost ticket, she was going to let us out of the parking garage for $7, which, as it turns out, is the amount we would have paid for being in the garage since 5:00pm – the original time we got there.
In the end, it was probably a good thing that Denise called the authorities. It saved us $13 and it gave me something a little more to write about than just the softball game. Special thanks to the State Capitol Police officer who took time out of his shift to deal with our little lost parking ticket. Much appreciated, sir!