Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Only in California

A few weekends ago we set out on an adventure to see 5,000 friends.  Our first stop is Sonoma county for a 30th birthday party.  We leave after work around 6pm and arrive at our first destination half past midnight.  Besides the time in the car, it is a fairly simple drive: after two blocks turn right on Hollister, go 200 feet then turn left on Turnpike, after 0.25 mile make a left on 101 North.   Drive 300 miles and you're there.  Perfect.  But instead of going straight up the 101 we decide to take a twenty minute shortcut.

We do not yet realize that the short cut includes a toll road.  But once we do realize it was a toll road, we do not yet realize that we have no money.  

How much is the toll?

Five bucks.

Dang, do you have five bucks?

No, do you have five bucks? Let me check....no.

Proceed to search the car for five bucks.  We usually keep the car stocked with secret stashes of cash for instances just like this.  And neither one of us can remember using up the last stash that we kept tucked away in the sun visor on the passenger side.  Although now that I mention it, I can remember driving around with a certain friend who was very excited and surprised to find a few dollars while meddling through the car. "Hey I just found money! Is this your guys' money? Did you even know you had this money?"...I wouldn't doubt that he secretly put the  money in his pocket.   It was the same friend who gave us a really nice knife once, and then a couple years later came to visit and found the knife and said "Hey nice knife, Is that the knife I got you?"  Yes, yes it it.  "Do you guys ever even use it? " Yes, yes we do.   We have never seen that knife again.

So here we are, passed the last exit on the freeway before the toll booths.  No turning back now.  All we have is about 25 pennies and a couple of credit cards.  What are the chances California toll booths have wised up and started accepting Visa?  

There are three cash lanes open.  Only one of them currently has a car in it.  So I pull up behind the car at the collector to try to buy us a few extra seconds of Trevor searching through his brief case for spare cash.  Nothing.  Oh well, nothing we can do about it now, but wait....and wait.....and wait...... Jeez what are theses people talking about?!  The car in front of us is talking forever having a 15 minute conversation with the toll booth collector.   California Julie resists the New Jersey Julie's temptations to honk and curse and reverse to get in the the next lane over.  Eventually the car moves on though and it's our turn to have a chat with the tollbooth collector....

Collector:  Sorry about that, guys! How's your night going?!

Uhhh, it's good... Do you, um, take credit card by any chance?

Collector:  No..eeeh we don't, sorry about that.  BUT I did have a gentleman today who gave me an extra $5 and told me to use it on someone nice.  And you seem nice enough! Sooooo..... Have a good night!

Are you freaking kidding me!?  Oh my god, thank you.  

Who gives a tollbooth collector an extra five bucks?!

And what tollbooth collector doesn't just pocket that?!


Breanna said...

Awesome! That is my worst fear with tolls!

Anonymous said...

Would never have happened in NJ, they'd have made you work for the toll ....!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey!!! Wait, did I not tell you what happened to it?!! I put it back in the visor, put the visor up, we drove a few hours, the sun was to our right so I moved the visor over, completely forgot about the money, then rolled down the window... I think I noticed at the end of the trip when I put the visor back but felt too bad to tell you guys!!!

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