(Written the week after the Superbowl)
Try to imagine being caught up in a crowd of tens of thousands of cheering people who have gathered to celebrate something about which you care not one bit.
That, my friends, happened to me last week. I was in Boston for work, and had a lunch meeting scheduled just off the Boston Commons on Tuesday. The afternoon before, my client let me know that his building was on the parade route for the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory celebration. Yay.
Now, to be clear, I don’t hate the Patriots, though I know some people do. I just don’t much care one way or the other. To say I was in the minority would be an understatement.
For starters, with heavy traffic and many streets blocked off for the parade, I ended up parking a half-mile further away than expected. I wandered outside into the crowds and a heavy, wet, slushy snow.
Getting to my destination was a challenge. To cross the street near the parking ramp I needed to go down into a subway station and back up the other side. Unfortunately, as I got closer, the parade route took a 90 degree turn, and I had to cross again.
This time, I had to actually take the subway itself one stop, and then walk back six blocks, feeling like a spawning salmon moving upstream through the expectant crowd. Well, at least what I imagine a salmon feels like.
I said “excuse me” at least a thousand times, and even got poked in the head by a tine of a semi-broken umbrella. There were so many people that each block took 15 minutes.
But, only about two hours later, I shoved my way through the crowd to my client’s office. He isn’t a Patriots fan either, since he grew up in Pittsburgh, so we snuck out the back way.
We didn’t have to wait to be seated for lunch, and had a very nice meeting. Afterwards, I walked back to the parking garage with the street nearly empty, since the crowd had moved to city hall to see a presentation. All the posters and various paper litter had been turned into paper pulp by the snow – now turned to rain.
Once I got back in the car I turned up the heat, having been cold and wet for several hours. I almost fainted when I had to pay $42 for 3 hours of parking. But, all in all, things worked out okay.