Friday, 18 February 2011

The Orange Vest (Waiscot) Man

I wore a bright orange vest (waistcoat) today.  Thus I fulfilled one of my minor ambitions.

The occasion was a fundraiser for the Historical Society of Sarasota County (HSOSC).  HSOSC sponsored an antiques sale, and antiques appraisal event down at Sarasota’s Philippi Creek Estate.  (There were some appraisers who’ve appeared on the American “Antiques Road Show).

I am a member of the HSOSC, so I put in a bit of volunteer time on its‘ behalf. I was asked to be a parking lot attendant.  My ambition was fulfilled!

There I stood, resplendent in my orange colored vest, ready to direct vendors and volunteers to their assigned parking spots, and to take the $10 fee (per car) from those “members of the public” who were attending the event.

I was in my element, ready to greet all and sundry with a smile; a word of welcome; and a request for ten bucks.

One young man declined to “pay up”.  I was not about to spoil for a fight so I turned a blind eye when he decided to park in a “non-parking area”.


A woman who was alone in her car exploded in anger.
“Why” she asked, “should she be required to pay $10 for her car, when other folks probably had three or four passengers yet were able to park for the same $10 (per car)?

I tried to explain that her parking fee would help cover our many expenses (such as having an overnight security detail to protect the valuable antiques), but she would have none of it.

She asserted that she could have had 14 midgets in her car, but still would have only been charged $10.

At this point I wanted to direct her to Disney World to pick up her imagined midgets (“It’s a small world after all”!), but instead I waved her through, and suggested that she should take up her complaints with the President of HSOSC.

Most visitors coughed up their $10 without complaint. They understood that the event was a fund-raiser and not a commercial venture.

One couple ( I would guess in their 70’s) stopped at my booth.  The man was driving.  The passenger (a woman) said that they were present only to pick up her husband. 

Then as she looked at the male driver she said, with a twinkle, “this is my boy friend”.

First I congratulated her on her good taste.  Then I added (with my own twinkle) -  “your husband is here with a gorgeous blonde woman”.

She rose to my bait, and responded “oh that blonde”.

The three of us giggled, and I waived the car through.

I liked being a volunteer parking lot attendant, replete and resplendent in an orange vest.  It was fun for three hours.

But I am not looking for another career.



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