2009-08-24

Notes for An Insider's Guide to Athens

I'm just back from my Monday morning walkabout downtown. I parked on Clayton near College. It had occurred to me as I turned off of Broad onto Lumpkin that I hadn't checked to see whether I had coins for the meter. After I parked I looked in the usual places in the car for change from fast-food drive-thru episodes. Not much. Mostly pennies and a few dimes. Wait, a quarter (a little sticky from something, but worth a try). After I gathered up my things and locked the van, I strode up to the parking meter. It was one of those double meters with buttons for the left space and the right space. Does anybody know whether you are supposed to put in the coins first and then push the button, or push the button first and then put in the coins? Anyway, I can't remember what I did, but whatever I did, it worked. Except for one thing. When I put in a penny, the machine would eat the penny, but not give me any minutes. I must have fed it fifteen or twenty pennies. I looked around on the meter to see whether it took pennies. I couldn't find anything prominent. Then I looked inside the glass below the minutes indicator. Ah. Nickels, so many minutes. Dimes so many minutes. Quarters so many minutes. No mention of pennies either way. So, deploying the inductive reasoning we're discussing now in 8th grade science: 1) Putting pennies in the meter has no effect on minutes. 2) The meter instructions, when you find them, make no mention of pennies either way. Conclusion: The meters like pennies, but not enough to give you even a minute of their time in return. Fine. Got it. I know where we stand.

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