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Huckleberries Online

Mon., Jan. 8, 2007, 6:01 p.m.

Wild Card/Monday — 1/8/07

I had a close encounter with a downtown Spokane parking machine this weekend. It cost me $20 for 3 1/2 hours of parking -- and counting. Seems I didn't follow protocol when I put a $20 in the orange box to cover the $10 charge for parking in front of the Opera House for the traveling Broadway production of "Hairspray." Seems you're suppose to get a ticket from a nearby machine and put it on your dash. I tried to figure out the machine and almost lost a credit card and then a debit card while clogging up a line of equally confused patrons trying to use the machine -- a machine that didn't provide change. So, I figured I'd drop a $20 in the slot for my parking space in the conventional box and call it good. I was rewarded with a parking ticket for $25. I'm not even mad about it. I figured it was worth it because I can write a column about the high cost of parking when you patronize downtown Spokane businesses. Then, I'm not sure Coeur d'Alene should have paid parking either. Now, for your Wild Card ...

Update: I explained my situation to a Diamond Parking customer service clerk via telephone today -- and she voided the ticket. There goes a good column.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.