The first line of her article, "The parking wars are about to begin," gave the whole reading experience such a sense of urgency that I almost read the entire thing. I got to the third paragraph, which explained how after the Triple-A minor league baseball stadium is built, and Downtown El Paso develops as a result, and other businesses begin to open up in the area, and maybe we'll see a higher quality of prostitutes, that parking will become "more of a commodity."
That's pretty much as far as I got. Not because the article wasn't very good--it was--it's just that I was anxious to see for myself. So I got in my car, drove west on I-10, passed two perfectly good malls with plenty of free parking, and, when I got to my destination, immediately got a ticket for driving down the wrong way on a one-way street.
I didn't let that minor snafu distract me from my mission, and I determinedly began to try to find one of those "plenty" of parking spaces our city leaders assured Cindy there was.
Well, I saw plenty of parking spaces all right, but had no change to feed those insatiable parking meters that stood guard right next to them. In my humble tax-paying opinion, if you're in the mood to spend your money Downtown you should be welcomed, not charged. I understand the city needs revenue, but think of all those potential customers driving past Downtown El Paso on their way to The Outlet Mall. Do you know why all those people drive that far out of their way to spend their cash?
The free parking.
They'd rather lose half an hour of their lives than pay 25 cents for 20 minutes of parking time.
It reminded me of how, just the other day, I took my family to see the newly renovated Mills Building. It was beautiful. At least I think it was, from the quick glance we got as we drove by on our way to The Outlet Mall.
After our mall excursion, we had a nice lunch at The Great American Land & Cattle Company further down I-10. Their Top Sirloin cost $8.99, but their parking was free. After that, we pulled off at mile marker #151 to look at the camels and other wild animals at the feed store located there that also sells farm and ranching equipment. My favorite part about it? The free parking. In fact, that business also had free snacks for its much-appreciated customers to feed their animals, even the little pig who liked to direct the incoming traffic.
Let me get to the point, my friends. My suggestion is this: Everybody's broke. Now's the time to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana and prostitution. I don't cheat on my wife or do drugs, in fact I barely drink, but that doesn't mean we can't make a profit from those who do.
I know, I know. They say with dope and hookers comes organized crime. Do you know what I say about organized crime?
Vote them out of office!
With prostitution legalized, Downtown will be THE place to shop, dine, and procreate. I suggest we create a Red Light District by the Free Clinic. As for the marijuana, we can create a district much like the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco in the 60's. I'll even volunteer to be El Paso's first Love Czar or Secretary of Smoke.
Maybe then we'll get some free parking.
And, while I'm at it, I have a few more ideas concerning Downtown El Paso. Surrounding San Jacinto Plaza we should have the following:
1) A museum of horror. It could be run by my ex-wives.
2) An optical illusion museum. I'll even generously donate all of my ex-wedding pictures. If you stand one way, you'll see beautiful brides. If you stand another, they all turn into La Llorona.
3) A museum of natural and supernatural oddities. Have I already mentioned the availability of my ex-wives? And...
4) Around the placita we can build mini-sculptures of national monuments, much like the one's they have in Legoland of Southern California. If they build their mini-monuments entirely from Legos, how hard can it be to slap together some cardboard and spit and make our own?
And how do we pay for all this?
Hey, that's you're problem, I'm just the idea guy. Me? I'm on my way to spend my money at The Outlet Mall.