I Crashed the Gate Doing 98

Leaving the hospital (MGH) in Boston Friday, after my monthly visit, I plugged my paid ticket into the machine inside the garage.  Then I drove to the exit 100 yards away.  The barrier lifted as I slowly drove up to it. From there we went down the road to the Museum of Science.  I was chatting with the boys about where to park.  We like parking on the roof for the view of the city, but it was 98 degrees.  During the decision-making discussion, I rolled up to the barrier.   We talked about the impact of the sun on the heat index in the van.  Knowing full well the bright yellow barrier would open, I kept moving – right through the loud popping noise.  In my peripheral, I saw a long, yellow bar tumbling off the hood of my van.

Popped it off the hinges.   I didn’t scream.  I gently braked, muttering the line “…crashed the gate doing 98, saying ‘Let those truckers roll, 10-4…’ from the old “Convoy” song.

We were not doing 98 mph.  We were doing 98+ wpm.  Words per minute.

Subconsciously, I was waiting for the barrier to rise like the one at MGH.  I got out of the van and looked around.  The gentlemen cashiering came toward me, saying nothing.  “I’m so sorry!  I was talking to my kids and drove right through the barrier.”  Still nothing as he picked up the barrier from the ground.  “I’m sorry.”

Finally, “You’re not the first.  Pull ahead and I’ll get the ticket for you.”  It was that Nemo character’s voice – the one that has to go deflate the puffer fish, AGAIN.

By the time we left four hours later, it had been reattached and was functioning properly.  No damage done.

We have a membership at the museum.  We get to take a few friends in with us; we have discounts on the store and cafeteria and the Butterfly Garden, etc.  And at least one free “bust the barrier” day?

I imagine any mini-van full of kids gets that perk – without being a member.

Have a Happy Barrier-free Hump Day!