It was Independence Day weekend and the parking lot was quite busy.
A car carrying three women pulled in. A brunette–probably in her 50s–was driving. The woman in the passenger seat seemed to be the driver’s mother. I didn’t get a good look at the woman in the back seat.
The mother-age woman tried to use her Golden Age card to avoid the parking fee. I explained we accept no passes and offer no discounts in the parking lot. The mother-age woman seemed mildly disgruntled, but the woman driving took it all in stride and stayed friendly.
I further explained the lot was quite crowded and they might not be able to find a parking spot. I sent them on their way to look for a place to park, telling them to pay the parking fee up front on their way to trail if they found a place to leave the car.
My co-worker was off cleaning restrooms when the women showed up at the front of the parking lot, three little dogs in tow. The third woman was blond, and I picked up the info she was the cousin of the brunette, who was the daughter of the woman with the Golden Age card.
The brunette cheerfully paid the parking fee and went off to use the restroom, leaving her dog with the other two women who hovered near me and vied for my attention. I was not standing around idly entertaining tourists, but collecting parking fees and explaining the lay of the land to new arrivals.
The blond cousin and the mother were not scintillating conversationalists. Every time I got to walk away from them felt like an escape. They both seemed rather out of it, slow even, but I don’t know if that was due to age, medication, or genetics. Honestly, they were making me nervous and uptight.
Finally, the brunette returned and collected her little dog. Something was said about the restrooms, maybe a comment was made about how long the brunette had stood in line.
I said, My co-worker says the restrooms are the second most popular attraction here.
What’s the most popular? the blond asked.
I was stunned, both by the question and my inability to think of a smart-ass response.
I just answered, The trees ma’am. The trees.