Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Mensa and Transportation

I got my "Offer of Membership" from Mensa today. On the enclosed envelope, do they really need to say "First-Class Postage Required Post Office will not deliver without proper postage." Hel-lo. I qualify for Mensa, remember? I think I could have figured that out on my own. It annoys me when the power company does this; it's just ridiculous that Mensa does.

The letter accompanying the offer encourages me to "contact your local group and begin participating in some of the activities in your area." Actually, I already have. Friday night, I went to Mensa Happy Hour at Zorba's. Following that, the Singles SIG went for dessert and Xando, and afterwards three of us went over to someone's apartment building to chat. At around 12:45, I announced that I had to leave to attempt to catch the last Metro train back home. As I was riding the escalator down into the Dupont Circle station, I heard the announcement that the last Red Line train for Glenmont was now on the platform. Ouch. Too late. I hailed a cab, and as I was riding, wondered how much he was going to charge me. After all, in DC, they have that silly zone system. I didn't know what they did for DC to Maryland trips. Oh, well, I figured, I'd pay whatever it was and next time be more careful, if it was ridiculous. But he checked the trip counter, looked on a chart, and the total came to $20 with a (generous) tip. Not bad.

The next evening I went to a birthday party of a Mensan I had met the previous evening. The party was in Northern Virginia, and I had a choice between driving and Metro. Plus for Metro: I wouldn't have to watch my alcohol intake as closely. Plus for Driving: I wouldn't have to try to catch the last train again. Plus for Metro: The invitation said I had to get a visitor permit, or my car would get towed. Plus for Driving: I'd have to catch a Metrobus. Advantage: Driving.

And when I got there, the advantage seemed to tip even more in favor of Driving, as the birthday girl informed me that since her apartment building was out of permits, they had canceled towing for the night. And, since I stayed until 2, I would have had to take an even more expensive cab ride home. But when I left the building, my car was not where I had parked it. The same thing had happened to a fellow party-goer. Oh, crap. As we walked back into the building, we heard the maintenance guy telling someone on the phone, "I canceled towing for the evening!" He turned out to be very nice; he gave us a ride to the impound lot, and signed to have the apartment building charged for the towing fee until the "misunderstanding" was cleared up. And I made my way home eventually, although not before getting lost and touring parts of DC and PG County I hadn't planned to see (ever).

So despite my problems getting home both nights, I had a good time. As with any group, some people annoyed me, but I found some interesting people to talk to. So I'm accepting the offer of membership. I just hope I don't forget to put a stamp on my reply.