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wedding expo blues

We went into Boston to go to our first wedding expo today, cause it seems like the thing to do. We're still looking for a photographer and a band or something, and we had some hopes of making contact with those sorts of individuals at this event, where they are said to congregate. Plus, it was free... or it should have been. More on that in a minute.

Overall, we weren't too impressed. First we had to wait in line for about 15 minutes to get in, and let me tell you, we almost bailed right away when we saw the million people who were there before us. Things could have been worse, though, cause another million and a half or so came right after us. That made us feel better somehow, so we stuck it out, and eventually made it to the show floor--which proved to consist mostly of stands offering free magazines and expensive cookware. I guess there were some things of tuxes too. Not much in the way of photographers or bands though, so that was disappointing. I think the best word to describe the overall effect is 'weak.'

Which would have been fine, it being free and all, except for one thing: the coat check costed two dollars a coat!!! And even worse, the money was charged in a distinctly underhanded fashion: they took your coats first, and then, with them already on hangers and vanishing into the back room, they told you that you now owed them $4.00. Of course, no one but the worst sort of cheapskate could ask for the garments back at that point, and even though we may actually be the worst sort of cheapskate, we were too taken aback to do anything but pay up.

It turns out they actually did have a sign warning about the charge, but when we approached the desk it was turned around, facing the proprietors. Now, that might have been a mistake, but get this: when we came out of the show, I didn't see the sign at all, at first--but then I noticed it lying face down on the floor partially under the desk. Wanting to warn other people about the scam they were facing--I have no objection to charging people for watching their coats for half an hour, I just want people to be able to make their decision about the worthwhileness of the payment for themselves!--I stood it back up, and placed it carefully at the foot of the much larger sign advertising the coat check's presence. While we were putting on our coats, though, one of the coat check guys came out, picked up the sign, and put it back on the desk, facing inwards again. Well, I could understand it if he didn't want it on the floor, but surely he only put it up backwards by mistake. So to help him out, I went back and switched it round again. He wasn't looking when I did so, but in a moment he turned around and, if you can believe it, turned it back again! Since I have to assume the sign did not exist solely to remind the coat check workers of the exhoribitant price they were charging, the only explanation is that the whole thing was an underhanded trap designed only to snare unsuspecting Expo visitors, just as we ourselves had been snared. At least I was able to save one person with my first placement of the sign, and several more by loudly complaining on the escalator on the way down.

Besides all that, it was nice to get out and about in Boston, and we had a very nice walk through the Public Gardens and down Newbury Street out of the deal.

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