By Kim Fernandez

It’s o’dark-thirty—6:15 a.m. in February–in an airport parking garage. There’s a sad, empty, disposable coffee cup in my left hand, a suitcase handle in my right (because the bag tips over if I let go), and I’m summoning every last ounce of patience on a crowded platform in a longer-than-usual wait for the shuttle to the terminal, already dreading a security line that’s sure to snake on for miles.

Someone’s cell phone rings. At 6:15 a.m. in a long queue for this shuttle that’s taking its sweet time. And the dude with the tank top and the white ball cap and the wide eyes grins and hits the screen. I shift my feet and sigh. It’s still quiet time, man.

“Dude!” (Told you—dude.). He listens and then grins again. “I have a plan. And if it works, it’s going to be epic. It’ll be legendary.”

I crack up. Can’t help it. Because my friend the dude is about to chance it all (no clue what but it must be big) for epic and legendary. At o’dark-thirty in his tank top, in an off-highway parking garage in Baltimore, in February.

To paraphrase a great movie, I’ll have what he’s having. My shuttle stop was first and I left Dude behind, silently wishing him well. The security line was short and fast, my flight listed as on time, and there was hot coffee aplenty by 6:45. Epic–and quite possibly legendary–before sunrise. Let’s do this.

Kim Fernandez is IPI’s director of publications and editor of The Parking Professional.