On December 31, 1999, I came into possession of my awesome wonderful car, a 2000 Ford Focus. Everyone made fun of it, saying it looked like a "pregnant rollerskate" and that Fords were crap cars that broke down all the time, but I didn't care. I loved my car. On its seventh birthday, I went shopping on Melrose. I checked out a few stores, found nothing, and went back to my car where I'd parked it. Or at least, where I thought I had parked it. It wasn't there now. I figured I must have forgotten where I parked it. Surely it was somewhere on these neighborhood streets. And yet, after an hour of walking and searching, it was not to be found. It was getting dark, so I started calling friends who lived in the area, hoping someone was home who could give me a ride around the neighborhood. While some friends have yet to even return my desperate, semi-panicking messages, Gwen was home and zipped over to help me out. We drove around some more, but the car was not to be found. It was either stolen or it had been towed. I couldn't imagine a reason why it had been towed -- I had made sure to pay off my (many) delinquent parking tickets a few weeks ago -- nor could I imagine a reason why it had been stolen. Who steals a Ford Focus? It only has sentimental value.
Gwen and I found a police car and pulled over. I told the cop my dilemma: "my car disappeared." He was totally not amused by this and asked me to elaborate. I explained that I thought I parked it on Vista and Melrose and now we couldn't find it after searching for hours. He looked it up and ...
as you've probably guessed by the title of this entry, it had been towed.
I had parked in front of someone's driveway.
Yeah, so, yeah ... I am a dumbass. I was on the phone giving my mom advice about how to make the perfect New Year's Eve party bean dip and had apparently been so distracted that I didn't realize that the perfect parking space I thought I found on the street was totally in front of someone's driveway. I still don't know how I managed to be so stupid, but there you go. I called the tow dispatcher place and they told me where my car was. I asked how much of my car was blocking the driveway, wondering if it was, like, a tiny little bit and some asshole homeowner had called the cops on me. "100%," she said. Well, at least I didn't do it halfway. When I block a driveway, I block the fuck out of it. Ain't no one getting out of there! At this point, I was just so happy and relieved that my car hadn't been stolen.
So the ever-patient awesome friend Gwen drove me to the tow garage and I paid them two hundred dollars and got my car back. While I was driving it to the exit, I noticed it was making a horrible loud grinding sound. I think everyone within a mile radius noticed it, actually, although the tow garage guy acted like he hadn't noticed anything even though Gwen was standing next to him and she heard it, so whatever. The tow garage guy said it must be the fan belt. The fact that he didn't seem to know what a fan belt was or where it was located didn't tip me off that he might not know what he was talking about. This is because I don't know what a fan belt is or where it's located either. He said he could keep my car at the garage (for a cost of thirty dollars a day) until the 2nd when their mechanic showed up. I didn't trust their mechanic and wasn't about to pay them any more money if the problem was the fan belt and not related to anything they had done. So I drove the car off with Gwen following in her car behind me. She had heard the griding noise too and insisted on following me home to make sure my car was okay.
As it turned out, it totally wasn't. I got about three blocks before I had to pull over in a Yoshinoya parking lot. My car was pulling to the right and I had to turn the steering wheel about forty-five degrees to the right in order to make it drive straight. And it was now making whistling noises. So Gwen used her Triple A card and my poor, poor car had to be towed for the second time in one day. I wanted to bring it to my usual garage, but they were closed for the holiday and there was no place to leave it on their lot. So I had to park it on a nearby street to come back to on Tuesday when the garage was open.
So I brought it in yesterday and called my insurance company. Apparently, when the tow place towed my car the first time, they attached the tow hook things to some rods near the axle that they shouldn't have, and those rods are all bent now. Way to go, tow people. I mean, what the fuck. Yes, I suck for parking in front of someone's driveway, but it's not my job to park cars legally.* It is, however, the tow truck driver's job to TOW A CAR WITHOUT BREAKING IT. THAT'S ALL HE HAS TO DO. HOW HARD IS THIS? Fortunately, the bent rods seem to be an obvious tow-truck-related injury, so my insurance company doesn't think it will be a problem getting 100% compensated for the repairs. 100%, just like how much of my car parked in front of that driveway.
My car is still in the garage while we wait for some replacement rods to show up. I got a loaner car, which is nice. Not as nice as my car, but nice. The best part of all this, though, is that it's going to cost the tow place two or three times more to tow my car than it cost me to have it towed. And to this, I say:
Think about that next time I stupidly park in front of someone's driveway, suckers!
*apparently necessary addendum to clarify this sentence since some people didn't get it: I was saying that parking my car in front of a driveway, while dumb and deserving of the punishment I received, isn't as bad as it would be if I were, say, a valet, whose only job is to park cars legally. Then my inability to do so would be bigger problem. The tow truck driver's job is to tow cars, and he couldn't do that without damaging my car. Therefore, he sucks at his job. I don't go around parking in front of people's driveways like it's my god-given right and I don't hate homeless people. I do very much enjoy reading your comments that suggest otherwise, but please stop threatening to hurt me. As Captain Picard says in Star Trek: First Contact: "the line must be drawn HERE!" Thus endeth my entitled paranoid princess comment.