Lorelai has joined the list of jailbirds in my family. Here she is at the impound lot, after we bailed her out and before we left for dinner on Thursday night.
How did she get there, you ask? An ambiguous sign. This is the sign that was posted when I walked back to the lot on my lunch hour on Friday. It is most emphatically not the same sign that was there when I parked Lorelai.
I do know what R-E-S-E-R-V-E-D means. If that sign had been posted there on Tuesday morning, I would not have parked in the selfsame spot nor again on Thursday morning. The previous sign said Monthly Parking, with a phone number; there was nothing to indicate that it was not also daily parking.
This is the sign I relied upon, above the box to hold my $6, which faces the small triangular lot where I parked, and not the larger lot behind it.
And yes, now I can see that there are two different phone numbers. Hindsight; gotta love it. I parked in space #21. Why would I not think that that 21 was the one in the 1-199?
Oh, how I wish I had photographed the first sign when I realized that Lorelai was gone. But at that point I could barely remember my name, much less think beyond the next phone call to find out who had taken my car, and why. I called the towing company on the sign immediately above. Their towing company only goes out at night. The dispatcher said I was the second call he had gotten that day about the same parking lot and politely suggested that I call the police. There are rogue towing companies operating in Dallas, and there has been much publicity of late. So that was a definite possibility.
I called the cops, and it took the dispatcher five to seven minutes to find out who had taken my car. Another legitimate towing company, the one used by the parking garage attached to my office building. I called them once when Earl had a dead battery, and they towed him to a nearby Wal-Mart. [Note to new-ish readers: Earl was my Saturn and not the father of my children. He got his name from the Earl’s in the Trunk bumper sticker.]
I called Towing Company #2 and confirmed that they were indeed holding Lorelai prisoner. Then I called Brother Sushi, who was in town, and willing to come, and able to bail her out. At that point I had approximately $6 in my checking account, as it was the day before payday. And this was going to be a cash-only transaction. I walked over to the McDonald’s that is near my office and took up my knitting while he finished a service project for his ward and drove over to BigD.
I was overcome by the french fry fumes and bought a BigMac while I waited, but mostly I knitted.
I was really glad to have Brother Sushi with me to get the car. The impound lot was in a scary neighborhood in East Dallas. I certainly couldn’t have walked there, both because of the distance from downtown and because of the liveliness of the neighborhood.
I also had to borrow gas money to get home. I had been planning to use $5 of that $6 to put gas in the car, but the BigMac had eaten over half of it. While I was tanking Lorelai, a man finished wiping his windshield and lights, smiled nicely, and asked if I would like him to wash mine. A small act of kindness that threatened to make the tear ducts bubble up and flow over. I had a brief suspicion that he was going to be one of those characters who washes half a windshield and offers to break off a wiper if he doesn’t get a tip. But I also knew that Brother Sushi was parked about 15 feet away and would be there in a New York Minute if it got weird.
Mercifully, no drama. Just one of God’s children being kind.
And then Brother Sushi bought me dinner, or rather dessert while he ate dinner. We hugged in the parking lot, and he said, “You know, someday this is going to be funny. Not tonight, but someday.”
“Yeah, not tonight, but someday.”
“Though actually it’s already starting to be a little funny.” And we both snorted a little.
“That’s only because we are exhausted and ate dinner too late.” By then, it was 10:00.
There is an appeals process for the towing fee. I’ve already taken the necessary photos and am organizing things in my head. I’ve scanned both sides of the impound receipt and will also make photocopies. I’ll make some phone calls on Monday to see how to get my day in court. And if I get no satisfaction there, I may very well contact the Dallas paper and the TV stations.
I am thankful that the sign has been revised; it will save somebody else a lot of grief.
One final image from the trip last weekend. Lady Zen snapped this of Trainman and me, sitting across the aisle from her on the ride home. Used with permission.
It was colder than a bill collector’s heart outside yesterday; hard to believe that last weekend we were in shirtsleeves.
I had hoped to get my nails done, but the NailDude was out of town. Instead, I took Middlest her completed socks, left an envelope with moola for Brother Sushi, as they go to church with him, and he had to leave at noon, which is about when I hit the ATM at my bank. I met up BestFriend after that, and we sat at Taco Bueno and ate cheap food and caught up. I found the yarn for BittyBit’s sweater, 50% at my LYS which is going out of business.
@ Middlest: yes, those socks are hand-wash only, and don’t even look at them crosswise while they are in the sink. Use a mild detergent, such as Ivory, and just let them soak awhile. Then rinse them gently in water the same temperature until the water runs clear. Do not wring or twist, or you will end up with socks that fit BittyBit or one of your dolls. And then we both will cry.
It is turning out to be a better weekend than I might have expected. I have seen or spoken to all but one daughter, and all but one grandchild. I have resisted the temptation to comfort myself with shopping [the yarn doesn’t count, because it is for a specific project, and Secondborn will reimburse me for the portion that I use; I bought all they had in that dye lot]. BestFriend’s sock fits, and like me she prefers the real sock to the tube sock, which I just frogged back to the end of the toe increases. I am working the heel flap on the first sock, and it will be my church knitting today. And then I think I will come home and work on my March Sockdown! sock for awhile.
Theres a singles’ potluck and fireside tonight. I will almost certainly go to that, once I decide what to take for dessert, and if I am not napping.
Lorelai has stopped twitching. I am nearly there, myself.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!