Friday, October 30, 2009

Ahh Memories

I took my car to get inspected today. (You are thinking - "What a boring post..." Remember this is ME...)

My sticker expires tomorrow so I am down to the wire. I had a momentary freak out when I remember last year’s inspection debacle.

Scene: Crisp October Morning, leaves falling lazily to the ground, smell of fall in the air.

Image of me at that exact moment - What a perfect day!

I walk out to my car. Where is my car? Hmm, lemme stroll around the parking lots to look...Still no car...A neighbor sees me standing there with my keys dangling and a confused look on my face and says "They were towing last night." Yea, well thanks, but I live here and have a resident sticker so why would they tow me?

I am about to call the police to report my car stolen but I decide to call the Condo Association (which resides somewhere in Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell)

"Um, my car is gone and I heard y'all were towing last night"

Evil Secretary - "Yes we towed all cars with an expired inspection sticker."

Image of what I felt like at that exact moment -

After much swearing in my head and asking "You mean to tell me I can’t park my own car in my own condo lot where pay you a condo fee of $250 a month to keep my car safe and happy without the threat of being towed!?"

Oh, before I go on I should explain why I was walking out to my car - I WAS TAKING IT TO BE INSPECTED! It was supposed to be inspected the prior week while I was getting some repairs (I ran over a boulder that fell off a landscaping truck in front of me on the highway and my wheels came out looking like PacMan - it never ends for me) but the mechanic forgot to do it so I was scheduled to bring it back that day.

Yes, I really did get my car towed for not being inspected the day I was bringing it to be inspected.

Anyway, once I calmed myself and convinced myself that calling the cops to report my car stolen wasn’t the right recourse nor would throwing rocks thru the Condo Association office window do much to get my car back, I sighed and went to sign posted outside the condo lot and called the tow truck number. Yes, they had my car. They are in fact legally allowed to enter private association property and tow your car if your stickers are expired.

Having been towed when first I moved in as a "Welcome to the Association" gesture (I misunderstood the confusing treasure map they gave me of where I was allowed to park when I first moved in), I knew where to go. I called a cab and paid my $20 and got out.

I approached the doorway and saw broken glass everywhere (is that a bullet hole?). I opened the unlocked door and the tow office was deserted...I went running after the cab driver but he was gone and this was in a scary warehouse area with not another visible soul anywhere.

I called the number on the scrawled sign that said they had moved and was told to walk down a deserted old highway for a mile and a half to get to the new location.

The new location was a little fenced in lot with a guy sitting in a tow truck. No office even. I didn’t see my car...Er? I ask the friendly, I mean surly, driver where my car is and he told me they didn’t have it...BUT I JUST CALLED YOU AND YOU SAID YOU HAD IT! I realized that this man surely had a weapon under the seat so I just backed away a tried to hitchhike a ride back to civilization from an elderly couple that had just picked up their car. They said no.

I called the condo association with a few choice words and was informed that they had changed tow truck companies. So the number on the sign in the lot that I had called was correct but it was different company and location from the one I went to last year. I suppose I should have asked for the address when I had initially called but since I had visited that same location at least twice in the last year, I just assumed it would be at the same place. (I also managed to get a friend's car towed by not understanding the archaic parking rules - a spot that doesn’t say reserved is, in fact, under our condo rules reserved, dummy.)

Since the old people thought I would kidnap them and refused me a ride (love thy neighbor? not in DC) I now have to walk back down the deserted old highway for about 45 minutes to get to the metro and then walk another mile and a half to the other tow truck place across town.

Me at this point:

I get there, slam $100 on the counter and get my little Chevy back.

The next day I noticed the Condo Association office sent all owners a flyer that read "Residents please note that a new Tow Truck company was hired 6 months ago". Thanks.

So that is why I got my car inspected today - one day before the deadline...

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