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The Tow Files - 2018 Wrap Up Edition
Old 01-04-2019, 04:20 AM
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Default The Tow Files - 2018 Wrap Up Edition

Well, I'm on vacation, and already regretting it. Because although I got two weeks worth of quality personal screaming-in-a-private-room time, I didn't get out of Dodge before the dreaded "holidays" had hit.

Ah, The holidays, that period from just before Thanksgiving on through Christmas and New Years. That time of year where you indulge in generosity and take stock of life. A moment to reflect on all you have that you should be thankful for. Like a job, family, double XP weekends on Xbox live, not being the current General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings….. that kind of stuff.

And it's also the time of year that people seem to think parking regulations don't apply, because only an Ebeneezer Scrooge of the highest order would want to ruin THEIR "holidays" by, you know, towing them?

So everyone is twice as oblivious to parking rules and thrice as salty when the Grinch decides to tow their entire Christmas, including the roast beast! And no, my heart is not about to increase in size.... my doctor has me on meds to try and prevent that, since I have a family history of such a thing proving fatal.

So, who is in the human fail pile this week to close out 2018? Let's see what we've got Johnny!

Someone’s Black Friday Cometh Early

This story also features “F.A.” , a driver you haven’t heard much about because, well, I guess life has decided to play fair with him.

See, F.A. is a veteran. And I mean the kind who actually got handed a legit M16 rifle, got shipped overseas and spent several months dodging actual live bullets fired by actual live enemy combatants and got actual PTSD from it, not the fake kind of PTSD your overly-fragile girlfriend claimed to get from you forgetting your 1 week anniversary…

So, I feel it can only be the universe applying some karma that he very rarely encounters an irate parker or situation that requires a little precision application of local law enforcement. He seems to have both good luck and some of that famous commanding take-no-s*it-but-do-it-softly personality that only the military can cultivate that defuses a lot of potential problems. I.E. - “Please put the knife away and step back or I’ll have to grind your ass into hamburger, Sir”

So, despite being a colleague of mine for nearly 8 years at this point, I’ve not mentioned him much. But, that luck has run out it would appear. He had a pair of doozies to end the year.

WARNING – Story includes graphic depiction of someone’s “thingy” being shoved violently into a place it did not belong. You have been warned!

F.A. had to trundle on down to one of our Borough’s multi-story labyrinthine car parks to help another who returned to their ride to find the battery had pulled a McCoy on them (He’s dead, Jim!)

Fortunately, it was comic-book dead, not real-life dead, so it only took 4 minutes of work to coax it back to life with the jumper cables.

Now came the hard part, escaping the parking garage alive.
See, to get in, you must pull a ticket out of the automated machine to get the right side entrance gates to raise. Getting out requires you to insert that ticket back into the same machine and pay the amount the adorable little trashcan rings up for you before it raises the exit gate on the left side.

Naturally, the Borough has exempted us from having to pay since we’re only there to do our job. (unless the car has to be towed out, then we do pay for the parking and invoice it to the tow bill, to the one person who was ready to post this exception to the exception question in the thread, HA! Beat that!) Anyhow, to bypass the robotic panhandler’s demand for cash, you have to pick up the courtesy phone attached to said automaton and enter a special paging code which will ring in the Borough Building three blocks down the street, who will send over an actual living made-of-meat Parking Enforcement employee with a master key he can insert into the high-tech trashcan to override R2-DETOUR and make him raise the gate.

Why must it be this complicated with all the key-turning and code-entering? We’re not launching nuclear weapons here, we’re just trying to get a flimsy safety gate to raise. One that’s clearly been accidentally broken off and spliced back together, multiple times, based on the scratches and bits of foam pool-noodle taped around it….. oh well, don’t ask me why. You want a major continent to glow in the dark? Name your choice and we can do it this afternoon! But skip out on $3 in parking fees? Are you NUTS!? What do you think this is? Mad Max post-anarchy society where whoever has the biggest V8 and the most leather fetish gear sets the rules?! I DON’T THINK SO! Functional government must have priorities.

Were that not bad enough, the mechano-gate doesn’t raise very far even when he feels like letting you out. Our tow trucks have to drop their loading claws from stowed to “half down” position to limbo out underneath and then go to fully retracted “stow” position once outside again. Darn, just trying to set the scene for this is work! It’s starting to feel like a Catholic funeral in here: Up, down, up, down, on your one knee, now the other! And that’s assuming it all goes RIGHT. When it goes WRONG… well….just wait for it….

F.A. climbs out of the truck, sets his claw halfway down, strolls over and picks up the phone and calls the office. It rings, rings, rings some more….. and some more.

After a half a dozen, someone picks up on the other end. But in tandem with this, F.A. hears a sickening *GRUNCH!* and turns around to see a Jeep Cherokee has speared itself on the back end of his tow truck.

The lady driving the Jeep gets out, looks at the nice fresh hole in her grille, and then turns to F.A.

“Well, what are you going to do for me about this?”

“Me? Nothing.”

“But you smashed my front end!”

“I didn’t do that, you ran into me, Ma’m.”

“But your thingy was down!” (warned ya! )

"Yes, but I was stopped, Ma’m. Have been for almost a full minute straight. And I wasn’t even IN the truck, I was standing 10 feet away from it while it was in “Park”. It’s on you to not run into stationary objects while driving, not me."

"No! You had your thingy down….. that means YOU are at fault!"

F.A. sighs heavily.

"Okay Ma’m, you said the magic words, “At Fault” now, I’m calling the police to send down an officer. "

So F.A. tells the voice on the other end of the intercom to kindly walk across the hallway to the Police Department side of the Municipal Building and send an officer down too. The Parking Office voice says that’s great, each officer has a duplicate gate key for the garage, so the responding one will just let him out when he’s done, two birds, one stone!

So a few minutes later, the cop arrives. He says “Hi” to F.A., takes down his DL info and accident summary for the report and mentions “I just gotta go hear her side of the story to make it fair, and then I’ll get the gate and you’ll be on your way because she’s clearly at-fault for this”

F.A. nods and goes back to writing up his paperwork for the jump start.

And waits,

And waits

And waits

Darn, it should not be taking this long….. he turns to look over his shoulder.

Wait a sec, where did that lady go? Where did that cop go? They were standing only ten feet away a second ago and now……. F.A. twists to look over his shoulder some more and sees the cop all the way against a far wall giving said lady a…… field sobriety check?

Hmmmm, she didn’t look drunk, or smell drunk, or act drunk to F.A.’s eyes, but then again, he’s not a cop, so….. Uh oh, here comes another police car, with a female officer…. And that can only mean one thing…..


Oh, lookie there, the lady just earned herself a free pair of shiny bracelets and a free taxi ride to county lockup. From Christmas cheer to Christmas incarceration in under 30 minutes, wow.

Hope she liked her institutional-grade turkey and stuffing. I’m willing to bet Federal Reserve Notes against toroidal pastries that if said person had the option to rewind the last 24 minutes of their life and try it again, they’d have done it in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t have a quickload feature, but I understand it may be coming in the next patch.

Meanwhile, it’s off to the next adventure for F.A. (another company had to be dispatched to pick up the Jeep since DUI impounds are 911/PD calls and those are dished out by a rotation list so everyone in the biz gets a fair bite of the sweet sweet impound/wreck fees apple), and nothing of value was lost.

A Well-Grounded Person

And here is said next adventure. Up next, we’ve got a car illegally parked at 520 W Donut street.

This is one of those lots we rarely get cars from because it’s not a car-friendly lot. An artifact of a time when the whole block was houses, and it was a collection of backyards, it slowly was hemmed in on all sides as the houses were replaced by apartment flats until we reach the status it has today.

From the air, 520 Donut is now a gravel patch inside the ring of apartments that from above looks like a big “L” shaped Tetris block, with the elbow kink right at the entrance where they left enough room to pass a single car through and then immediately take a 90 degree turn and pull into one of the spaces on either side, there is no other exit. Experienced drivers like F.A. know the only way to tow from this lot is to back in, because there’s just enough room for a car to execute a 3 point turn to get back out, but with a towed load, this becomes a physical impossibility for a truck/trailer combination.

So, F.A. backs into the lot, and weasels his way into the illegally parked car. This requires a couple attempts before he hits paydirt, as our antagonist parked in the very first spot round the corner, so he has to watch the car, and the walls, and front of his truck, all at once, to ensure he isn’t about to swap paint on one of our brand-new Dodges (Just because it says “RAM” on it doesn’t mean you SHOULD!) Because half his truck is in the lot, and the other half is in that 90 degree kink. He manages to stab the car and lift it, but as he’s trying to wiggle it out of it’s space… disaster.

All this ruckus has attracted the attention of the owner, who comes a runnin' and explains he'll move the car.

F.A. tells him it's too late to move it without paying us a drop.

Customer asks if he can get his wallet out of the car if he's going to have to pay.

F.A. says sure.

Customer opens the door, and.... jumps in, starts it up, and, oh no... not another one. Yep, F.A. has just enough time to fire up his tablet and start recording as customer drives off the back of the tow truck. (having only been lifted a couple inches, this didn't destroy anything)

He gets out, quite proud of his work, and declares "It’s on the ground now, I don’t owe you!"

"Sir, you do owe me, for a partial tow, and considering you drove off the truck, it’s theft of services if you don’t pay. So, are you going to pay like you told me you were going to? Or what? "

"I ain’t paying nothing! It’s on the ground, you can’t charge me!"

"Yes, I can, you drove off the truck in an attempt to dodge a bill, I have you on my tablet as doing it. You owe, and if you won’t pay, I”ll have to call the cops."

"Whatever, you can’t make me pay! It’s on the ground now, see? *points* ON THE GROUND!"

"Yes, but you didn't PAY to do that"

"You can't prove it!" (but, we said we had... ugh, nevermind, we'd get further arguing with a potted plant at this point, just remember, you asked for this.)

"Fine, have it your way Sir, you won’t pay, so now I’m calling the police"

And F.A. proceeded to dial the scofflaw assistance hotline. While he’s doing that, Mr On-The-Ground is circling his truck like a vulture, taking pictures with his phone for some God-knows-why reason. And when that was done, he started recording video, again why? Boredom perhaps? What else was he going to do? Remember how F.A.’s truck is across the entryway? Yeah, still is, so this guy can’t get OUT of the lot, he can only stand there and film his alleged triumph.

I guess he expected this to upset F.A. who had by then rolled up his truck windows and started filling out a tow slip because as soon as the cops get there, he’s going to have to write it down anyway as they’ll either make him pay or make him stand back and let us tow.

"This is going on YouTube!"

F.A. doesn’t respond

"What’s the matter? Got nothing to say?"

F.A. continues to not respond

"That’s what I thought! Not so proud of yourself now are ya? You little s*it! You’re just mad you can’t charge me nuthin’ because my car is on the GROUND right NOW!!!"

Yeah, that's it

I don’t know who’s more to blame for this, really. The schools? Social media? Increased solar activity? But it seems that a number, ever growing number, in fact, of people truly believe that filming themselves crapping their pants in public while screaming LOOK AT WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!!!!!! Will make everyone who watches agree that it was not your fault you … crapped your pants in public, but someone else. Maybe they think it'll make themselves famous, and famous people NEVER have to follow the rules! Yeah, maybe that's it, if you're on the internet, then you're famous, and above such petty every-man issues?

Man, people are spoiled by technology. When I was a kid in the early 80's you at least had to get on TV to qualify for quasi-fame. Like that British race car driver, Nigel Tonsils, or whatever his name was… or that guy who hijacked that airliner and jumped out with a briefcase full of money…. Alice B Cooper? Right? It's been a while..... but I digress.

Well, a couple minutes pass and here come the coppers.

One walks up to F.A.'s window to get his side of the story, F.A. tells him about the drive-off and that he's got video of it happening, but the cop says he doesn't need to see it, he's seen this song and dance as much as we have. While the officer is chatting with F.A., Mr Grounded walks up, still filming.

"Sir, I"ll be with you in a moment, please step back to your vehicle"

Grounded doesn't move

"Sir, did you hear me?"

'Yeah I heard you"

"Okay, so why aren't you listening?"

Grounded just films some more.

"Sir, rest assured I will listen to your side of the story, you don't need to be standing here right now, this isn't a popularity contest, and you aren't helping your cause in any way, so step back like I said or I'll just let him tow the car"

Grounded steps back, still filming. The cop and F.A. exchange a few theories as to why he seems to be such a dense subject and so insistent on the personal cinematography, but, come up empty.

Cop walks over to grounded, asks him to explain why he's refusing to pay for a lawful tow, and doesn't get a very good response. So the Cop tells him he has the option to pay, to not pay and allow a towing of the car for illegal parking, or to get arrested, (and he's welcome to film any of those outcomes, but if it comes to outcome 3, it'll be a very short movie )

Grounded chose compliance and paid up, while filming it.

The generation raised by smartphones and overly-caffeinated energy drinks can truly be a puzzling one at times. Future anthropologist are really going to have their work cut out for them when they start digging up our bones.

I tried finding Mr. Grounded's YouTube channel so I could link you all to the video he surely uploaded, but sadly "Idiot risks spending holidays in jail cell over bad parking job and belief his phone is a magic wand that wills his wishes into existence" returned no hits.

You Didn't Violate Me Hard Enough!

This may come as a shock, but we were written a nasty complaint letter the other day.

At issue was the fact that the author of the Nasty-gram got himself a ticket last week because he parked at Sheepherders, an apartment complex that requires a permit to make use of the lot, and he did not have one. A fact he freely admitted. So what was the crux of his complaint?

Well, the sign he admits he drove past said “Vehicles without permits are subject to ticketing and towing”, and he was ticketed…. But not towed….

Oh-kayyy, sounds like you dodged a bullet there, partner. Be thankful. Because Sheepherder’s gives you a one hour grace after ticketing before they give you the hook. Far too lenient in my humble opinion, but hey, that’s the great thing about private property in this country, it’s up to you how much of an anal-retentive bastard you want to be about keeping it private, from a mere “Get off my lawn you no-good kid” all the way up to a hail of gunfire, with ticketing and towing being somewhere in the middle.

Oh no, that won’t do, according to our gentleman. That won’t do at ALL! See, the sign said “ticketed and towed” so since he was ticketed, but not towed, that’s false advertising! But wait, there’s more! See, the sign doesn’t say the tickets cost $20, just that you’ll be ticketed. Therefore, because he wasn’t warned beforehand that it was a monetary ticket, and that furthermore, the promised tow did not happen, he considers us to be in breech of “contract” and REFUSES to pay that $20! And there’s NOTHING we can do about it!

And that’s where you’re wrong, kiddo. We CAN do something about that.
Specifically, we can plant our palms firmly to our faces and wonder how it has come to this. A person, complaining that he was fined $20, instead of $165 (it was a brodozer, so he’d have been hit for oversize vehicle rates had he been towed).

Sounds like the kind of guy who could trip over a hitherto undiscovered Vermeer in his attic and only curse the heavens that it wasn’t a Van Gough.

You Didn't Let Me Get Violated!

My old Boyscout instincts kicked in the other day as I was driving down the street.

After successfully fighting off the urge to light a fire and tie some knots, I had another of my instincts kick in, the odd one where I’m inexplicably polite and merciful to a scofflaw.

Specifically, I saw someone in a Civic pull in to one of those dumpster/dock cutaways in the back side of an apartment tower.

This is a no-no, as this area isn’t even a parking spot. Even worse, the Borough towing ordinance specifically calls out such areas as “Travel Lanes” that are exempt from the 15 minute wait. (They consider getting in the way of the garbage truck to be right up there in the pantheon of Sins alongside arson, murder and using comics sans font on just about anything, in other words DO NOT DO IT YOU FOOL!). You see a car here? You can hook with extreme prejudice IMMEDIATELY.

"Excuse me, you can't park there"

"Nah, it's okay, I"m only going to be a minute" says the owner as she starts to walk away from the car

"Uh, no, it's not okay, that's illegal and you will be towed, that is a no parking area, 24/7"

"But I'm only running inside to grab some things"

"Doesn't matter what you're doing, that's an immediate tow zone, walk away and it won't be here when you get back"

"Even for 3 minutes?!"

"Yep, because that's two minutes longer than it would take to load it"

"And WHY?"

"Because the building owner wants it that way, that's why he put up that *points* sign right there"

"You don't have to be a JERK about it!"

"I’m not, if I really , really wanted to be a jerk, I’d have let you park and towed you as soon as you left."

"Well, you SHOULD HAVE!!!" She yells, and drives off in a huff

Can I quote you on that? I get a feeling with that cavalier an attitude about parking (even if it wasn’t a Chevy Cavalier) you are gonna’ get towed one day for something I’m NOT there to warn you about, and I’d like to be able to present your own desire to be towed as the counterpoint to that upcoming argument.

And then you’ll be in the most deliciously ironic self-inflicted pickle this side of the unfortunate main character in that Twilight Zone episode where they get three wishes from a magic lamp that always backfire horribly on them even though they technically got exactly what they wished for because, well, genies in fiction are always jerks for some reason. You know? The kind that think you wishing to fly means they should give you an infinite supply of airline tickets? And wishing for “a ton of money” results in 2,000 pounds of pennies suddenly appearing in the air directly over your head? Yeah, THAT kind……

F*ck you, Genies.

The Ides of Smarch, With Bonus Lousy Smarch Weather

2018 has been a great year for fakes compared to earlier years. And it’s not hard to see why since the preceding year was just BEGGING for it with that “17” it spotted you in all the permits, the temptation to just mirror it with a counterstroke into an “18” and get a free year of parking was just too much for some.

Alas, as the year winds down, the fakery has slowed

As you can easily intuit, “8” is nigh-on impossible to fudge into anything else, since all the space has already been taken. In fact, 8 is usually what people try to fudge their 3’s and 4’s and 5’s into, so when you hit a hard “8” on the calendar, you don’t see as many people try and make a “9” out of an “8” as you do an “8” out of a 7, 6, or even 5 if you have a really old permit still floating in a desk drawer. Month-wise or year-wise.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have anyone trying, but, with 19 upon us it’s last call for all but the most intrepid of forgers: so, here we go, our last harvest of phony for the year.

Specimen 1 - https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...95&oe=5CC95F2A

That is bad, and not just everyday bad. It’s more like, artists-rendition of the last days of Howard Hughes kind of bad……

Specimen 2 - https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...ba&oe=5C907276

Yeah, that’s a failure. Your use of cutting and pasting on a legit permit makes it a particularly Industrious Failure (tm), but nonetheless, still failure. You FAIL, Failure McFailpaints.

Specimen 3 - https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...06&oe=5C988058

Well, he’s not getting his forgery merit badge, that’s for sure! (The car had a “I’m proud of my Eagle Scout” bumper stickers, tisk tisk, I thought scouts were trustworthy!)

He also had the gall to tell us he was going to complain to the reality office, for what reason, I don’t know… And I know he did because they later called US and thanked us for catching him.

Nice encore with that classic "complain about being made to pay for laws you broke to higher authorities than have already punished you for same" move, but by then, we already had all your money.

Specimen 4 - https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...a2&oe=5CD41877

Concentrated fail right there, three major errors (scissor marks, visible scotch taping, washed-out poor-grade printing that's bleeding through after only one night of damp weather) all on the tiniest permits in town, 2'' by 3'', a halfway convincing fake would've got by us because we don't get of the truck an inspect every singe one in that lot, if it looks good at 30 paces, you'll probably pass....

But when it doesn't, well, you can pick up your "Congratulations, You Tried!" decorated cake at the will call window whenever you're ready, Sir.

Specimen 5 - https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...e3&oe=5C97242B

Here’s a little quick math quiz. Pencils ready?

*Cost of a yearly Pennsylvania State Safety Inspection for your vehicle assuming you pass and need no repair work – $33

*Cost of a traffic citation for not having a current PSI for your vehicle – approx. $175 once all fees are assessed.

*Cost of one “Sharpie” brand felt-tip pen – $1.88

*Cost of a ticket, tow and storage for 2 days when your apartment complex manager notices your ham-fisted attempt to dodge the complex’s “all vehicles must be duly registered and inspected” rule? - More than all three of the above COMBINED.

Guess which one he went with? Go on, guess!

EXTRA CREDIT - The bemused look on my face as I hear you arguing with Beantown over my shoulder about how you “don’t understand” why you got towed – priceless

Short n Sweets

It's the lightning round! Abridged conversations that took place between me and the public that make me wonder: "Do I live in reality? Or do I live in a parallel dimension constructed by a mad genius on an acid trip, designed to drive me slowly insane, that just occasionally aligns with the real world? " Here we go!

- "I thought it was free here!"

So the parking meters, like the expired one you are in front of, as well as the "24 Hour Metered Parking, Violators Towed" signs you drove past to get in here were just there for decoration? Or this isn't really a parking lot, it's actually some kind of open-air exhibit that replicates a late 20th/early 21st century street scene, like at the Henry Ford Museum?

Where DO you people get these fascinating ideas? I must be buying the wrong brands of breakfast cereal since you seem to be lucking into them without any effort at all.

- “Is this your JOB or something?”

Yes, but Just the towing part. The constant migraines and loss of faith in humanity are purely fringe benefits.

-But I wasn’t even ON the road! I know, you pulled off the road, hopped a curb, drove through some unlandscaped open ground and then proceeded to park directly in front of this stack of sheetrock that now this forklift can't access.

See, this is a CONSTRUCTION SITE , and if you thought they didn't like cars being sloppily parked OUTSIDE the building, you ain't seen nothing. They REALLY get mad when you park them INSIDE the building, or rather, what will eventually BE the inside of a building once your car has been removed and the workers allowed to finish the job.

At least they took the gentlemanly route and had us lift you up instead of using their equipment which isn’t quite as optimized at moving cars without damage as ours is. Count yourself lucky.

- I was only here two hours! I know, and that's about sixty minutes over the posted ONE HOUR limit for this spot, which is clearly marked on the sign you parked RIGHT IN FRONT OF. You do know that two is greater than one, right? RIGHT? Do they even PRETEND to teach math in schools these days? Or do they just make a couple token tries at it and then quickly heard you out of class before your constant drooling ruins another of those very expensive school desks? I wanna know.

Plain Ol' Insane

As I'm slowly walking around one of my many monitored parking lots, looking for naughty people to tow, I see a strange red car wheel into the lot out of the corner of my eye. I don't pay it much attention because I've already zeroed in on a differnet vehicle in the lot that also has no permit, and have instructed Beantown back at dispatch to quick call the property manager and verify he doesn't have any contractors down here today.

The vehicle I'm interested in is a white Chevy Silverado pickup, and there's a chance it actually belongs down here today, so we're just double-checking.

As I'm waiting to hear back, the owner of that red car has gotten out, grabbed a couple shopping bags and is crossing the pavement behind me when my radio chirps up, Beantown says the property has no workers scheduled on site today, we're clear to take the caaah. This immediately gets the owner of the red car's attention, probably at the word "tow".

"What's going on here?"

"We're towing this truck for not having a permit"


"This is a private lot, if you don't have a permit, you'll be towed, signs *points to one on nearby post* say so"

"Well, FOR HOW LONG?!"

"Uh, forever? Or until the lot is sold to someone else? It's private property, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No permit? It's a tow."

The guy scowls a mighty scowl, turns an interesting shade of red, and, yells "Well, THANKS A LOT!!!! I HOPE YOU HAVE A FUC*ING WONDERFUL DAY!!!!!!" and storms back to his car...

Keep in mind, all that happened was he asked a couple questions, and I gave him the answers, and this made him lose it.... I never once told him I'd tow him personally (though I would) or that he had to move RIGHT NOW if he didn't want a tow next (though he did). He just asked what was up, and when I said "towing", essentially, he blew up with enough force to put Micronesia on yet another Tsunami alert.

As he's returning to his car, that red one, I'm naturally drawn to take a good look at it, make a mental note of it to ensure he does move, and then I notice a mis-matched fender panel, and it all clicks...

We've already towed him once, back at the start of the week. From this SAME lot, for the SAME violation.

And furthermore, it took four days for him to notice the car was gone. And, that very car was still in the impound as of that morning when I had started my shift!

So, he had to pay for an impound and four days of storage, had to have literally just within the last hour at most, gotten it OUT, and had, fresh in his mind, exactly how much it would cost him to illegally park in that lot......


And there you have it folks, insanity IS doing the same thing, and expecting different results. Proven yet again.

Wherein My Potential Dating Pool Shrinks Again

So, I'm driving down the road the other day when I get a hankering for a Mt Dew. Okay, more like I got my 4th hankering for one that day, as it'd been a good 30 minutes since I'd had one last. Yes, I drink a lot of it, I drink it to excess, don't judge me, every human being is allowed one irrational phobia and one unhealthy vice, no questions asked!

And never fear, somehow, despite having a relationship with my physician that can best be described as the same one I have with my Microsoft Windows (There's seemingly more wrong with it every time you open it up), I've somehow managed to NOT contract diabetes despite the fact that the famed neon green nectar is practically my blood type.

So, I pull a hot corner into the nearest convenience store, snag a fresh one out of the cooler case, and as I'm standing in line to pay for it, I hear a voice from behind me.

"Excuse me, THIS is yours!"

I turn and see a young lady with one of our pink tow receipts in her hands.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"THIS" *points to recipt* "is YOURS and you need to TAKE IT BACK!!!!"

"Nope, that's yours"

"NO!!!! YOU ARE TAKING THIS BACK BECAUSE I'M TIRED OF PAYING FOR YOU TOWING ME!!!!!!" (NOW I recognize her, she's the owner of the GMC Tahoe I've towed four times from the apartment right next to this convenience store, because she doesn't have a permit, and won't get one for some reason.... must've seen me pull in and has decided to try and get ME to pay for her tows? You know what that idea has in common with certain subatomic particles? BOTH ARE PURELY HYPOTHETICAL!!!!

"But, but... you keep STALKING me! And harassing me and it needs to stop!!!!"

And with that, she tosses the slip at my feet, fully expecting me to pick it up, that this little tantrum has made it legally my responsiblity.... I just step over it and pay for my drink. The clerk, who knows I'm a regular and knows I got this, just shakes her head at the scene. As I'm walking to the door, she tries to toss it at my feet again:


"Nope, it's yours, you got it for illegally parking over there, not me, it's not my problem"

'But I LIVE there!"

"Then why don't you have a permit?"

"Because I can't GET one until next semester, they're all full right now!"

"Nothing I can do about that, it's private property, if they're full, they're full"

"Well, you need to STOP STALKING ME!"

"No, you need to stop parking where you know you're going to get towed, because it's not stalking, it's my job to tow illegal cars"

"I told you I can't permit for over there until next year!"

"Then stop parking there, every time you do, you're risking another tow, it's as simple as that."

And having had my fill of this theater of the bizarre, I step over the slip again, and out the door, as I actually heard her start CRYING behind me, actual blubbering crying..... awwww, that's too bad buttercup, did Daddy never tell you that doesn't work when you're playing life on the "ADULT" settings?

Never thought I’d grow up to someday be the villain in a soap opera, walking out on a distraught lady refusing to waive her financial obligations to me, but here we are.

My only regret is that I had no mustache to twirl, and that she looked far too young to have an attractive and innocent young daughter I could offer to marry off to forgive said debt in a clearly uneven trade of truly villainous proportions!

Drat and double drat!

Attention, Attention, All Personnel, Incoming Nastygram!

Ooh, look, in the non-spoiler of the year, we’ve received yet ANOTHER email that accuses us of being all that’s wrong with America these days. What a shock.

Specifically, the author of the letter wants to know how on Earth we can justify “stealing” $130 from his daughter, because that's apparently what we did, and in return we would have the bejeezus sued out of us so hard that we'd have to go looking for a compatible donor bejeezus and he'd sue THAT one out of us as well.

Hmmm, that’s odd, last time I checked in a tow truck, a balaclava and pillowcase full of doorknobs wasn’t on the equipment sheet, so I find a claim we shook down your progeny for cash a little dubious, perhaps you’d like to give us some more information, so we can further research this? Or at least it was words to that effect that Beantown wrote in his reply email that he didn’t have enough from that initial tirade to tell what had happened.

Naturally, he very hastily got a response. We ILLEGALLY towed his kid the other day from an apartment THEY LIVE AT even though they HAD A PERMIT and there’s gonna be HELL to pay for that!

AH, that one. We don’t even have to go to the big ol’ log book, the Tome of Towing, as it were, to figure this one out, as it had all gone down less than a day before.

Doc had found a car in a lot with no permit in it, he’d hooked it up, this had attracted the attention of the owner who came running, and that’s where the fun started.

They demanded we put the car down because we couldn’t tow it, it had a permit! To which Doc, said “Where? I don’t see one” And indeed, none was visible.

That apparently didn’t matter to this little angel, who was adamant that since she lived there, that was all that mattered. So what if she’d put the pass in the glove box? It’s not like it needed to be up and visible like her lease stipulated.

Doc informed her it did.

She then pulled the pass out of said glovebox, hung it up, and declared she was now perfectly legal.

Doc disagreed.

She then took a picture of the pass up, and declared she now had incontrovertible proof she was in the right.

Doc disagreed and showed her a picture he'd snapped a few seconds before her with his own phone showing no such pass up.

And so commenced a 30 minute running argument that eventually escalated to a THIRD call to the Scofflaw Assistance Hotline and a very unhappy princess when the responding officers told her she could pay for the drop, let Doc tow the car, or get herself sized for an orange jumpsuit for Christmas.

She paid, but made it crystal clear that, like a recurring genital rash, we haven't heard the last of her!

And lo, we got the nasty email from Dad the next day, with Princess' picture attached showing the permit in the car and the demand that we explain ourselves while we still have two pennies to rub together, because, lawsuit, remember?

He's coming for all the monies!

So, Beantown countered with Doc's photo, showing no permit attached and an offer to send the police report from the Borough having to come down to mediate the whole mater, because we were in the right, his daughter was in the wrong, and that was that .

What followed was, what could only be entitled “Incoherence” It was a disjointed tirade about how we were liars, we’d be sorry, we can’t prove that picture isn’t altered, he was a 9th level ninja-lawyer with a high +12 barratry skill and a vice-partner in some law firm and we’ll be seeing him in court and, oh, mustn’t forget this, f*ck us, f*uck our police report, f*uck us, f*ck our company and f*uck us some more.

Beantown counter-counter-replied with another email informing our lawyer friend that his last communication with us seemed to be a bit hard to figure out. He could try mailing us again, if he’d like to continue to press the matter, but also that any and all future emails would be forwarded to both or company attorney and the state Bar Association if we continued to have trouble deciphering what he was trying to say in between those copious amounts of “F*ck You”

He didn’t reply to that one.

I’m shocked, SHOCKED*

*Is not really shocked.

Whelp, that was fun, time for a nice, cathartic, relaxing round of self-asphyxiation. It's dangerous, yes, but the total sensory blackouts it will surely induce is preferable to dealing with the public any more this year....as I'd rather chew on the contents of a package of 000 steel wool than deal with another customer right now. I'll see you all again in 2019 once the hellspawn students get back on the 8th .
- They say nothing good happens at 2AM, they're right, I happen at 2AM.

Old 01-04-2019, 04:56 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
Store Manager
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 857

Ahh, another fix from the Tow Files. You keep these bottled up for too long. We NEEDS our FIX.

Old 01-04-2019, 10:23 AM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
Just a bit frazzled
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wandering Greyhawk
Posts: 10,330

...and in return we would have the bejeezus sued out of us so hard that we'd have to go looking for a compatible donor bejeezus and he'd sue THAT one out of us as well.
It's so good to see a post from you again, Arga ^_^
"I shall endeavor to exceed your expectations. Let others settle for greatness; I will strive to be superior" - Doctor Octopus (clone)
"Retail is a cruel master, and could very well be the most educational time of many people's lives, in its own twisted way." - me
"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down...tell you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens...makes her a home." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, "Serenity" (2005)

"I have always thought that when customers tell you 'I’m never shopping here again,' they view that as a threat, we hear it as a promise, but it always turns out to be a lie." ~ 'AdoptsDEATHsCats', reddit
Acts of Gord – Read it, Learn it, Love it!
"Our psychic powers only work if the customer has a mind to read." - me

Old 01-04-2019, 12:17 PM
Mental_Mouse Mental_Mouse is offline
Store Manager
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 691

well, genies in fiction are always jerks for some reason.
ISTR that in Islamic/Arabic lore, djinn & ifrit are explicitly demonic creatures. Then there's that whole "bound to serve idiotic mortals" thing, nobody likes that.

He also had the gall to tell us he was going to complain to the reality office, for what reason, I don’t know… And I know he did because they later called US and thanked us for catching him.
The office for Reality actually thanked you for catching him? Was he a time-traveler, or just an intruder from "a parallel dimension constructed by a mad genius on an acid trip "? (I assume you meant Realty, but this is funnier.)

had, fresh in his mind, exactly how much it would cost him to illegally park in that lot...... AND HE WAS ALL SET TO DO IT AGAIN
That's one badly trained doggie there! I can probably tell you exactly how he got so mistrained... he was doing this here, or somewhere else, and somehow he got away with it once, or maybe there's a similar lot that isn't so watchful. And now he thinks getting away with it is the natural order, and getting caught is the anomaly, and good luck telling him different.

My only regret is that I had no mustache to twirl,
Any costume supply stores nearby?

Last edited by Mental_Mouse; 01-04-2019 at 12:18 PM. Reason: typo

Old 01-04-2019, 12:30 PM
FormerCastMember FormerCastMember is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3

Well done, Sir Arga. Always a pleasure to read your posts.

Old 01-04-2019, 02:18 PM
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drunkenwildmage drunkenwildmage is offline
Professional Geek
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ARCAville
Posts: 534

Quoth Argabarga View Post

Someone’s Black Friday Cometh Early

And F.A. proceeded to dial the scofflaw assistance hotline. While he’s doing that, Mr On-The-Ground is circling his truck like a vulture, taking pictures with his phone for some God-knows-why reason. And when that was done, he started recording video, again why? Boredom perhaps? What else was he going to do? Remember how F.A.’s truck is across the entryway? Yeah, still is, so this guy can’t get OUT of the lot, he can only stand there and film his alleged triumph.

My Brother is a cop, and he has told me, that it's pretty common to see people whipping out their phones to record video when he rolls up on a scene. He's gotten to the point that he doesn't even notice it anymore, but he also has dashboard and body cams to record them back.
Just sliding down the razor blade of life.

Old 01-04-2019, 03:21 PM
earl colby pottinger earl colby pottinger is offline
Area Manager
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,816
Default Work

I have work to do, I have government work to do, yet I saw your posting and dropped everything to read and laugh and read some more.

It is a good thing I am in a private space, read holiday update caused me to howl!

Old 01-04-2019, 05:31 PM
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taxguykarl taxguykarl is offline
Seasonal Tax Preparer
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicagoland (South suburbs)
Posts: 3,915

Field sobriety check on the first one?!? Why am I not entirely surprised
At least she won't have to worry about parking for some time
I'm trying to see things from your point of view, but I can't get my head that far up my keister!

Who is John Galt?
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Old 01-04-2019, 06:33 PM
Rosco the Iroc's Avatar
Rosco the Iroc Rosco the Iroc is offline
Gun Pimp.
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: NE PA, USA
Posts: 1,115

All the Mechs here At La-Dee-Dodge are cracking up over the sticker fix. They want a sharpie to save all that time scraping and putting new stickers on the cars when they insp them.

Specimen 5 - https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...e3&oe=5C97242B

Here’s a little quick math quiz. Pencils ready?

*Cost of a yearly Pennsylvania State Safety Inspection for your vehicle assuming you pass and need no repair work – $33

*Cost of a traffic citation for not having a current PSI for your vehicle – approx. $175 once all fees are assessed.

*Cost of one “Sharpie” brand felt-tip pen – $1.88

*Cost of a ticket, tow and storage for 2 days when your apartment complex manager notices your ham-fisted attempt to dodge the complex’s “all vehicles must be duly registered and inspected” rule? - More than all three of the above COMBINED.

Guess which one he went with? Go on, guess!

EXTRA CREDIT - The bemused look on my face as I hear you arguing with Beantown over my shoulder about how you “don’t understand” why you got towed – priceless
Sarcasm dear, sarcasm. I’m well aware that dealing with civilians in any capacity will skin your faith in humanity alive, then pickle anything that remains so as to watch it shrivel up into an immortal husk thus reminding you of how dead inside you now are.

Old 01-04-2019, 08:52 PM
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AdamAnt316 AdamAnt316 is offline
Old tech nerd, aka Dr. Optigan
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massholechewitts
Posts: 159

Oddly enough, I've heard of worse attempts at sticker fixes:

This once adorned the "rolling dumpster" of an (in)famous Maine ham radio operator. He generally 'borrowed' current inspection stickers from wrecks at the local junkyard, but when he couldn't find one, he improvised. Somehow, he managed to get away with it, likely because he didn't park in the sorts of lots frequented(?) by the scofflaw mentioned above; it's probably a good thing for him he didn't get pulled over by the cops, since they likely would've noticed..........
Goofy music!
Old tech junk!
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