October 10, 2007

Car Trouble

I'm havin' dinner all by my lonesome, as is the case most every day I'm off from work. But, this day (yesterday) something new happened, and it wasn't a very pleasant surprise at all. The doorbell rang... just as I scooped the first mouthful of freshly made meatloaf into my gaping, hungry jaw.

Still chewing, I rise from my chair to answer the door. It's my neighbor - one of the few I actually like having as my neighbor where I live.

"Maybe you should go take a look at your old car", he says.

I bought a new car a couple months back. A brand new Chrysler Sebring that I'm very proud of. My old car was a rusty old Ford, and selling it has proven to be a far more difficult task than I could imagine. It stays parked on a free-of-charge parking space for residents of the area who do not have an assigned (rented) parking space to their name.

"Yeah? What's up with it?", I say.

"Thought I saw one of those red stickers on it. The kind they put on to warn you before they tow it away."

"Aw, man... don't want them to do that. Thanks, buddy. Just gonna finish my meal and I'll walk over there and have a look."

So, I finish my meatloaf... not enjoying it at all - my mind being pre-occupied with thoughts on "why would they tow my car away?", "It's free parking... granted, I've been standing there for a while". "But... no one seems interested in buying the damn thing, what am I supposed to do?". But, believe me - I had not yet found out the worst about it.

Grabbing the old car keys I walk over to where I've been parked, and quickly note that - indeed - there is a red sticker on the driver's side windshield. Thinking I better move the car someplace else, I try to remove the sticker - only to find that it's the kind of glue and paper that just doesn't come off. Madly fingering at it's corners, desperately trying to get a piece of it to rip it off. After a while (a frustrating while) I get a tiny edge loose, just enough to get a loose grip on it. I begin to tear, and it lasts for all of a quarter of an inch before it rips apart... all I could get off was a tiny nip of the corner, and that's when I saw it...

...at the passenger side of the front windshield, tucked in underneath the wipers... a stack of them. Not one, not two - but a stack of them ugly parking tickets. FIVE of them to be precise, although I didn't find out until later exactly how many there were. I yanked them off the windshield and quickly pocketed them in my jacket pocket. If I knew the amount I was being fined, I was afraid I might do serious damage to the car - rendering it completely unsellable.

Never mind the red sticker. I needed to figure out a place to park my car, and the only solution available at this point was to go get my new Sebring, which is safely parked in my very own parking space. I switch the two cars - so I now have the old car parked in my space... they can't possibly tow it from there.

Last night I could hardly stop thinking about those parking tickets I brought back with me. Having looked at them, discovering there were a good 5 of them - issued one each day, claiming there was a 24 hour limit to parking where I was parked... if that is the case, where does it say? How am I supposed to know this? No such sign exists, no such information can be had anywhere for as far as I can tell. They amount to a good $150.

Still, today this bugs me. Called them up to inform them I had no intention of paying these tickets, but was greeted only by the response: "We're sorry sir, but none of the representatives who handle these issues are in the office today. Could you please return your call tomorrow? They will be in at 8 A.M."

"Sure thing, mister. In the meantime, how would you like a roll of unpaid parking tickets shoved up your shiny asshole?". I didn't say that last part, but I thought it - and it would have to do.

Set up a new internet ad today, hoping someone will buy the damn thing this time around. Knocked the price down by about $150 from what I had previously hoped to get for it - which now means that I am $300 down on the car (if I can't get out of paying those stupid tickets that is). Oh, and let's not forget the $10 the ad itself cost me. That's almost half of what a new set of tires for my Chrysler would cost me, and I need that soon as winter is drawing near.

Is that really too much to ask? I mean, basically - what I was hoping to do was trade an old car in for a set of tires. An old car (fully driveable) that comes with both winter and summer tires, should surely be worth the price of nothing but a set of new tires. But, now it looks like I might even have to just give the car away... for free! And, again, I will have to take out a few bucks from my savings account to buy the new tires - there goes that winter vacation I was hoping to afford this year.

On the bright side of things... brought with me some cleaning spray, and that red sticker came off with ease, using the ice scraper from my new car.

No comments: