Few things really ruffle my feathers in this world. Ribbed sweater vests are one of them. A few more less obvious items linger on the list. Yet the DMV and Street Department take the cake. They are organizations setup by the government to corner otherwise upstanding citizens, such as myself, and attempt to turn them into non-violent felons. It wasn't enough that they forced me to retake my driver's test all because of a failed parallel parking attempt. Nor were they satisfied with my my three speeding tickets, two car accidents, and a half dozen fender benders. All of which were the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's never been enough for the state of Missouri (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and Illinois). They had to try and corner me even when my little blue Lancer was not in my possession.
Last weekend, as a favor to my dear friend Emilie, I lent my car so she could drive to the 'burbs of Chicago. The car was dropped off on Saturday evening. By Sunday morning, at approximately 9:03 A.M. the car had been reported missing to me, though stated as found and impounded by the City of Chicago. What are you going to do in a city that segments off tow zones, permit parking, meters, and open public parking by the square footage? It happens. So that evening we found ourselves two underpasses below the Riverwalk at the Lower Wacker impound lot. We should have known we were in for a round of engaging conversationalists after Emilie's original call to the Department of Streets and Sanitation in the morning went as follows:
Emilie: I'm looking for a car that would have been towed at LaSalle and OakLow and behold, the two on shift at the understated faux wood wall Lower Wacker office had the same shining personalities as their customer service counterpart. They were happy to report they had the car, and even more eager to let us know that they could not relinquish it. Not until they saw proof in the form of the vehicle registration papers and a notarized letter from the owner. Or in other words, my Father. As you may have guessed, the sympathy just came pouring out of them once that fact was given. As luck would have it, the owner, Dad, was out of town. Not around the registration papers, and certainly not in front of a fax machine. Of course I then went into a very lady-like soliloquy about how "ridiculous" it was to not accept my other forms of documentation as proof, and how their "processes were archaic," and I would not leave until they knew just how "absolutely rude" they were and that the whole thing was "bulls***." And we stormed out those doors. Of course we had to walk back in because we went out the wrong one. But we then stormed out again and even slammed the door behind us.
Street Dept. Lady: Make and model?
E: Blue Mitsubishi Lance
SDL: And are you the owner?
E: No, it's my friend's car. I borrowed it and-
SDL: Whoa, whoa, whoa? This isn't your car? I shouldn't even be talking to you right now!
E: No, it's my friend's car and I need to find it. I have the keys. She let me borrow it. I-
SDL: For all you know your friend stole this car. For all I know, you stole this car. For all we know, this car is stolen. Click.
Once my Dad was reached and made it back to St. Louis the documents were faxed. The car was able to be picked up and I was ready to put the whole situation and Street Department behind me. Well it would have been nice to had I remembered that I had the keys now and not Emilie. So Thursday morning I was ready to just be done with it all. We had the cash money, we had the documents, we had our final words. Fortunately a nice temp named Vic took care of us so we were out the door in standard DMV time (37 minutes without anyone else in front of us). But no hassle was given as he was not as read up in policy and procedure as his fellow full time colleagues. The Lancer was finally back in my possession, and being that my building was just above the lot I was able to just turn a corner and legally park it in the garage. But someone from the week's past events had it in good with the Man Upstairs and his friend, Karma, because just as I was about to park the ol' gal in the triple parked garage the battery light started flashing and the wheel was jolting. I saw their point and as an absolution prayed approximately 23 Hail Mary's between my office and apartment. The car is now on sick leave in its designated spot out back. It may come into remission when the garage door opener is finally retrieved from, who else? My dear friend, Emilie.