I woke up yesterday in a “Sponge-Bob Best Day Ever” kind-of mood. I was so happy I forgot how scared I should be.
I had finally researched what it would take to register my van in Virginia, and I found a DMV that was open on Saturday. So I loaded the instructions in my Garmin and off I went.
I missed the turn into the place, and wound my way via some back entrance trying to find anything that looked like a DMV. It was tucked away behind some businesses, and I was surpised at all the parking available (this doesn’t happen in Arlington… like, ever). So I parked my van and started walking to the DMV – I stopped though because I wanted to double check I had my papers in my backpack.
While I was stopped, a wrecker pulled up. I looked at it briefly and continued to the DMV, only to find the line went OUT the door. Great. At least while standing in line, I had the entertainment of watching the wrecker tow away a Jeep Cherokee. Looked kind-of new, but we all know new cars are not always reliable.
After about 15 minutes, I made it inside the building, another 10 minutes I was at the information counter and the gal gave me a number. Another 30 minutes and I was called up to the counter. They reviewed all my paperwork and said I could not have a title or a registration because I was missing certain documents.
Drag. 1 Hour to be told “go away and repeat this.” I left the DMV, came out and where my van HAD been parked was a set of tire tracks, like the poor thing had been dragged against its will. But I knew NOBODY in their right mind would steal a 1998 Ford Windstar. So, with flashbacks of the wrecker in my head, I immediately set about looking for signs.
Now, have you ever ran half-way into a field and THEN realized it was filled with mines? That’s exactly how I felt. I started looking around and I mean, there were “No Parking for DMV – Violators will be Towed” signs like…EVERYWHERE! They were on every building in front of every parking space. I even saw a family with signs stamped on their kids… it was total Twilight Zone.
How did I miss that? I wondered. So I retraced my route into the area, and sure enough – if one is NOT looking for parking (which I wasn’t, I was looking for the DMV), it is quite easy to pass up all the signs, spot the DMV and then…where I parked, magically there were NO SIGNS. But apparently those spots are covered by the fact they are part of a property that did have lots of signs. Great.
I called the towing place, and they said I was screwed. I called the police, and they said I was screwed. I called my wife, and she said – isn’t it entrapment if the wrecker is sitting there waiting until you are GONE to tow your vehicle? I mean seems obvious that, if I had known I was doing something wrong, I would have said, “oh poo, a wrecker, I had better move…”
So I called the police back and they said, nope…it is not entrapment, and my only recourse was civil court. Plah, like I have time to plead my case to a judge who will invariably find that I was guilty of something unrelated and fine me extra money. “Walking into my court room with shoes untied? [Slams gavel] Guilty! That’s an extra $249 fine!”
I just remembered thinking of all the times I called a tow truck, and was happy to see them. Like, those were the “good old tow truck days” when tow truck drivers were there to help out. This guy sat there – he knew I was innocent, waited until I was gone, and screwed me over behind my back.
I guess this is just proof that tow trucks, like any other super power, can be used for good or for evil…it is all in the driver. This guy was definitely NOT part of the Tow Truck Justice League!
I walked home, ate my burnt spaghetti (too cheap to throw away $20 of overcooked ingredients), took a bus to work, and then when it came time to get my van, I plotted a course that used the Metro.
Now THAT was cool. I have not ridden a subway in years. But the cool thing was the escalator – it was the steepest, tallest escalator EVER. It had to be – 3 or 4 stories tall. I tried to get a picture of it, but I couldn’t capture how massive this thing was. Oh well – not worth the $100 price of admission, but I will take what positive I can from this situation, and it was pretty cool.