As I was getting dressed yesterday morning, I heard rumbling outside my window. It sounded like a large truck.
"That's odd," I thought. "The garbage was picked up yester ..."
Construction on my street started that morning, and I forgot to move my car the night before!
Oh shit. Oh shit shit shit shit shit!
I threw on my coat and dashed outside, where I found three cars: mine, a Parking & Transportation car and a tow truck. Guess which one had its front wheels in the air.
"Hi!" I shouted, trying my best to smile. "That's my car - any chance you could maybe, like, not tow it?"
My neighbor, who had been chatting with the policeman, said, "Oh, I thought it belonged to one of those guys (pointing to a house across the street). We've been trying to tell them!"
"No, that's my car," I said. "What do I need to do now?"
The policeman said dryly, "Pay the ticket; move the car."
As the tow truck guy let my car down, my neighbor told me I was lucky that this cop was so nice. "You're the second one he's let off the hook this morning. Once they've got you on the truck, that's supposed to be it." He told me the cop and tow truck had shown up at 7:15. It was 9:30. Mine was the last car left on the street.
Finally, my Hyundai was freed from the tow truck. I pulled the little yellow ticket off the windshield and scooted the car around the corner before they could change their minds.
About 10 minutes later, I was leaving for work and the construction workers were setting up. "How ya doin'?" said one to me.
"Much better now that my car's not being towed, thanks," I said.
"Oh, they got you?" he said.
"I ran out just in time," I told him. "My car was up on the truck and everything. I got a ticket, but at least I didn't get towed."
"That was nice of them," he said. "Once it's on the truck, that's supposed to be it."
"Yeah, that's what I hear," I replied.
"But you know what?" he went on. "Those guys didn't give nearly enough notice. I was out here at 5 last night, and those signs still weren't up. I bet a lot of people didn't even see them. If I were you, I'd contest that ticket."
"Really? Huh - maybe I will," I said. (Although it might be worth the $40 to not go through what Ronson did.)
I wonder what it would be like to walk outside one morning and discover that the street is lined with "no parking" signs and your car has been towed. Maybe that's what prompted some furious fellow tenant to whip out her Sharpie and scrawl an angry, impotent message to the Cincinnati Police Department.
So, the upshot is I'm not allowed to park on my street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the next month. That's going to make grocery shopping interesting - perhaps I'll finally learn to cut back.