Yesterday, following a holiday party (or two), Gerald, our friend Gina and I went to Diner Delux on the corner of Clark and Devon for a late-night bite.
Imagine our surprise when, after paying our tab, we walked around the corner to find my Subaru being pulled up onto the bed of an impound truck.
Much yelling and swearing followed. But, our pleas and threats fell on deaf ears, and off my Subaru went — on the bed of a rusty truck to lord knows where.
Why was I towed? We parked next to a sign with a giant snowflake on it. If you live in Chicago, I’m sure you’re well-aware of the sign (click here). We assumed it was the same sign…and, while it was snowing, there was no accumulation. So we were fine. We thought.
However, the sign, which, keep in mind, had a giant snowflake on it, was much more complicated after we inspected it closer following the towing. This tricky little fucker said: “No Parking between 3 and 7 am or when snow is over two inches.” Why the time limitation mixed in this the snow warning? That’s just bullshitty.
Why don’t they just go a step further and say, “No parking between 3 and 7 am or when the moon is waxing or when snow is over two inches.”
Or…”No parking between 3 and 7 am or when the moon is waxing or when you are ovulating and /or if you are a Cubs fan or when you suspect it might be raining in the next 30 minutes. Or when snow is over two inches.”
Even more infuriating: It was 3:10 am when we turned to corner to find my Subaru being cranked up on the truckbed, proving they just waited for confused, tax-paying Chicago citizens (like ourselves) to mistakenly park in the area. And we weren’t the only ones: another poor sap across the street discovered his car was gone, after leaving it just 15 minutes.
Gina, in such an unselfish effort, drove me, Gator and this guy, who’s name we came to learn was Darius, to the impound lot located on the corner of Chicago and Sacramento. I’m not exactly sure where we were, but let me tell you: it was the epitome of sketch. Not only were we dangerously close to the west side, a place you don’t want to find yourself at 3:30 am on a Friday night, but the impound lot is like a concentration camp for cars. It’s a muddy pit bordered by a chain-link fence run by some really rough dudes who might tazer you should you just look at them the wrong way. And the office/waiting area is a tiny, ramshackle trailer crudely placed next to the muddy impound lot. That’s where we spent around 1.5 hours waiting to pay our $160 towing and impounding fee.
I, along with a small group of like-minded people, huddled in a corner of the unheated trailer/office as we watched the antics play out before us.
First, let me set the stage: By now it’s nearly 4 am, and all the drunk and angry folks are rolling in via taxi to collect their errantly-parked autos — which seemed to be taken while they were all clubbing. And by clubbing, I mean bootay-clappin.
Here’s a highlight of what we saw: Groups of girls in stretch pants and stilettos escorted by frontin’ dudes ready to break out in a fist fight over who should pay the fees. (At that point, I wouldn’t have been surprised to have witnessed a shooting.) One guy got hauled off by the police for being too volatile: i.e. yelling “fuck you!” about five times to the cashier. Another drugged out girl sat on the floor, Indian style, talking to seemingly no one on her cell. One girl started, what I believe to be, “krumping.” Darius broke up yet another fight before it boiled over.
It got pretty crazy up in there. I mean, it was like performance art.
And we just laughed and laughed and laughed. As it was now 5am, and what else can you do?
Fast friends were made. Phone numbers exchanged. Memories formed.
While not a performance I’d care to revisit, I think $160 was a pretty fair deal.