‎"You must smoke a lot of weed!" the guy at the impound lot tells me on Friday evening. He's amazed that I'm not angry at him, unlike everybody else whose car has been hauled here. "What's with you, man?" he asks.

But hey, I know I'm guilty of parking where I shouldn't have. And Rule #4 posted next to the service window at the towing company says that "We are persons too" and that it's inappropriate to abuse the staff behind the heavy armor-screened window. Apparently nobody trying to ransom their vehicle reads the rules, or cares to follow them.

So I give the young lady who takes my registration a smile and a candy bar. And I'm glad that the MINI Cooper is here, not stolen as I feared when I couldn't find it in the strip-mall lot. I left it there and walked across the street to fetch dinner, contrary to warning signs. Son Merle saves the day, picking me up so the food can get home, then taking his sister to orchestra rehearsal and me to the towing lot.

The total bill is $124, far less than I had feared: $100 for the tow (since the car is less than 4 tons), $20 for storage (less than 24 hours), and $4 for the mile from the parking space to the lot. Rather a steep surcharge on the Chinese carry-out! But this is the only time in my life that I've been towed involuntarily. Perhaps it's a corollary to the proverb, "If you don't miss a flight once in a while, then you're wasting too much time waiting in the airport." If you don't get towed once in a while, are you're wasting too much time finding (and/or paying for) a legal space?

^z - 2012-04-02