Yesterday, I finally decided to do something about turning 30 soon. I went to the doctor for a checkup. All went well, but it turns out you can't just show up to get cholesterol tests, you have to fast for 12 hours beforehand.
So today is the blessed day. I dilligently stopped consuming anything but water from 8pm onwards last night. I forewent (nice verb, eh?) my morning coffee. The agony. The horror. But all was well, I decided to drive over to Berkeley and make a nice trip of it, stopping in some shops.
But I can't get the car out of the garage. Some casual has parked his truck, windows rolled down for all the world to enjoy, right between the two garages. Now, you might think that this is a bit silly - if you're going to park all over the sidewalk in an illegal and inconvenient way, at least try to only get in trouble with one garaged car owner. But no, right in the middle.
So I look at the truck a bit, go to the liquor store next door and ask if it belongs to anyone (in English), walk up the block and ask the various drunks and strange crazies if they know who it belongs to (in English and Spanish). Then I stand by the truck and practice my French a bit. I notice that there is already a note on the steering wheel saying "Next time I will tow you". Yea! Power to the little old lady with the disabled sticker on her car that was clearly procured by one of her numerous offspring and not remotely necessary.
However, I still need to get my car out. Now I'm getting hungry. I'm fasting - we're on around 14 hours now. No coffee. The last thing I need is to be trapped in the house where food is. So I think, okay, time to call the tow people.
The lovely parking enforcement lady shows up in her mandatory bike helmet in the golf cart and proceeds to use as many of the codes as possible. We've got a ten-niner-forty-two at nine fifteen cross twenty one, charlie mary charlie niner twelve, maroon (ah, she's talking about the truck color), dirty parker seven four. Turns out one of these is her nickname and one of them is the nickname for "call the tow truck". So I'm excited, there's action, but not too much. Half hour will see me out and on the road. I can do a bit of busy work. There's a shapefile or two that needs editing for confusion.
"come back, niner charlie mary charlie nine three nine?"
What's happening... or do I have to say seven niner? Two four-four? (there's a wonderful word used in Tsonga - it sounds like Sharp and you say sharp or sharp-sharp and it means yes yes, great sure, absolutely, yes I did - and many other positive affirmatives, I think that ## fits into the parking lady's lingo well).
"oh, they got some outstanding parking tickets or something" - goody, I think, the tow truck will come sooner, the people will be less likely to come here in the future, they'll learn their lesson.
some time goes by. Everyone in the street carefully parks their huge trucks on the sidewalks - it's street cleaning time. I'm hungry.
The truck is stolen. This is no longer the purview of traffic and parking, now it's The Police's job. Apparently, this truck is from Berkeley. It ran out of gas. Great place to abandon a stolen car. Really great.
One cop car with one cop shows up. He gets out the big cop flashlight and shines it onto the windshield (in full sunlight) to read the VIN. "Yep, this is stolen".
Another half hour passes. I'm starving. I start explaining my story to him. He smiles. He doesn't care much. I'm so hungry. Not that I can't wait this long without eating usually, but this is enforced. Oh the indignity.
Finally the tow truck comes.... ah, and I'm off to get needles stuck in my arms.