Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Got My Car Back

Yesterday when I returned home after a very, very long day of teaching at DCAD, hanging the Student Show and shuttling back into the city to grab Echo from PAFA, I had a message on my answering machine from the Upper Darby Police saying that my jeep had been recovered
in Philly and giving me the contact numbers to the Philly police and
the towing yard where the jeep was. It was too late to do anything
about it then, so I hit the sack. I was bone tired from a heavy day and
as I drifted off to sleep I wondered if the car would be totally
trashed, even drivable, how deep thedicking I might get would be to my wallet.

Police recovery unit is way up in a very old part of the city, this
old, mostly abandoned industrial part of the city would really get my
pal BillWray all hot under the collar to paint. the neighborhoods are
rough with a real mixture of old city people and new immigrants, you
see Arab,Portorican ,chinese, black, Dominican business all right next to each other.
This area of the city really declined, even depopulated in the early part of the last
century as the industries moved away of went out of the country or business. Lots of great old buildings here. I love seeing the weird murals and the hand lettered signs!

morning I pulled my sack of potatoes body out of bed and called the
police as I brewed some strong coffee. They said the car was drivable
but that the ignition was damaged as well as the drivers seat. They
told me where I had to go and the steps to get the jeep back. I have
never had a car stolen before, and not having one for over a week was
really ahassle,
it really made me think about how dependant we are on our cars, how
spread out our lives can become because of this. Echo goes to school in
Philly, she could catch the El down to 15th and walk a few blocks over to school. It would be a huge hassle as she has wet canvases to carry and tackle boxes
, portfolios etc. She's look like a pack animal and it would just end
up with something getting busted. The trip home through West Phillyin the evening would not be that safe. I teach in Wilmington, 30+ miles away. I could catch the El to 30Th
street and then Amtrak to Wilmington and walk the 6-8 blocks to school.
It would be expensive and take 2hours or at least 90 minutes each way.
manypeople routinely do this or even worse commutes every day adding to the horrible rush hours and stressed lives.

other thing you have to deal with is the fact that when your car is
stolen the recovery is part of this huge bureaucracy, you have two
police departments, towing companies etc. A lot of things to
potentially dick you hard! Now the car was found on Monday, but I go
the call Tuesday. The place you have to go to get the police to give
you a release for the car is way up in the northern part of the city,
the towtard is way way down in the southwest part of the city. Of course they are! You have to take proof of insurence and your drivers liscense to the police, then they give you the release and give you driving directions to Delaware valley towing. Luckily my brother dave
could shuttle me around today or I would have been paying 70 buck I bet
in cab fares. The towing company also only takes cash! Of course they
neglected to say this on the phone...

So I get the release and drive back into and through Philly to Passyunk
Ave where the towing company is. the thing that sucks about getting yer
car stolen is it gets towed which costs you $100, then $11 a day for
storage. So I spent $134 dollars to get my car back. The ignition was
punched out, so that will have to be replaced, I suppose I got off
easy. The towing place being cash only and having 5-6 guys there
smelled like a way to do a lot of under the table dealings. I felt like
it was a place that tonySopranno would be sitting behind the office
door. One of the guys there showed me how to use the screwdriver to
start my car, so now I know what to do if I need to steal a car myself.
He said his jeep had also been stolen numerous times.

The best
news is that Echo's sketchbooks and school stuff was still in the car,
guess the thief wasn't an art fan. Luckily a check book I left in the
glove box also wasn't taken or used. Maybe the lazy SOB just wanted to
drive home, not take the bus. I don't know how much it will cost to fix
the ignition but I'm sure i will not escape this whole thing for less
than 300-400 bucks, cheaper than getting a new car, but still...

now have my club on my steering wheel as the jeeps parked in the
driveway and now I guess I'll have to really consider getting full
coverage now in case the same Fuckhead decides to take it again.


UrbanBarbarian said...

...damn. Glad you got it back. Club it up! Hopefully that's a good deterent.

william wray said...

You got your car back and some new palces to paint. Not so bad. sound like the towning company took it. ;-)

thom said...

Good deal! Glad you got it back!

Kelly said...

Well, at least it's back man. What a drag though and quite a drain on your wallet.

Tracy said...

Hi Mike, Linked to you from Jeff Hayes and reading this post reminded me of the crappy parts of living in Philly. I lived there for 7 years and went to UArts, back when it was PCA. Also had Scott Noel for a class or two. Anyway, I look forward to reading through your blog more.