Carless in LA
April 24th, 2006 → Leave a comment
So, yesterday I was taking around my friend Jackie who is visiting from NY. She was here visiting her friend Charity… who just so happens to be the girl in the below clip.
Small world eh? I remembered seeing her in this Talk Soup clip over winter break and as soon as she told me she was on “NEXT” I was like, “Oh my god! Are you the girl who fell of the bus?!” She’s as kooky in real life as in the clip. A bigger trip than yours truly.
I was driving both of them around since I was the only one with a car. And we were talking about being carless, and I was saying how much I hate driving which is why most of the week my car sits in the carport and whenever I can walk or bike, I do that. Someone dinked my car once and it was in the shop for a couple weeks. I took the car rental money and pocketed it, and bused and biked around. And life didn’t come crashing down on me. It was just quite, perfectly fine.
I even said some really prophetic words to the two of them: “I sometimes wish that somebody would just take this car from me. It’s such a financial burden. Then I could just share my boyfriend’s car and cut down on a whole lot of expenses. Or have an excuse to get a prius. Or just live life without the car.”
“Please somebody, take this car from me.”
Famous last words.
Today I parked my car in front of Leilani’s and we carpooled to our performance workshop in San Pedro. We come back 5 hours later and the car is gone. POOF! The car that was parked in front of me is a brand new blue car that is severely rear ended. A street sign that was behind where I parked was knocked to the ground. Broken glass was the only evidence my car was there. Markings of metal scraping on the asphalt.
Where the heck was my car?!
As you can imagine, when your car is gone from where it once was, it’s totally a dislocating experience. I handled it well. I was like, “Huh. Where is my car?” A few years ago, I would have started crying and screaming to 911 about it. But I was cool and collected.
Even if it was stolen, or hit and towed away, I wasn’t concerned about “Oh my poor baby car” as much as I was concered that there is a portable record player, a borrowed overhead projector, a vintage slide projector, every costume and prop for “Free?” in the car.
The LAPD was so assholish and useless in the matter. They had no record of an accident or that the car had been towed. They refused to come out to survey the scene. So I had to file a stolen vehicle report by phone. Yeah, because someone really wants to steal my clunky Buick Regal.
These street sign people came by to fix the sign that came down (proof that someone knew of some kind of accident that had happened there) and were able to help me track my car down in an impound lot.
When I called the impound lot, they told me that my car was “blocking a driveway” (total bullshit) and that damage was “360.” Also that it would cost something crazy like $177 a night for every night it was there. I’ve never had to deal with impound. What a freaking pain in the ass. First of all, I was not blocking a driveway, so I don’t know what they were smoking. And second, what the heck is 360 damage? Is it 360 scratches? or is it 360 degrees that the car is totalled? They were such jerkos. Vague money sucking jerkos.
Then I called the police and finally they had in their computers that some dumbass hit my car and created this huge collision. But of course, if I want a copy of the report that might give more information as to the driver and what happened exactly, I’d have to order a report and wait weeks for it to arrive.
So here is where this long story leaves me….
Basically, I am carless. And the things that most bum me out is the fact that I still had half a tank of gas in the car (approx retail value $25), just had my old coolant drained by the sleeze bucket guys at the Sepulveda EZ Lube for $90, and also had some performance art technology in the trunk that may have been damaged in the wreck.
I’m not tripping too hard about tomorrow when I will see my “who knows what shape it’s in but most likely it’s totalled” car of memories at the impound lot. I have a feeling my insurance will give me the blue book value of the car. Meaning I can find new wheels to ride around in.
I am already ripe with excitement. What will my new car look like? My new license plate? Will I make the jump and get the Prius? Will I do biodiesel? How badass would I be with a biodiesel car? Where in my neighborhood will I find the vegetable oil to power my new veggie oil car? What if I just give up on cars altogether and bike and bus it all the way? Or use my boyfriend’s car and enter further into a pseudo marriage?
I’m researching biodiesel now. If I end up doing that, the reusable menstrual pads, the bikes, and the crochet– you can officially hand me the hippie stick.