I am hated. Despised. Virtually spit upon. All because of my car.
Yesterday morning I drove in to work (which I don't often do), and parked on the side street next to the office. This is the almost "free" street; it has 1 hour parking limit but they rarely check for it. After a long day at work I came back at dusk hoping I didn't have any parking tickets.
Peering at my windshield as I approached the car it seemed like I didn't have just one ticket, I had a collection. Arriving at the car I found they were actually notes of all sizes, left for me. That's when the cop asked "Are you Garth Webb?" I hadn't really paid attention to the squad car with its lights on across the street until then.
Apparently my car alarm had been going off all day. I can only guess that one of my doors was not fully closed and vibrations from trucks was setting it off. The cop said I was lucky because they'd been called early in the afternoon and they'd only just been able to arrive. The tow truck was on its way but they would cancel it.
I hate car alarms and specifically, I really hate mine. I've never felt safer for it and I've always dreamed of disconnecting it. So, I really do feel for the people on this street who had to endure it all day. However, I really couldn't take the notes left for me seriously. I would have fixed the problem if I had known; its not like I intentionally antagonized these people.
Here's what I got:
A formal, typed letter. Dated. Amended. There is a logical fallacy here; was I meant to walk to my car, leave my number while the alarm was going off, walk away and then wait for them to call me before doing anything?
Another full page note. This one gets a little personal. What kind of person am I? Nobody wants this car? Wow. Also I'm not sure if the PS is a threat or just a mistake. The battery was connected and functional.
This one is pretty straightforward. I'm not sure what they thought they were adding to the other 4 notes left however. I guess they just wanted to get a kick in while I was on the ground.
I like this one. In the heart of the online digital world, nobody has paper anymore. This person had to scavenge for an old 2008 calendar to find enough paper to leave me this note. The ire they put into writing the word "alarm" is almost palpable.
This one is a gem. It starts off with the same kind of crazy logic the first note had; do they want me to have the alarm go off, say, 20 minutes after its supposed to, so you're annoyed 20 minutes later than you would be? Also, who thinks there's a control panel for car alarm settings? Then it gets nasty. He'll stop it with a baseball bat he says. Except...that will make the alarm go off...more.
In the end the cop gave me a citation for about $50 and a point on my driving record. I was going to argue that I didn't actually do anything wrong (I hadn't knowingly left my car in that state and I acted as soon as I'd been notified) but in the end its not that big a fine and at least I didn't get towed. Maybe this weekend I'll pop open the hood and see if I can find out how to disable the alarm. Its a German car though, so I may need to buy a metric baseball bat.