We had a beautiful afternoon. Angela and I were having a fantastic drive to downtown Houston, sunshine streaming through the open roof of the Jeep, excited to see the unusual and very cool Illuminarium with her boy and we were all smiles.
How could anybody have a bad day when you have the company of good friends, and things like this going on right above your head?
Or when you’re spending time with a friend doing this?
It was a really, really good day.
Until we happily skipped back to the Jeep, snowcone in hand.
And it was gone.
My awesome little parking space, which was so easy to remember, was empty.
I would have panicked, but I noticed right away that all of the nearby parking spots were empty.
Then some of this happened:
My wonderful day was becoming a little less wonderful by the minute.
Towed! How could that happen? I was parked legally! I fed the meter twice! There was no reason to have my Jeep towed.
Except there was.
Remember that great spot I wrote about that was right in front of the baseball stadium, and therefore easy to remember? WELL. If you looked about a half a block away from where I parked, on a tiny little green and white sign hidden behind some green leaves on a very pretty tree branch, there was a sign.
No parking in this location within two hours of any event at the stadium.
No schedule to tell me when those events might happen, just a tiny little phone number you can call to check yourself. On the hidden sign. Half a block away.
Guess who arrived back at her Jeep one hour and fifty minutes before a game started?
So we tracked down two different police officers until we found one who could tell us where my Jeep might be. I called the towing yard and they didn’t even have it yet. I probably missed that tow truck by about two minutes.
At least somebody got something good out of it. Angela’s boy was really excited to take his first taxi ride.
A taxi ride through some very rough parts of Houston’s east side, with a driver who had no idea where he was going. We made quite a few jokes about getting lost in gangland.
Do you know how expensive it is to have your car towed?
It cost me $223.80 to pick it up. They only towed it about five miles away, and they DIDN’T EVEN HAVE IT FOR TEN MINUTES. I had to wait for them to process the paperwork because I arrived before the driver had even dropped them in the office.
And THEN… Guess what was waiting for me on the windshield?
A $40 parking ticket.
Thank you, very pleasant and young cashier, for handling my transaction quickly and so professionally. I’m sorry I couldn’t thank you, but I was too busy being self riteous about the amount of money the city just robbed me of. I hope my ironic smile was enough.
So I spent $10 to see the Illuminarium, about six bucks for the parking meter, $223.80 for the tow, $40 for the parking ticket, and $12 for the taxi, for a total of $291.80.
I should have just paid the extortionate $30 to park in one of the nearby lots. Humph.
And thank you, Angela, for your most excellent blogger reflexes! You know you have a good friend when she is busting out her camera when misfortune strikes.
She also refinishes and sells beautiful second hand furniture. Are you in the houston area and looking for some great pieces for your house? You can find her here: Jenny’s Vintage Modern Revivals