I was enjoying another self-declared snow day, streaming my lectures, when I saw a particularly shady plow pass by my window. I thought, “Man, I hope that guy doesn’t hit my car,” but quickly dismissed what was surely a paranoid thought. About 8 seconds later I heard a crunch, and recognized my car alarm. The son-of-a-bitch was gone before I made it to the end of the block.
I’m not a big fan of Philly to begin with, since I’ve had terrible luck with my vehicle after moving here. Last year, my car was broken into and my airbags stolen, while parked in front of a church. I know you can’t expect criminals to show any sort of morality, but I mean come on, Baby Jesus was watching!
Of course, this story doesn’t end with a dragging bumper and gouged fender. I decided this was no emergency, so I looked up Philly’s municipal line, which is apparently “the only number you need to call when you need information or help from the City of Philadelphia” – unfortunately, I got an automated message telling me the service is no longer available. So I looked up the number for my local police precinct, who told me they “don’t deal with hit and runs – call 911.” Well, far be it from me to want to tie up emergency services, but if the local 5-0 don’t give a shit, I don’t either. It took about 1.5 hours for a squad car to arrive (which was better than last year).
After settling the report, I got back on the phone with my insurance company, who wanted to arrange for towing. I had to get off the line with an “insurance specialist” to speak to a “towing specialist” who proceeded to act as a liaison between myself and the towing company – I went through 6 cycles of being on hold. Apparently, the towing company was concerned about my street not being sufficiently plowed, how to get here, etc. – I gave them all of the information (through the towing specialist, of course) only to find out that they’d rather pick it up tomorrow, after all.
This was relayed to me by the towing specialist, who said:
“They’d like you to leave your keys in the unlocked vehicle until they can pick it up at around noon tomorrow. I suggest leaving them under the floor mat, because no one ever thinks to look there.”
So, right about now, I’m looking around, expecting Aston Kutcher to jump out of my trunk with a damn camera crew. I promptly told her to relay to the towing company that they could go to hell and that I would do no such thing.
All in all, I can’t believe how much of a hassle this is turning out to be – just like that, the amount of my deductible is no longer mine, simply for leaving my car in a legal parking space overnight. I’m not sure what else to do, except perhaps call up City Hall and share my favorite legal services commercial with them:
Update: My car was finally picked up (2 hours late.. not that I was going anywhere), and when I thanked the driver and reminded him to “drive safe,” he replied with: “Thanks, you too.” I didn’t find it as funny as he did.
So now this story also has an involuntary “you too.”