Friday, February 23, 2007

Abandoned vehicles and crazy math

I want it clearly on the record that we never actually wanted any ill will upon our neighbor.
A mysterious disappearance would have been welcomed. But we are for the most part GOOD people.
So when the ambulance pulled onto our quiet street, in our quiet town, on our quiet little island, we might have felt a little guilt for all the little snide remarks we had made at our neighbors expense over the past week.
But only momentarily.
I mean, come on! We're not fancy magical people! We didn't MAKE anything happen to her.
But there IS the bird story.
Another blog.
Make a mental note to remind to blog about the bird story.
So an ambulance pulls up outside our house and naturally we went to spy out our window to see what was going on.
As soon as I got to the window to inspect, our crazy neighbor was making her way to the back of the ambulance - fully dressed complete with shawl, handbag, and scarf covering her wily white hair. Within a few moments they packed up into the vehicle, and drove off.
And that was that.
And we, being the new neighbors on the block, knew NO ONE on the street to go and gossip with. By the time I had pulled on my shoes and jacket to go out and see if I could butt in on any sideline conversations occurring on the sidewalk, everyone had already cleared and gone back inside their respective homes.
Trevor and I were left to our own imaginations.
And over the next week, our imaginations had leaped to the most likely scenario - we wouldn't be seeing her again.
Let me illustrate with the following calculation - known as The Relative Law of Pneumonia:
(1 Old lady + 1 ambulance) / # days gone = % chance likely she will return
For example:
1+1 / 7 days gone = 28.5% chance likely she will return
That's science people.
Ok, maybe not.
I may have just made that up.
But I watch NUMB3RS and therefore consider myself a mathematical expert in all things elderly.
You know, I blame this nutty tangent on the coffee.
I am SO tired lately.
Which I blame on the washing machine.
The washing machine that is IN our kitchen and not in the basement.
Where the dryer is.
Make sense?
Yea, I didn't think so either.
Which is why we are building a laundry room in the basement, so the washer and dryer can be united as a laundry collabarating team!
The washing machine and microwave - not a great cleaning duo so much.
But the washing machine and dryer? Much better.
So, in the meantime, on the weekends, I am acting as an assistant contractor to my husband, part drill sergeant, part Nazi.
Hence the coffee.
Hence the weird mathematical chitter chatter.
Hence the awful digression into talking about laundry equipment when I'm trying to stay on the topic of our crazy neighbor and her joy ride in an ambulance.
But at least I haven't broken into rambling directives in German.
Ok, back on task!
Right, she was gone awhile.
Like, 10 days.
And we were SO sure she wouldn't be coming back. She's old and was taken away by ambulance - my money was on pneumonia and either hospitalization in an old person's home, or death.
I'm not going to sugar coat by the way - I've already veered off topic a couple times already and this blog is taking on great lengths, and finding a more discreet way of explaining that we believed she may have died will just take up more space, and require more effort on my part.
You know, like explaining how I won't sugar coat something takes up time and space.
Exactly like that.
Oh my god. What is WITH the random tangents today?
Let us circle back to the story.
Friday afternoon - the Friday before Christmas - our elderly little neighbor was returned to her house. I must admit I was pretty ambivalent about the situation. At that point in time we hadn't really interacted with her much, and therefore didn't know any better.
Know any better - meaning NOW, retrospectively as I write this, I NOW know better and believe it would have been nicer if she didn't return.
But at that point in time, being ignorant on her CRAZY ways, and being a decent person, I thought it was nice that she didn't die at least.
Even if she did have police on speed dial.
Ok, so remember this: it was late Friday afternoon.
Got it? You will need to remember this little nugget.
Saturday morning comes, Christmas eve, and Trevor and I were getting a few things in order before we head out of town for Christmas eve dinner...when Trevor discovered his car had been cited as an abandoned vehicle.
His car.
His well maintained, clean, relatively new car.
The car he drove to the ferry terminal the day before.
The car he drives to and from the ferry terminal every day of the week in order to get to work.
And the citation? Was of the variety reserved for those cars you see on the side of the road, with piles of leaves and garbage accumulating under them, usually of the old and beat-up variety. The very kind of citation that claims the car has been abandoned for more than 72 hours and will be towed and impounded at the owner's expense if it is not moved within 72 more hours.
Upon contacting the 800 # on the citation, Trevor learned a few interesting tidbits of info:
- The parking department was on vacation all week and therefore an officer was dispatched when someone (ahem) called in the "abandoned" vehicle. Therefore, they didn't "know any better" and just cited the car as abandoned.
- The person who called in the citation was "the lady neighbor next door"
So, to recap what happened:
- Crazy lady comes home from hospital at roughly 4pm on Friday evening
- Crazy lady calls parking enforcement Saturday morning, claims Trevor's car has been "abandoned" and asks that it be towed
Now, if we do a little math (bear with me here, this time it's not convoluted), we learn that 72 hours PRIOR to when the car was cited was...Wednesday morning.
Remember that thing about Friday?
3 weeks in our new house at this point and we've learned two valuable lessons about our neighbor:
1) she's very protective about her driveway
2) she's a LIAR
Fortunately our cities parking enforcement department is very understanding and we were let off the hook.
At the time I thought they were just laid back and nice.
But in hindsight?
We now know that they have had PLENTY of experience dealing with the "neighbor lady next door".


Blogger Michele said...

These stories just get better and beter. Are you going to tell the one about falling in the ditch?

2/28/2007 2:42 PM


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