Sunday, February 10, 2008

R.I.P., 1998 Honda Civic DX Coupe

Okay, so GET THIS -- my beloved Honda was stolen! STOLEN! Last Sunday I left my house to go to the gym, run errands, get stuff to bring to the Superbowl party I was going to, and I couldn't find my car. "Hmmm," said I. "When did I last use it?" (last night, after going to the gym, work, grocery store, and gas station, which will become relevant shortly). "Did I park it somewhere else" No, I parked it in the same place I've parked it for the last three-and-a-half years. This is me though, so totally forgetting that I left it somewhere else, forgot that I abandoned after having overindulged the night before, or parked it somewhere else, etc. is not out of the question. "Was it towed? What's my ticket count?" There's that one ticket I refuse to pay for allegedly driving with an expired city sticker, but no. I mean there has been a lot of snow in Chicago lately, but my street isn't one of those randomly-selected snow streets where you have to move it if it snows 2.36 inches or more, or if it's every fifth Tuesday between April and November (every seventh Thursday between December and March, except when it's Leap Year, in which case it's every third Friday between 7 and 11 a.m.). "Where could it be? " said I.

I called trusty 311 - not towed, not moved, not booted. STOLEN. Motherfuckers STOLE my ten-year old, 103,00K-mile, dented, nicked HONDA. Are you fucking kidding me? And from in front of my house! FUCK!

After reporting it stolen and coming to grips with the fact that I no longer had a car, I received a call at my new job the next day (only a few people have my direct number there) from Officer Friendly in OSHKOSH MOTHERFUCKNG B'GOSH, WISCONSIN. I guess the crooks stole my car (which, by the way, had a full tank of gas in it because I like to plan ahead, lucky them), drove it Oshkosh to a new car dealership, stole three brand new cars, and abandoned my car in the parking lot. This may have been before they ripped my plates off and rifled through my things, which by the way included some purchases I'd planned to return that Sunday (including some, um, rather personal items that I could hear the officer blushing about when he asked me if I'd "just gone shopping"). Included among the things they rifled through was an old pay stub with my social security number, home address, and annual income on it. GOOD THINKING. Officer Friendly had called the looney bin looking for me, who then forwarded my new information to him. The OSHKOSH police kept it for evidence. So now I can say if I get polled for a jury that YES, DAMMIT, I've been a victim of a crime! I feel totally violated and upset and wouldn't be able to drive my car even if it was recoverable.

So a million phone calls to the insurance company, the Chicago police department, and the Oshkosh police department, and calls to the credit bureaus and my bank later, I'm still sans car and a little freaked out that criminals know a lot of personal information about me. It's one of the few times in life I wish I didn't live alone. I am kind of psyched about the prospect of getting a new car, which is something I've been thinking about doing anyway. But the fact that I still have to park it in front of my building, exposed to the elements and the thieves who stole my Civic (along with the car of a fellow resident, I've since learned) makes me a little nervous about buying something shiny and new.

I tell you, I'll feel like I've made it when I have an indoor garage space and a washer/dryer in my apartment. I guess these are the measures of success, or at least, a sense of comfort and security.

Meanwhile, it's work work work work. I've officially become one of those uninteresting people who really think and talk about work only. It's been pretty challenging thus far. To be continued on the other stuff...I'm still waiting for further news.

Other random thoughts - Die Hard is seriously one of the best fucking movies ever. And I really need to either author or consult a dating handbook. And get some new music. And go visit someplace warm (again). And marry (or at least date) Tom Brady.

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