Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carma is going to get you

by Scott

It's a long story, but some of you may have heard about how I ran over a homeless guy with my car back when I was at Stanford. OK, I didn't really run him over. I just pinned him between the bumper of my car and the car in front of least, until that car decided to bolt through the red light.

Here's the short version. My backpack was stolen out of my car while I was at a concert in San Francisco. When I discovered the broken window and missing pack, I went looking for a phone. In my irrational rage, I befriended a homeless guy named Cliff. He convinced me to drive him around SF so that he could show me the pawn shops where I would likely find the computer that was in my pack. Along the way, I saw another homeless guy walking down the sidewalk with my backpack! I pulled a U-turn, and he started running. when he tried to cross between me and the car in front of me, I pinned him between our bumpers. After getting my empty pack back, I drove both him and Cliff around the block to retrieve some of the contents that had been dumped. In the process, I soon discovered that I blew out my brake lines to avoid amputating the man's legs. Fortunately, I had a stick shift and a functional emergency brake. After getting my calculater and day planner back, I calmed down and offered to drive the limping homeless guy to the police station if he wanted to press charges. He declined, being far more interested in a $20 bill than talking to the police. The story continues with another brake-less trip to SF to meet with Cliff to retrieve some books, a not-quite-stealthy attempt on my part to stake out the SF thieves' market, and an unsuccessful police raid on an empty warehouse. I never got the computer back.

Fast forward 15 years for the carma. We were getting our kite fixed at a shop in a small strip mall with a small parking lot--maybe 12 spots. As people do in Oz, we parked in the only shade we could find, which happened to be at the end of the lot, in front of the Lissa Rosa Italian restaurant. We decided to walk to get groceries while the kite was getting fixed. As we were walking, the owner of an adjacent business warned us that the restaurant owner parks in our spot. There were no signs, and I noticed that the restaurant didn't open until 11am, so we left the van, and I told her we'd be back before it even opened.

As we returned, just before 11am, a woman in a Toyota Camry started yelling at us, "why did you park there?!" It was Lissa Rosa, and she was pissed. Heather offered to move the van, but Lissa kept at it, telling me that she pays for those parking spots. I told her that since she pays for those parking spots she should pay for a f*#@ing sign saying so. That pushed her over the edge. In her haste to box us in with her car, she hit me and knocked me to the ground. I got up and slapped back her side mirror. At that point, she got out of her car, took her keys with her, and said she was calling the police. For what, we weren't sure. Probably not to report herself for vehicular assault.

When she returned to inform us that the police were coming, we once again offered to move the van, but she wouldn't let us out. Even the owner of the adjacent business tried to reason with her, telling her to just move her car, but no. She kept badgering us about parking in her unsigned spot and claiming that I said f*@# you, when I did not. Getting nowhere, we walked a few doors down to check on the status of the kite. He had just finished, and while we were paying, the police arrived to ask if anyone was the owner of the white van. We said yes, and they asked if we were ready to leave. Again, we said yes, and that was it. The police told Lissa to move her car and she did. She was still talking to the police as we drove off smiling and waving. I'd like to think she got charged with something--vehicular assault? unlawful detention?--but probably not. In any case, watch out Lissa Rosa of South Tweed Heads NSW. It may take 15 years, but carma is going to get you.

No comments: