Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Prodigal Car Returns Home

Hi again.

Ok, so as you may have guessed from the title, we got the Camry back.

My insurance guy called Wednesday morning and said "Good news! They found your car! It turns out that it was just towed after all and you can pick it up at the Navy Yard."

Now, I'm not exactly sure what part of this was supposed to be the good news.

Finding the car? Well, ok, I'll give him that one. But, to be honest, hubby and I were already online picking which car we were going to get as a replacement. I had my eye on a cute little Mazda Millenia for 3,000 clams. Oh well.

They towed it? Is that the good news? Because the last I heard, the towing of a car rarely turns out to be any kind of good news for the owner. As a matter of fact, from my understanding, the towing of one's car is exactly the opposite of good news.

Pick it up in at the Navy Yard? Um, in New York? Is that the good news? Well, after having gone there I can emphatically state that no, it is definitely not good news to hear you are going on a littly tripsy to the Navy Yard to try to recover your car. No siree.

Anyway, I figured I would first call my cousin and let him know the car turned up. It's a good thing I did because he gave me the best advice for dealing with the fiasco that was about to ensue. He told me that New York is basically like a very large Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office and "if it doesn't say it on the paper, you can't do it". As it turns out, that is exactly true. And the funny thing is, to get your car, that is supposedly stolen, you have to coordinate the police department with the Navy Yard with the insurance guy and they all have different pieces of paper and none of them say the same thing. In fact, they all say something different.

I called the Navy Yard first and asked what I needed to do to get my car. The womam I spoke to said to bring $225 and my registration. Then I asked where it was towed from. She told me that it was towed from some location far, far away from where I parked it. Ha! Stolen! I told her my registration was in the car which was stolen. To which she replied "Dat's okay, you can jus come here an' git it outta yo car." I tried to explain that I didn't know if it was in my car because it was stolen. My car. Was stolen, you see. So I don't know if I even have a glove compartment any more let alone the contents that are supposed to be therein. To which she replied "Hmmmmm......" After a while of back and forth with her, she told me to call the police department and get a copy of the report. Ok. I can do that.

Or not.

Because, as it turns out, the policeman, Officer Oats - McCarthey, NEVER FILED THE REPORT!!!!! That's right. No report. Because he apparently didn't get my message with my license number. Or, maybe he did but he just didn't get around to doing the paperwork. So, now I had a real problem. The piece of paper that the gal at the Yard had said I needed to have one of two other pieces of paper, neither of which I had. And since you cannot reason with a piece of paper at the Navy Yard, you are shit out of luck if you want your car.

In the mean time, I figured I better call my insurance guy and see what I do if I can't drive the car. You know, if they took the engine along with the glove compartment. So I call him and ask and he says since it was towed, they don't cover anything.


Um, what?

He explains again that, since my car was just towed and not actually stolen, they don't really cover anyting.

Um, no.

I explain to him that oh yes indeedy my car was so stolen and what do you think I am? Some nincompoop who doesn't know the difference between having a car stolen and having a car towed? What do I look like? Or sound like since you can't see me? Anyway? He wasn't having any of it. He was all Mister No Tow.

I called the Navy Yard. Again. And the woman was "Oh, you're the one with the Camry." And I said "Not really but I'm still working on it" and she thought I was all kinds of funny. Anyway, I asked her to verify where it was towed from and she told me it was picked up in a land far, far away on a street called Eastern Parkway. And I know - even if I don't know my way around Brooklyn - I know it wasn't parked on Eastern Parkway. So I asked her if there was something she could print out because my insurance guy was getting a little bit of an attitude with me. She was very understanding and told me to have him call and talk to her. Directly. Because she is the woman with the paper. Ha!

So, I call the insurance guy and he was all "Sure, I checked and it was towed from a different spot so you just go and look at it and here's my number and you call me if we need to get you a tow truck." That's right, insurance guy! You will tow my car if it doesn' have an engine, glove compartment and registration card.

Crap! I still didn't have the card. And then I remembered that the renewal form was sitting in front of me. Ho, ho! Things were falling into place now. Now all I had to do was get to Pottsville and pay an exorbitant amount of money to get an on-the-spot renewal, drive to New York and get my car! Cake!

However, on the way to the renewal place, the pressure started getting to me. And my hubby. By the time we got to Pottsville I was ready to just take a bus "and take care of everything myself! Harumph!" Fortunately, cooler heads eventually prevailed and we decided to take our aggression out on some snack food instead.

The next part of the story is really boring because it involves driving to Brooklyn. Which takes about 59 hours. And isn't very exciting. Especially when you did it two days before. Then it is anything but exciting. More like excruciating.

Fortunately, my dear cousin set me up with spot-on directions to the Navy Yard and we made it there without incident. They only let one person back to get the car because, I guess, "two people" is not an option on the paper. Since the car is in my hubby's name, he had to go do the claiming. I got to sit on the sidewalk and watch as unfortunate car after unfortunate car was brought in riding the hook of an NYPD tow truck. I gave my hubby strict orders to call me on my cell phone when he got to the car. I anxiously awaited the news.

Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, tick...


Me: What? What is it? Is it a wreck?
Him: No. I'm not there yet. I'm still in line.
Me: Oh, ok. How long do you think it will take?
Him: It's a slow process.
Me: Oh. Got ya. Ok, call me when you get there.
Him: Ok

Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, tick...


Me: Well? How is it?
Him: I'm not there yet.
Me: Oh, well where are you?
Him: Waiting for the shuttle to take me to the car.
Me: Shuttle?
Him: Apparently there's a lot of cars.
Me: Oh.
Him: Where are you?
Me: Still sitting on the front side walk.
Him: Stand up and turn around
I stand up and turn around.
Him: Do you see me?
Me: Oh, there you are.
Him: Ok, here's the shuttle.
Me: Ok, well have fun. Good luck.

Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, tick...


Me: What? What's the story?
My son: What?
Me: What?
My son: What are you doing?
Me: I'm waiting for daddy to get to the car.
My son: Is it wrecked?
Me: I don't know yet.
My son: Ok, well call me when you know.
Me: Ok, bye.
My son: Ok.

Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, tick...


Me: Well?
My son: Well?
Me: What?
My son: Did he see it yet?
Me: No! I'll call you. Don't call me. I'll call you.
My son: So you don't know anyting?
Me: I will call you. Ok? I promise.
My son: Ok

Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, ti...


Me: Who is this?
Hubby: It's me. What do you mean?
Me: Nevermind. What's the story?
Hubby: Flat tire. Dead battery. Looks like they went through the glove compartment.
Me: That's it?
Hubby: Hold on. Let me check. (Opens trunk.) Hmmm...it looks like they ransacked the trunk. Everything is all over the place.
Me: Um...
Hubby: What?
Me: Um...they probably didn't ransack it. That's how I keep it.
Hubby: mumble, mumble, mumble
Me: Anything else?
Hubby: Doesn't look like it. Let me change the tire and get the shuttle people to jump the car and I'll be out.

After a little while, he came out with our little rolling stone and we looked it over again. As it turns out, there was a little dent on the front driver's side, the blown out tire and a very loose ignition. As far as personal belongings, they took the owners manual (what?), the registration and insurance, the change out of the ashtray and a case of water out of the trunk. Apparently none of my other belongings hold much value in the city. Well.

So, folks, there it is. The conclusion to my very exciting tale of Grand Theft Auto. No large loss or damage, hubby got to see the Navy Yard and our little Camry is hopefully over its case of wanderlust. I love a happy ending.


Lauren said...

Sounds like quite an adventure! Holy cow. I hope it doesn't cost too much to fix it.

D.B. Echo said...

Dead battery? Did you say DEAD BATTERY? (Please see previous comment regarding getting a dead battery, abandoning the car, and having it towed away.)

Well, maybe they just left the lights on after they got the flat tire. I'd rather think that the dead battery caused them to crash into a curb and flatten the tire.

On a much, MUCH more serious note, I suspect that you are now ALSO the victim of IDENTITY THEFT, and recommend that you take action IMMEDIATELY.


Based on what they stole - owner's manual (which might have ALL SORTS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION written in the inside front cover), registration, and insurance - they've got quite a bit of information on your identity. And if you, like me, have a habit of leaving credit card receipts and pay stubs lying all over the inside of your car, they may have a bit more than that.

Identity theft is great fun. Been there, done that.

Hmmm...I'd better start cleaning all the paystubs and credit card receipts out of my car...

Cuz E said...


hate to say it Cuz-but sounds like old d.b. echo may be on to something. The wife and I were thinking and considering the same thing.

We advise you keep an ever stressed out eye on your hubbies identity. We recomend you give him some kind of scar or prison tatoo that you can use to insure it is actually him who's milking your goat.

anne said...

We've already been in touch with the insurance guy and it seems as though everything will pretty much be covered. No worries there.

I did read read you other post on the dead battery and I am going to assume that my little Camry - after having enough of an adventure - quit on the thief causing a swerve and blow out, knocking said car thief out of seat, through the air and into a garbage bin. Hopefully.
Regarding the identity theft - we already told our insurance guy and Penn DOT (for what they're worth) about the information that was stolen. Fortunately, I don't write anything down in my owner's manual - it was basically a reference for things such as "Hmm...now how much oil does this take again?" and "Fuse, fuse, fuse...which fuse works that thing?" I try to be very careful with receipts and such but who knows what was really in there? Thank you for the caution and be assured that I am already working on that potential disaster.

cuz e-
You know there was a shady looking character asking about my goat's teats...

Jozet said...


And I thought my fender-bender would make a good story, lol!

I'm glad you got your car back.

As for the identity theft...if someone does come around here claming to be you, do I have to give them back all the cool jeans you gave me? Because those bootcut Gaps make my butt look really good.

BTW, I got your email. I'll give you a ring-a-ding today or tomorrow night.