Wednesday January 25, 2006

Tremont towing

I’ve been a bad, bad boy. First the impure thoughts about Fiona Apple, and now I’ve been caught parking my car in an inappropriate place. To wit: behind my building, blatantly underneath a tow-away sign. I can say very little in my defense (it was late on a Friday night, but not quite late enough, there was no parking for blocks, I used to be able to park under a similar sign at my old building a couple of blocks away without reprecussion) that any would-be parking violator couldn’t say.

Luckily, the nice folks at Tremont Towing were available to remove my car, simultenously getting it out of the way (before it could inconvenience anyone) and reprimanding me, loving-parent-like, for the error of my ways. Well, I called ‘em up:

  1. Yup, the’ve got my car.
  2. It’s going to cost $272, but only if I get it by 8 pm (no problem.
  3. Oh, and by the way, they only take cash).

Thanks, fellas! None of this presented too much of a problem – Tremont is right behind the South Beach Publix (ie very convenient to an ATM), and about a 20 minute walk from my apartment. I got there, and there are a few people hanging out in front of the building. A two-inch thick plexi window separated us from the clerk – nobody goes inside.

The folks waiting there were iritated: there are three or four steps between arrival and getting your car, and between each there is lots of waiting. This is probably to discourage you from misparking again in the future—the less plesant this experience is, the greater the deterrent effect—so it’s a good thing. I joined the others in waiting. “I remember this – everything’s a mission in Miami,” said a cute girl, one of a party of three, who were in a big hurry, obviously having important places to go.

Anyway, the Tremont folks were very nice, considering the hostility they get from some of their clients, and in under a half hour, I had my car back without a scratch (although, when I went back last night, a guy had called the cops about supposed nicks to his van that supposedly happened while it was in captivity). How they got to the $272 figure remains a mystery to me; clicking on the picture of their window will take you to a close-up of their fee-sign, while clicking on my receipt will enlarge it; maybe you can figure it out.

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  1. Miami Harold    Wed Jan 25, 01:21 PM #  

    Save your receipts!

    Eventually you can redeem them here!!

  2. Sal & Sol    Wed Jan 25, 05:17 PM #  

    Carry a crowbar in your car for just such an emergency. “No Parking Tow Zone” signs pull right off. If you’re actually caught—and you gotta be a real shitheel for that to happen—the fine for vandalism is less than the cost of the tow.

  3. alesh    Wed Jan 25, 05:43 PM #  

    I considered doing that – even retroactively. If there’s no sign where they towed you from, the tow was illegal, and maybe they even have to pay YOU something, right?

  4. Otto Moe Beal    Thu Jan 26, 09:04 AM #  

    Way-way-wait. Go back to the part with the “impure thoughts about Fiona Apple,” and rewrite this post. Thanks.

  5. Niel    Thu Jan 26, 02:20 PM #  

    You had impure thoughts about Fiona Apple? You’re going to hell.

  6. alesh    Thu Jan 26, 04:51 PM #  

    Impure thoughts

  7. KentStandit    Thu Jan 26, 05:21 PM #  

    Nice post, Alesh. Now I’ve got my own share of impure thoughts about Fiona Apple.

  8. Kathleen    Fri Jan 27, 09:26 AM #  

    When I was there last, 6 years ago, I noticed that they had rigged an old Super-8 camera upside-down to the ceiling and aimed it at the customers on the other side of the window. I imagine that a lot of those fees tacked into your $272 are needed to offset the cost of getting their security films developed. I mean, the cost of film and developing alone is like 60 bucks every fifteen minutes, and that’s not including labor.

  9. alesh    Fri Jan 27, 04:37 PM #  

    I think they might have upgraded to a 35 movie camera, also augmented with a webcam (i’d like to try to find that feed online – entertaining footage of people freaking out). They might be working on “Tremont Towing: the Movie.”