Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Dreaded Double Pound


Not content with its weekend visit to the New Jersey Impound Lot, Betsy, my Honda Accord, decided she also wanted to see New York City's Impound Lot. Late Wednesday night she snuck off the driveway of my mechanic Nick and headed out for East New York. Nick called me the next morning:

“Your car is gone,” he said.
“Gone? What do you mean gone?” I responded.
“They came and towed it last night. You must have unpaid tickets.”
“Unpaid tickets?”
“Wow,” said Nick. “Wasn't it just impounded? What a coincidence, huh?”

For once, amazing developments and all, I couldn’t trust my implant – didn’t want to trust it. I called over AJ and had her relay the call from Nick. She confirmed the news.

“You got impounded again,” she said.

Gadzooks! The dreaded double pound! Though that sounds like an unfortunate weight gain or an uncomfortable porn position it is actually much worse. It meant another trip to the DMV, another underwhelming and ineffective performance of the secret technique, another schlep out to some distant impound yard, this one three subway transfers and a fifteen minute walk away, another confrontation with an ill-tempered man in a trailer, demanding exact change. This time I was prepared and brought the exact change, as well as every last piece of paperwork regarding Betsy. I did, of course, forget that Nick had her keys, so I had to do the whole trip twice.



It was a hot day. East New York was squashed out and tired. Barechested men played handball, drank malt liquor from paper bags. The subway station was overrun with weeds, something I don’t think I’ve seen in a subway station before.

Sam texted me as I was on my second trip through: “You should have just left Betsy at the first lot. Relinquished her.”
“Dude,” I wrote back. “So not helpful.”
“You know you could've leased a jeep for a year for what you paid?”
“Ok, why do I even talk to you?”

But Betsy’s parked across the street now, seems to run alright, and I figure she can’t be towed again until Monday at least. And if she is towed? Suffice it to say: I know a guy. Gowanus Canal is just a few blocks away – she’s sleeping wit da fishes.

In case you’re wondering: Who is AJ? My girlfriend. That’s her holding Otis in the previous entry. Sometimes you get lucky, far luckier than you deserve to be. I get to talk to her in the dark.

And what’s my brother, co-implant conspirator, the Sammy been up to? He and Alison are now engaged. He proposed to her with a limo ride treasure hunt through Washington DC, and a ring that runs rings around other rings. That story is here (scroll down a bit).

And speaking of stories…My Washington Post American Idol essay is out. This is the link. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to send along any comments or questions, or money orders for the Betsy fund.

And please: pay your tickets on time.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Bibi said...

hey Josh, I really enjoyed your Washington Post article. Have you read Abigail's new book, The Haiku Apprentice, Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan? I think haiku and sign language are similar. I wonder what you think.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous kostia said...

I also really enjoyed the Post article. If nothing else maybe it will help a few people appreciate AI as more than pop culture. Singing well is an absolute good, and hearing it for the first time as an adult must be achingly wonderful. I passed the story on to a friend who's in grad school to be an audiologist, and she's already saying she'll buy your book.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous sister-in-law said...

josh,
you are truly gifted. the "american idol" article was extremely well written. what a gift you have! i simply cannot wait for the arrival of the book. and until then ill be checking up on your blog. ps- maybe betsy will finally be freed around summer 2007...say around the time we all rush out to barnes and noble to buy the libro

11:21 AM  

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