Well I'm not at Colonial Beach this weekend and I'm not racing. Do I feel badly about it? Sort of...I would have liked the chance to try another swim start before the Patriot Oly in September. Maybe I'll do the sprint at Timberman. One thing for sure, I'll be getting into that lake at Placid next weekend, hopefully more than once. I haven't had a chance to open water swim since Morgantown which made me a bit reluctant to try it in a race tomorrow. I sent Steve off on his own. I need a weekend when I don't have to pack and I don't have to take a long car ride.
We had a good ride this morning. He said it was going to be an 'easy' ride. Of course it didn't turn out that way. Which only confirmed my decision not to race. I haven't tapered at all this week and I don't want to.
Anyway the real story of the week is a heck of a lot more interesting than my non-racing antics.
Sarah had to go to court Thursday appealing a guilty charge for failure to yield from her accident in March. No way we could let that one stand when she already has a speeding ticket (and she's only been driving a year!) So I insisted she appeal it. The officer dismissed the charges...awesome!! But then we come out of court to find our car gone; towed actually. There had been no parking in the courthouse parking lot so we parked in the Harris Teeter across the street, as did several other unfortunate souls. Here's the kicker though: The no parking signs were small enough to be almost nonexistent.
Sarah and I had to call Steve and he had to leave work, drive all the way out to the courthouse and then take us all the way back 25 miles to S. Witchduck road. Oh and let's not forget the $125 we had to hand over to these fools.
I was furious. I had not seen any sign. I told the woman who answered the phone there were no signs. (Later I found them after significant searching). I asked her how they knew the people who were towed were at the courthouse...she tells me that someone from Jack's sits in a car and watches people park and leave! And he couldn't tell me I wasn't allowed to park there!?! How f*&!king low! I felt so helpless, what could I do? I had to have my car back and these idiots had it! They were rude and vicious as junkyard dogs. One of the drivers did his best to goad Steve into a fist fight.
Think, think I told myself. How can I get these people where it hurts? Small claims court?
Remember that story when Jesus gets all pissed off because they're selling stuff in the temple. He trashes the place and yells at them for making his Father's house into a den of thieves? The way that story is told in Sunday school you come away thinking he went into a rage. But it isn't like that in the bible. In the bible, he went away and made a rope. He made a rope. He was mad, but He didn't react immediately to his anger. He thought about what to do and how He could make the most impact and He made a rope.
I thought about what I could do and how I could make the most impact. Hit them where it hurts, their pocket book!! So I decided that I will go the Harris Teeter parking lot every day and warn people from 8:30 to 9:30 not to park there. Jacks Towing will not make one more penny from this scam if I can help it. I started at 8:30 Friday morning.
The girl from Jack's showed up at about 8:50. She sits in her truck and calls in license plate numbers. Only Friday, there weren't any to call in because I ran around that parking lot telling people not to park there and pointing her out to them. She tried to intimidate me by taking my picture twice with a cell phone. But I saved at least 20 people $125 that day!! And I'm just getting started!
I am beginning to realize that this is quite a lucrative venture. At 9:30 I left Harris Teeter and returned to my car which I had parked in the courthouse parking lot. People were driving in circles in the front of courthouse looking for parking and yet curiously access to the overflow lot was blocked by orange cones in front of the Sheriff's office! Blocked! I contacted the clerk of the court, the sheriff's office and the first precinct. No one had any explanation for the appearance of those cones. Mysteriously, the cones were gone when I circled the parking lot in my own car at 10:30!?
Could someone in the city municipal center be getting some sort of kickback from this tow company? Personally I have no doubt and my resolve is now stronger than before. The people being towed are working people, pregnant women, servicemen and people who obviously can't afford the extra $125.
While it may be take a much more concerted effort to get Harris Teeter to increase their very minimal signage surely the courthouse should be clearly marked. And access to the overflow parking should be clearly marked and available.
I'm heading back out Monday. This time I'm taking pictures. I am starting to feel like a Superhero!!