Friday, August 20, 2004

Oh my rear end!

Yup, coming back from Hollywood today I got HIT and HE RAN. Asshole plowed into me, and I braked as hard as I could to not plow into the person in front of me. I immediately looked into my mirror and saw his right headlight was was totally GONE, and as I pulled over, the creephead TOOK OFF (I hope he rots. Now. FOREVER.) Thank God I was only going maybe 15 in stop and go traffic, him 20 in his puny white baby convertible (Miada?). I couldn't go after him (I tried) and trying to get his license I only got the number "3" because the sun was setting and glared into my eyes. Fortunately, the lady behind him in the big tall SUV :) saw EVERYTHING, waved me down and motioned that she got That Golden Number. She gave me her business card (she was a Personnel Director -- how'd she know I was lookin'? LOL) and we both swore up and down was an asshole-creep-asshole he was.

I pulled into the lot of a very popular flower shop (it's off the 101) and quick, called 911 -- can you believe it, I got a machine! I was on hold for 5 minutes, where I was warned by machine that "911 should not be used to ask for directions" (come on people, what are you thinking?!) and I got my vengeance by reporting that son-of-a-bitch's license plate number. (Hey, I should publish that sucker just so EVERYONE ELSE can use it for claims on their accidents. Yeah.) They told me to just wait there, and LAPD officer would be by to take my report. I hung up to wait. I also almost got the boot from a worker bee from the flower shop because the parking lot was only for customers. I asked him if they had anything there for a buck because I only had five dollars on me. He said you can talk to the owner. Fortunately she felt bad for me and offered me something to drink. I should've said a scotch, but I just thanked her and went reparked my car so others could get by easier.

I was too ancy to sit in the car so I stood outside it and watched as a Geo Tracker (a girl's version of a Jeep) pulled into the parking lot steaming all over the place. Poor girl, didn't have her phone, didn't know what to do to get her Illinois Tracker back to Hollywood (we were just over the Cahuenga Pass). I asked her if she had AAA and she said, "They can tow you?" I told that's the best thing they're there for -- that and free maps. I let her use the phone, but to make sure if someone called to pick it up because that might be the police. It took her awhile to get through to AAA (I guess 6:30 pm in LA traffic is pretty damn busy), she heard a beep but said it didn't display. So we waited together, me and this dancer/actress from Chicago named Ellie, and because I couldn't keep my mouth shut (I was pretty damn angry), I gave her my entire history of rides in tow trucks and the "boo-boos" that caused them. You know, "since I've been around while." (And getting OLD because I'm using that stupid phrase.) At least I reassured her that the first time a car overheated I also mistakenly thought it was going to blow up.

One hour and 15 minutes later, after Ellie left with her Carmel Trucking AAA tow guy and buying me and herself a bouquet of gladiolas, I called LAPD again and waited on hold again. They'd come, they'd missed me, they called, they got the answering machine. I guess Ellie was a bit farklempt (sp?!) and couldn't handle an incoming call. That's okay. They said a car would be there in 1-2 minutes (I thought they said), I should wait near the street and wave them down.

Two minutes later I wave down a cop car -- er, patrol car -- and I say "Hey, you lookin' for me?" with a great relieved smile on my face. They said, no, we're on our way to another location. I said that the folks on the phone said you'd be here in two minutes and here you are to take my report, right? They said Aw no, we're real busy and it could take 1-2 hours to get to you, a non-injury accident. Aw shit.

They said go to the Hollywood and Wilcox station and report it there. I said I can't go to police department where I live? (BTW, I LOVE MY LOCAL PD. I WILL NEVER LIVE IN LA PROPER AGAIN JUST BECAUSE I'VE BEEN SPOILED.) No, because this is LAPD, but you can go to the North Hollywood station. Okay, I say. Besides, he says, you have six months to file a report. Okay. Yeah. See ya.

So off I go to North Hollywood, a brand new station, slick with giant fingerprints on the pavement leading towards the entrance. (Whorl, Whorl, Tented Arch, Arch -- didn't see any Loops though -- figures, since that's the School of Love... hehehe, hand analysis joke there.) There were three policemen swirling around to take my report (because they were so busy -- NOT), Officer Yabana drew the short stick while the tall blonde guy -- er, officer -- plowed down two pieces of pizza "with stuff in it." It took 30 minutes to take my report, all in pencil because they send it to Traffic, and that department "really" fills it out there (so why I am I talking to you?). He said the patrol cars put me off because they like the Traffic unit to handle us instead (I guess they have murders and rapes to get to or something), and even at the station they don't like to do them (they prefer to do reports on burglaries, thefts and robberies). I had to surrender the little piece of paper that Ana the Witness had written the license plate, time and place and her phone number on, and the Asian Officer Yabana who looked about 19 came out to look at the car, telling me on the way that a detective would be giving me a call.

Compared to the impact I felt when Asshole hit me, there's relatively minor damage to the car. His nasty-ass white paint made a big ugly design on the right rear bumper that blends well with all the METAL that it scraped off, and the fender itself is a little out of alignment on the right side. But that's it, not even a mean dent. Mr. Loserface's vanity mini-car suffered much worse. Officer Yabana said it wouldn't take much to get that looking new again: "Hope you have a low deductible." (I do.)

He sent me off, I got a McChicken sandwich in the drive-thru (for that buck), got home, made a claim with the insurance company, got places to go for estimates, and then called Mom and Dad on the phone. (Oh first, can I just Thank God -- and Mom and Dad -- for keeping me current with my insurance, registration and license? Thank you! As a friend said on the phone, it at least feels good that YOU didn't do it. Ah... you'll never know how good!)

I called Mom and told her to put Dad on the other phone. It was important and I didn't want to have them relaying it to each other over one phone, nor did I want to repeat myself 378 times. Mom had a few gasps and questions here and there, but she basically let me get through the entire story. Dad was completely silent until I was done.

"I'm glad you're all right, honey." Man of few words.

Mom said the same thing, and suddenly I was exhausted. A cool walk with the dog, and this girl called it a night, hoping I don't have any crap like whiplash in the morning (wait, it is morning... lucky so far). But now I have medical insurance too, so that's taken care of. (Insert more God-Mom-Dad thanking here.)

[FYI, I'm just listing the following facts so I have it somewhere for my records. Time: 6:20 pm 8/19/04 on Cahuenga going north at Benda, just south of Barham in Hollywood (Witness Ana wrote down 6:25 pm). Going approx 15 miles per hour in stop/go traffic. Rear-ended by driver going much faster (20-25?). I had lap/shoulder seatbelt on, no cell phone on, no eating, no drinking, radio on. Braked hard to avoid driver in front, no impact, and airbag did not deploy. From rear view, saw his right headlight was completely damaged. I pulled over, thought he would too -- instead he took off into left lane, north. Could not catch up with him. Driver behind him gave me license of the car, California plates. (I have her business card as she offered to witness for me). Description: small, white convertible, top down. Male, Hispanic, 30-40 yrs old, dark complexion, black hair, don't remember facial hair, no glasses or shades. Driver remains a Complete Schmuck.]

So those are the adventures in LA-LA-Land today everyone, and I AM FINE.