Life is so peculiar
May 19, 2010
It doesn’t pay to complain. Really, you can’t stay home and brood. So, before we get to the nitty gritty let’s just enjoy a peaceful and calming break.
Are you feeling mellow? Life is peculiar isn’t it? Sometime, whilst I was in Manchester, between May the 4th and May the 9th, my car was stolen. Here’s the story.
As much as I am an idiot I am also, when this comes to that, relatively capable. And so on discovering the theft of my car I tried to do everything in the right order. First, I phoned the council. (A few years ago I had been visiting my sister in America. I came back to find a new road and no car. I phoned the council. They told me that my car could have been moved and I should have a look around nearby first. Sure enough, I found it.) This time, I’d come back from Manchester to find nice new yellow lines. So, I called, and was told that my car hadn’t been moved. I walked around a bit anyway. I hadn’t used my car for over a week and I wanted to check I hadn’t just parked it somewhere unusual. I walked around for an hour. I was convinced I would find it.
I didn’t. It had gone.
Next, the police. They got me to phone some search company. No sign on it’s database, so back to the police, and then to my insurance company.
This was all a week last Monday. Yesterday I was walking to one of my local cafes when I saw this.
I felt sick.
A part of me was convinced I would at some point see it. I don’t know why. It may be part of being a writer that leads to all sorts of possibilities racing through my head. So seeing it was the most natural thing in the world. Also the scariest.
What to do? I couldn’t even bring myself to go near it at first. What if I saw someone try and get into it? What if it was madly and sadly disfigured and smashed?
And also… what if I was mad? What if I had parked it there? But then I knew I hadn’t. I hadn’t, had I? What? It’s just… It was all too much. I felt sad, happy, worried, sick; as traumatised as a naseous Woody Allen. What would the police think? And my insurers? If I was mad and I had parked it there, would I go to prison? Would I be fined for wasting police time? Would the insurers sue me?
So, of course, after a few days of standing in the street and just looking, months of feeling ill, years of being banged up, I walked over to the car.
There was a leaflet under the windscreen wiper, battered by the weather. It had been there since early May.
I’m not mad. The Council had moved my car. Or their sub-contractors had. It seems they just don’t choose to tell you.
Thank you to the police and Tesco Insurance for being so understanding about this; for not locking me up, and for leaving my no claims bonus in place.
Lewisham Council? No thanks to you.
And, to make sense of Life is So Peculiar… I have tried to complain. It didn’t pay. I called the council back. I was passed from person to person, no one quite knowing how to handle my call. Eventually I was told that I could speak to some sort of inspector. I was handed over to him and then… I was transfered to an answering machine. I left my name and number. No one has called back.
I’m putting this down to one of those things and I am not going to chase it. I just don’t have the… Oh, let’s end on another philosophical favourite.