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the etiquette-o-fascists have gone too far...,
Mayor Daley Welcomes You to the City of Chicago:
The city for some reason has been repeatedly declaring my little saturn an "abandoned vehicle" lately. By the letter of the law a car that isn't moved for one week can apparently be declared abandoned, and since I've been taking mass transit downtown on my current contract (and my alderman is all about keeping cars parked) I often leave it parked in one spot for longer stretches than that. That's why we shell out $120 every year for those city stickers, right? So recently I've been removing weekly abanonded vehicle tow notices, moving the car down the block, and trying to figure out who the hell I'm supposed to call to get my car off whatever the hell bizarro list it's on that they keep trying to impound it.
While I'm dealing with that it somehow slips my mind that it's time to renew the registration, as the IL Sec of State never mails me the renewal notice. They don't mail me the renewal notice because my car is late for emissions testing. I never received a notice for the emissions testing - probably because the Secretary of State didn't pass along my address change information to the IL EPA, or didn't process my change of address request to begin with - so it doesn't occur to me to test it. That is, the testing of the emissions it doesn't emit because I barely drive it, for which it's being threatened with impound as an abandoned vehicle. I don't find out it's due for testing until I try to renew my registration and discover the EPA hold: it's news to me that as of a few months ago, no test, no registration. So I go to my car to take it to the testing station and discover it's been towed by the city - right on my birthday, just to add to the general mirth - presumably for being "abandoned". Now it's in the United Road Services city tow lot.
To get the car out of the pound one has to have current registration, to renew the registration one has to pass the emissions test, to pass the emissions test one has to get the car out of the pound. My absent minded deportment has whipped up the perfect bureaucratic spin cycle.
So now what happens? Well, if the city's standard operating procedure is followed, United Road Services will continue charging me $35 daily storage fees - which I'll have to pay if I don't want my already sloppy credit utterly destroyed - until they sell it to a licensed scrap dealer for $125, who will auction it off to somebody else at a fraction of blue book value, who will resell it at blue book value, and some fraction of the proceeds will wind up in Richard M. Daley's treasure chest.
I guess that's one way to make me cough up campaign contributions to the Democratic Party.