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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Issue Date: Thursday, Feb. 01, 2007

Imagine this… We’re at a bar, or say, a Mexican food place that has the best Mojito’s on the planet. (As an aside: I totally downloaded a ring tone from this website right here to alert me to Stacey’s calls… appropriate, no? Y’all download it too and then give me your number, I will call you and you can set that song as my personal ring tone.) As we sit down to the table and place our order, I ask you (and you, oh, and you over there with the shoes… can I borrow those?) to lean in as if I have the secret to the meaning of life (42*).

*Oh, come on.

We all lean in and I say, “Okay ladies and gentlemen, [pause for effect] this is just how I roll.”

And then I tell you of the drama.

Let me first begin with the hoopty. Yes, babies, I know. I know… she was sold to that nice young man (Thurrmon) at the dealership back in October (click here for backstory). The tags, registration and inspection all expired at the end of October so I didn’t feel bad leaving him with the tags. I had a bill of sale, I had the 4 dollars he bought her for… poor cheap-ass hoopty… and I had a new car. All was good no?

What do you mean no?


What is this in the mailbox? A letter from the Harris County Toll Road Authority? Hmmm, Harris County is in Houston. I wonder if Thurmon, being the brilliant mechanic that I took him to be, fixed the hoopty and has been driving her around the Houston area.

According to the letter (with a picture of what appeared to be the hoopty’s ass end up in the upper right hand corner) Thurmon had been driving around the Houston area… on the toll roads… NOT PAYING THE TOLLS.

They want me to do what?

Three tolls in the amount of $1.25 each. Alright, I got that part. But the bill is for $36.75? How, pray tell, can that be? Ohhhhhhhhh… a $33.00 Administrative Fee? Thirty three dollars. Thirty. Three.

I picked up my trusty little phone (seriously it is totally not trust worthy, I caught it taking change from my coin purse** on Wednesday) and called Thurmon.

**And now? I am eighty-four.

phone: ring… ring… ring…
Thurmon: TC.
self: Mr. Thurmon?
Thurmon: Speaking.
self: This is Susan [last name] speaking.
Thurmon: Yes?
self: I sold the 1998 maroon Mercury Mystique to you back in October.
Thurmon: Oh, yes ma’am. How are you doing?
self: Very well Thurmon, and you?
Thurmon: Fine, just fine.
self: Thurmon?
Thurmon: Yes ma’am?
self: I received a letter from the Harris County Toll Road Authority.
self: They seem to have a picture of the Mystique on the letter, and they are stating three separate tolls that were run without paying.
Thurmon: They did what?
self: Well, they are saying that the Mystique ran three tolls, one on the 26th of December, one on the 5th of January and the last was on the 15th of January.
Thurmon: That car hasn’t been anywhere ma’am.
self: Is it still at the dealership lot?
Thurmon: No ma’am, I had someone take it to the house for me so that I could fix her up.
self: Would you mind if I faxed over these papers to you?
Thurmon: No ma’am, that would be fine.
self: The problem is that when I spoke to Helen at the Harris County Toll Road Authority she said that the only way to get this report/bill off of my name would be to do a Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification.
self: And some of the information that the Transfer form is asking for, I no longer have, since the vehicle is in your possession… like the title number and the VIN.
Thurmon: Yes ma’am. I have been meaning to take the tags over to the Tax Register’s office and get them changed over, but since she isn’t fixed I figured she wasn’t going nowhere.
self: [totally loving how Thurmon is calling the hoopty a “she”] Yes sir, so you haven’t been in Houston?
Thurmon: No ma’am. Maybe someone stole her tags. Will you give me your number and I will call you this afternoon when I get home to check and see if the tags are still on her.
self: Of course.
Thurmon: I’ll do the transfer and take care of this for you.
self: Thank you Thurmon, I look forward to hearing from you this evening.
Thurmon: Thank you ma’am. I will be looking for your fax.
self: Bye now.
Thurmon: Bye.

So that evening, true to his word, Thurmon called me on my cell. The tags were still on the car, so they hadn’t been stolen. He said he would do the transfer on Tuesday and fax me a copy of the paperwork.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…***

***insert lame Tonto on Lone Rider homoerotic action joke here.

I have been trying to get a report number from the officer that was on the scene of our little streetlight incident two Sundays ago. I have also been calling the insurance adjuster, the patrol secretary and the people in records.

#1) The officer that stopped with us on that (dark and stormy – not really, it was just a little chilly) night never filed a report.
#2) I have yet to speak with my insurance adjuster. I call him every day. Sometimes twice. And I leave a message and record the date and time I have called. Because, I am just that anal. Soon enough, I will crack and start leaving phone sex messages or telling him about my undying love for Insurance Adjusters named Kerry.
#3) I did speak with someone else at State Farm Insurance. They are just waiting on the report from the police.
#4) Didn’t I just say that the officer that stopped with us did not file a report.
#5) If they rule this an at fault accident, my insurance rates will probably go up.
#5a) I will totally cry. This was NOT my fault.
#6) I keep calling the police department. The officers I need to speak with work nights. 6 p.m. to whatever.
#7) The police secretary’s office hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guess what good that does me when no one will return my calls? NONE.

I finally got in touch with a very sweet woman in records on Monday. She looked and looked… and looked. She stayed on the phone with me forever. She finally found where Mister called in the accident. And she also found a report on the incident. It was taken by another officer about 10 minutes before we hit the streetlight. Our names? Were nowhere on the report.

Let me refer you to number #5 above.

If our names are not on the report, don’t you think that they insurance adjuster will be waiting a long time for a report that doesn’t exist to meet their criterion? I do. Do you think that they will get sick of waiting and call it my fault? I do. Do you think I will throw a fit? Oh, I totally do.

Mister went and picked up a copy of the report yesterday. Now I have the information, the officer’s name who filed the report and the ammo to get it changed.

Well, not really.
I got a call this morning from the Commander of the South Patrol Station. He was very nice and basically told me that he will order the two officers involved to give me a call this evening when they come on shift. Whether or not they acquiesce to my request or not, he said that was up to them.


You know, oh you know that the first officer is going to be all mad because he filed his paperwork, so in his mind? He is done. He said in his report, “Unit #1 failed to control his speed and hit a utility pole in the center median.” Unit #1 is the drunk guy… but since they didn’t catch him? They can’t rule it as a drunk driver. “Failed to control his speed…” Gah. Policemen do NOT like to file paperwork. It is the bane of their existence. Well, that and hostage situations. I know this. I was married to one. But,he was lazy and kind of a dick, so I cant really say “ALL police officers… blah, blah, blah.” Because that would be casting aspersions and that would be wrong.


Don’t y’all love it when I get all self righteous?

Y’all know I am totally going to lump all of these officers into the same pool as X… until? I get proven that these guys are different. And different in a good way, not different as in, “I will talk down to you and make it so your insurance costs you lots of money because I keep getting these stupid messages to call you, and now the commanding officer is ordering me to call you? I am sick of it!”

If you can’t hate people on an individual basis… project your anger from past experiences.

We need a t-shirt with that saying on it.

Someone, get on that, right away. I am too busy being passive aggressive.

So… again this morning. Thurmon called me. He called the Harris County Toll Road Authority and asked them to check the license on the car in the picture again. They pulled it up and it wasn’t the hoopty after all. They zeroed out the invoice and that was taken care of. Thurmon was all, “You can call them to confirm if you would like.” Oh, that Thurmon. He knows me well does he not? He also said that he was still taking care of the tags and would send me a copy of the paperwork as soon as he got it.

I thanked him, hung up and immediately called Helen at the Harris County Toll Road Authority (that woman is absolutely miserable, I don’t know if it is because she hates her job or assholes like me calling all the time, but she is surly) and verified that the invoice was zeroed out. “It is zeroed out.” “So, it is taken care of?” “It is zeroed out.” “So, do I need to do anything else?” “It is zeroed out.” “Alrighty then! Thanks for being so fantastic!”

So now, all I have to do is wait on the officer(s) to call me back on this report. I really hope that they make a new one or add us to the old one, because otherwise, we are going to have to sell the puppy**** to pay for our smoking habit.

****Oh My God. Is there anything else he can tear up? He chews on furniture and baseboards and ruins carpet and was eating shoes and won’t sit when I tell him too… unless I am standing up. He is going to be “Free to a good home.” In the next Dallas Morning News classifieds if he eats one more rug. The last straw was he was affectionately licking Elvira’s shoulder strap the other night. I got all neck wobbly on him, with one finger held up and everything. “Oh, I KNOW you di-in’t!” He cocked his head at me like, “I’m cute. Feed me a treat.”


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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