Auto be a Law

As readers of this column may recall, my wife recently committed an error that resulted in the theft of our Acura Legend.

The person who stole our favorite car was charged with operating a vehicle without the permission of the owner. In California this is a misdemeanor equivalent to spitting in public.

California citizens take pride in personal hygiene and you are only allowed to spit on someone if you pay them. If you pay them a lot and the vice squad is not around, I have heard you can purchase the opportunity to pee on people.

I am not interested in such activates so you may wonder why I am thinking along these lines. The answer is that I met a man yesterday who reminded me of pee jokes because he was really pissed off. Get it — pee and “pissed off?”

This man’s name is Michael and I know he was pissed off because he wanted to harm me. As a matter-of-fact, he used his huge Ford truck to ram the car I bought Kate before she even had a chance to see it.

The car, a 1998 Honda Accord, in pristine shape with low mileage was to replace the Acura that Kate “lost.”

The Honda had no scratches on it and I was worried I might dent or mar it before I gave it to my wife (who is looking after her father while he is recovering from eye surgery).

I drove to Sherman Oaks to have lunch at a new Middle Eastern place. I didn’t want to scratch the Honda by parking in a lot so I drove around the block to hunt for a parking meter next to this new gyro joint.

I used a shortcut down a one-way alley. That is where I encountered Michael.

Michael (whom I never met or saw before) made an illegal U-turn, then backed (the wrong way) into the alley. I saw him coming and tooted my horn to alert him that I was behind him.

He leaned out of his window and screamed for me to “F***ing back off!”

Before I could react, he deliberately rammed my wife’s car.

I was quite frightened.

I got out of her car and said, “I just bought this car for my wife and she has not even seen it. How are we going to explain to her that it’s got a big dent in it?”

Michael said I should F***ing tell my wife that I F***ing drove into him.

I explained that would make Kate annoyed with me so I asked Michael for his license and insurance card. He instructed me to F*** myself.

A dark shadow fell over the scene and I looked up and there was this very large and powerful guy who suggested that Michael comply with my request. My protector was kind of a cross between the Jolly Green Giant and Mr. Rogers.

Michael complied. He explained that he was a workman who had been in heavy traffic on the San Diego freeway and was in a rage because he was late for an appointment.

Later I filed a police report. Mike may be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. I was the assaultee, the truck was the deadly weapon.

I am relieved about three things.

First, that the large, powerful guy showed up to save my skin.

Second, that I am not one of the parents of Michael. I understand he lives with them and is divorced, with four children.

And third — even though there is a dent in the Honda, I have a police report to prove to Kate that it wasn’t me who damaged her new car.


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