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Berkeley, Get Your Priorities Straight

September 4, 2008



It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to the Hater’s Club, so I suppose it’s about time I have something to complain about again. I considered letting this pass without comment, in the spirit of all that is Zen and pacifist, but then decided that nay- the readers deserve to be informed.

After a long and happy day of Bacchanalian festivities in Sonoma this past Saturday, we returned to my humble abode to lull about and plan the rest of our evening. I was slightly annoyed at the amount of people and No Parking signs everywhere due to the Cal football season starting again that day. Nevertheless, I parked in a *usually* safe spot without a second thought.

Not 10 minutes later, as we’re drinking more wine and waiting for the rest of the group to find parking, do I get a phone call from them telling me to, hurry, my car is getting towed. I put down my glass, grab my keys, and run out the door. Down the flight of stairs. Out the lobby. I sprinted 3 blocks amidst fratty catcalls of ‘Hey babe what’s your rush?’ and ‘Where YOU goin??’ all the way to the heartbreaking scene of my helpless lout of a jeep slowing being tugged away… a scene mildly reminiscent of the morbidly obese mother in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape being tragically lifted with a crane from her permanent spot on the flattened sofa.

And as I kept running, my chest heaving with the constricting pain of smoking too many now-regretted cigarettes, one clear and pure thought resounded through my brain:

“FUCK this.”

I leaped off the curb and threw myself across the street to the tow-truck driver’s window. I didn’t even look both ways. The window rolled down slowly, ever so slowly.

The guy agrees to pull over and see what he could do. He would release my car without taking it to the impound if I had $160.00 in cash. No checks. Do I LOOK like I have $160 in cash on me at any given moment? The answer is a decided no. That’s when I have to give up. That’s when I get that feeling, y’know the one where your throat closes up and your face gets all hot and you can feel the stinging wet pressure in your eyeballs and it’s utterly unstoppable. The horrid and wretched Girl Reaction to the grown-up equivalent of getting your puppy taken away forever and ever.

Luckily, Megan comes running up beside me and offers the guy her credit card. That, he can take. “That,” I think, “I should’ve thought of.” Now I am overwhelmed with a feeling of relief, stupidity, and gratefulness. He relinquishes my vehicle and tells me to be more careful where I park on game days.


This could be worthy of a whole ‘nother post, but I’ll reign myself in here. I’ll just say that I hope the Cal Bears lose every single game. And all get athlete’s foot.

And so, for any of you unfortunate enough to be burdened with the luxury of your own vehicle, I am posting the schedule of Cal Football Home games. On these dates, avoid the Berkeley campus and all surrounding neighborhoods like the plague. LIKE THE PLAGUE, I SAY.

Aug. 30
Sept. 27
Oct. 4
Oct. 25
Nov. 1
Nov. 22
Dec. 6

All I can hope for is that by spreading the truth of my own experience, similar tragedies might be prevented. So keep in mind that yes, you will get towed. No, you will not just get a ticket. And no, the tow-trucks don’t take checks… but yes, they do take credit cards. Viva la Pl√°stico.

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