What does one do when one's husband -- and one's self, one is honor bound to note - have forgotten to pay four parking tickets in the great city of Chicago (or, more correctly, thought the tickets paid already)?
Why, one watches one's poor old car get loaded on a flatbed truck and hauled down to the city auto pound, that's what one does. Or rather, one is pulled from one's midday shower by one's freaked-out husband - holding the reins on two freaked out dogs who he is walking, who he's brought into the house so he can tell one through the bathroom door about the carnapping, thereby freaking out one's cats - to hear about it.
And then one sends one's husband off with a patient friend (thank you carnyjack) to pay the $980 in combined tickets, late fees, towing fees, fees for simply having the car, plus storage fees that kick in before the car has been "stored."
And then one gets a call from one's already overstressed husband, after said husband has traipsed out to where the tickets must be paid (because once a car is booted or hauled one can't simply pay the tickets online, oh, no, because the computer system apparently knows the difference or ... whatever, i don't even), paid the tickets and then learned that the official car owner is the only one who can go to the second location, where the car is stored, and get it back.
And then one waits for the husband's and friend's return, climbs into the extremely patient friend's car and goes down and spends 40 minutes getting the car back (not before having to take a call in the friend's car from a worried union member about a recent horrible and dangerous company edict, so one's friend gets to see one in Union Maid mode, and then do a phone interview for a story whilst in line waitng for the car ). Just in time to hit 5 p.m. traffic going from 700 north to Evanston via Sacramento, Chicago, Western, Montrose, Ashland, and Clark (anyone who knows Chicago will know exactly what that means. For others, simply know that it is ... considerably less than smooth.)
Then one pays one's mortgage shortly before the bank closes and is pitifully grateful for the flavored coffee a preternaturally nice bank employee offers, out of nowhere, to make for one.
And, when the day has become that much brighter because of said coffee, one pours it over one's face whilst driving home because one has misjudged where the cup cover's opening is in the gathering dark.
And finally, after a second brief bout of tears and laughter that deftly avoids hysteria, one comes home and makes chocolate oatmeal cookies with one's husband, and is grateful one had the money available to pay the tickets, and enjoys the smells of the cookies, and faffs about on one's computer, eating a couple of cookies, and then one goes to bed.
Oh, and one also gets one's husband to take a picture.
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