Thursday, November 6, 2008

Confession of a Complacent Citizen

It's gone.

For the past two months, I have arrived to work and parked in my normal space below the parking lot. There are the same familiar cars each day, but one caught my attention. It was a silver BMW with Texas license plates. For those who are geographically challenged, I should point out that a daily commute from Texas to Maryland (about 1500 miles) seems unlikely. Yet each day, it was parked in the same place, and it was always there before me. (In itself, this is no great feat. I have a love of sleep, and a recent propensity to hit the snooze button.) But, it was also always there after me, even when I worked until 6:30pm. A few weeks ago, we went out for Happy Hour at the bar next door, and I returned to my car at about 9pm. (umm...4 hours later...) It was then I realized that this car was just always there.

Quite possibly, there was a reasonable, boring explanation. Like there is some sort of Army recruiting office that has fleet vehicles parked in the same general area. They all have government license plates, but perhaps this was newly acquired, and they hadn't registered it yet. This was plausible, perhaps even likely.

But...what if this was a get-away car in a crime? What if there is a dead body in the trunk? What if is it stolen? What if someone had figured out an elaborate scheme to avoid long-term parking fees at the airport? What if the battery was dead, or the engine had failed? What if the car itself was a spy, transmitting information via satellite to top secret government agencies? No, that is not very likely. A spy car would probably have to park on the top deck.

After two weeks of this, I finally decided to tell our office manager. She sent an email to the building managers to see if the car was registered to any of the other companies in our complex. Another week went by. The car was still there, and beginning to collect some dust on the trunk. One day, I considered writing "wash me" on it, but decided it would be better to keep my fingerprints to myself. I found myself sniffing the air, trying to catch the scent of decomposing body parts.

Isn't this sick? Why didn't I just call the police and get this settled? I don't know. I considered it, then decided that my suspicions were a tad far-fetched. (Or worse, that the spy car theory is true, and it is given instructions to shoot on site...) Plus, if someone has figured a way to beat parking fees, more power to 'em - as a senior in college, I did not register my car with management in time to secure a space, and I spent the whole semester obsessed with free parking. I feel this person's pain (even though they do have money for a Beemer...) Honestly, I think one reason was shame. The operator would surely ask how long the car had been there, and I would say...well, I definitely noticed it on October 14th, but its probably been there for two months. And what other information do I have? Nada! Whack-job theories concocted by a crime show obsessive who loves Stephen King novels! Oh the turmoil! To call, or not to call!

And today?
It's gone. Probably got beamed back to its home planet.


CaraBee said...

I'm sorry I missed this!! I would have done the exact same thing. Ever since the sniper thing, I've been kind of on edge about weird vehicles in parking lots.

Liz Baer said...

Funny story about this... we had assigned parking spaces at holy name and for like a whole week someone parked in my spot, and then I went looking for another empty spot, and then that person reported me, and Mr. Hess had a field day! Turns out the person who was taking my spot decided not to pay for a space so he just parked in the first open space he saw every day. Wasn't cool.