Here’s the second part of a playlet in six scenes about how a Crystal Lakers car was towed from Flowerwood’s parking lot after she left the store and went to the neighboring McDonald’s. Here is Part 1.
The Day Tradition Died
By Peg McHugh
I shook off the shock and found the employee I spoke with while shopping in …Flowerwood.
I ask her if she or anyone in the store had seen my car being stolen. Nope…nobody saw anything.
I asked her if she or anyone had seen my car being towed.
Nope, nada. I asked if the “tow” sign had been posted by Flowerwood.
No luck….nobody knew anything.
I asked if Flowerwood had cars towed out of their parking lot.
Once again, nobody knew anything. I asked if Flowerwood owned the parking lot.
Yeah, that’s right…nobody knew anything.
Dumbfounded, I gazed forlornly out their window.
As I walked out of the store, I thought, “Now what.”
I didn’t have to think very long because my answer came rolling right up to me.
A young man in an old SUV wearing a greasy baseball cap asked if I was looking for a car??!!
Nodding my head, he directed my attention across the street to the furniture store and wondered aloud if that was my car hooked to the back of a tow truck.
Holy moley, it was!!!
Closing my gaping mouth, I walked across Rt. 14 and approached the tow truck driver demanding he unhook my car.
No problem…all I had to do was give him $165 bucks, and I could be on my way!
I called 911.
While waiting for the police officer, I asked why my car had been towed. The tow truck driver explained I violated Flowerwood’s parking sign and implied I should be grateful that he and other guy had hung around. Hung around?
The other guy? What other guy?
Just then my “savior” in the SUV pulled up along side the tow truck.
What the….. “Yeah, you should be grateful we hung around”, the tow guy repeated.
“Otherwise, you woulda’ had to go to Wauconda to get you vehicle from our company lot.”
Really! I looked at the lettering on the door of the tow truck…ACM Recovery, Wauconda.
Yeah, I was grateful.
Just as I was unraveling this stupefying piece of information, a squad car pulled up with a burly sheriffs’ police officer behind the wheel. I felt a whole bunch better just looking at him. He listened a few minutes and quickly grasped the situation as he had heard about Flowerwood’s “policy” from other dupes.
To verify my version of the “story,” he drove me back to Flowerwood in the back seat of his squad car, and I got to talk with him through the mesh divider between us.
What a treat!
Best of all, when I tried to open the car door to get out, I couldn’t. It was locked by design and had to be opened by the police officer from the outside.
Boy, did I feel special.
We found one of the employees who confirmed I had been SHOPPING in Flowerwood, and we drove back to the furniture store. This time I knew to wait until the officer opened the squad car door.
The police officer swung into action, and the questions came out in bursts and volleys. I learned these guys work as a team.
One “spots” for cars and the other tows!
Within minutes, the “he said, she said” began with spotter guy telling the police officer I had come out of McDonald’s first, THEN went into Flowerwood.
IF that were true, either way I was a Flowerwood PATRON!
The police officer tried valiantly to point out the flaw in his reportage, but it was no use.
Spotter guy was adamant and stuck to his story.
Sensing he might need backup, he called his boss for instruction.
I couldn’t hear much of the conversation but spotter guy said,
“Yeah, she knows they own the Atrium too.”
I was not privileged to the next cell phone conversation either, but it appeared the police officer was speaking to someone at Flowerwood.
I was asked again if I knew who currently owned Flowerwood and whether I had purchased anything at the store.
Yes to the former question…No to the latter.
The officer mentioned to his phone mate I had been shopping in Flowerwood and was a long-time patron, but that fact failed to impress whoever was on the other end of the cell waves.
An hour or so later, EVERYTHING was explained to me very, VERY carefully by the police officer:
- The tow company had been hired by Flowerewood and was under contract;
- that my vehicle had been towed from Flowerwood’s parking lot in under five minutes because I had walked into McDonald’s after I had finished shopping at Flowerewood;
- that once I left Flowerwood, I was no longer a patron of Flowerwood;
- that I didn’t buy anything, and I didn’t “obey” the tow sign which was face down in the grass.
Good goobilly goo.
Looking at Flowerwood’s vast and empty parking lot, I thought, ‘Dang. I wish I had bought something. Maybe my car would still be in the lot!’