Scene I: Alexandra and I are having dinner at a swanky bar. I am returning from outside.
Me: Hullo, Alexandra, the funniest thing just happened.
Alexandra: Oh? Do pray tell.
Me: Would you believe it? My car has vanished from its parking spot.
Alexandra: How wonderfully delightful! To what fortuitous circumstance do we owe our current disposition?
Me: Well, Alexandra, I think either a jolly vagrant concluded he needed the car more than I did, or the nice people at the abandoned parking lot decided to have it placed somewhere more convenient.
Alexandra: Perhaps we should inquire with the barman. Oh barman, could you please assist us? We have reason to believe that our car may have been involuntarily removed.
Barman: Why yes, those lovely people next door do have a habit of towing vehicles!
Me: Fancy that! I do love surprises. Might you know the means to contact the responsible party?
Barman: I’ve heard that many a car towed in Cambridge has resurfaced at Pat’s Towing.
Me: Pat is the nice fellow whose lot is under the McGraw Highway? Why I know him! Perhaps I’ll give him a ring.
(Ringing Pat on the telephone)
Pat: Pat’s towing.
Me: Might you have my vehicle? It’s a recently towed sedan.
Pat: Sorry, we don’t have your car. Try Phil’s towing.
(Ringing Phil on the telephone)
Phil: Phil’s towing.
Me: Good evening to you. I’m inquiring as to whether you might have my vehicle in your lot.
Phil: Why yes, we just received your car. That will be $112 dollars, cash only please.
Me: That’s fantastic. What an arbitrary amount. Well I’ll be seeing you soon.
Phil: Good-bye kind customer. We shall meet again.
Me: Come Alexandra. We must journey to the cash dispensing machine.
Scene 2: Wandering the streets of Cambridge
Alexandra: This is great! I only have $2 in my checking account.
Me: Excellent. I will withdraw the remaining $110. Now how should we get there?
Alexandra: Lets call my father, I’m sure he’d like to accompany our adventure.
Me: Splendid idea. What should we do until he arrives?
Alexandra: Why don’t we enjoy ourselves in these sub freezing temperatures by having a stroll down the avenue?
Me: I’ve always enjoyed shivering and wandering aimlessly in Cambridge.
(Later, Alexandra’s father arrives)
Alexandra’s Father: I heard those charming folks in Cambridge took your car. My how the City of Cambridge just loves ribbing you. Why I have such fond memories of the last time they made off with my car.
Me: Oh, those jokers! What did they do?
Alexandra’s Father: They incorrectly towed my Mini from in front of our house and damaged it severely. But at least I was able to spend some time off from work engaged in spirited negotiations with the City of Cambridge to get the car fixed.
Me: Putting our vehicle tax dollars to work. City of Cambridge, you are full of delightful surprises. It’s so wonderful living in the most reasonable and efficient town in Massachusetts.
Scene 3: At Phil’s towing
Me: Excuse me, I do believe that’s my car parked over there.
Phil: It sure is. That will be $112.
(I hand over the cash)
Me: Out of curiosity, where exactly does all of this money go?
Phil: Well the City of Cambridge takes $90 of it. The rest goes to our establishment.
Me: And what does the city do with that $90?
Phil: Your guess is as good as mine.
Me: Well, I’m going to assume it’s being used to send inner-city liberal children to summer camp.
Phil: I can think of no better use for the money.
Alexandra: You are in the spirit of Barack! You are stimulating their economy with this donation! One inner city child will get to spend a day at camp thanks to you.
Phil: We should always remind people of the good they’re doing when their car gets towed.
Me: Well that’s how I’m going to look at it. Perhaps this donation is tax-deductible.
Phil: I’m sure you’re more than welcome to inquire with the thoughtful officials in city hall. They are a considerate and reasonable bunch.
Me: Until then, have a most enjoyable evening. Thanks so much.
Phil: It was our pleasure to move your car here against your will.
Scene 4: Outside in the parking lot. The air smells of Necco Wafers.
Me: Here’s your purse and squash racquet. I can’t imagine a better evening.
Alexandra: Such good use of our time! What a delightful adventure. We should do this again sometime. The dinner was also most excellent, even including our generous tip to the City of Cambridge.
Me: Yes, well that tomato soup was clearly worth $70 dollars.
Alexandra: Well my father’s waiting. I’m so happy we could help stimulate the Cambridge economy tonight. Do you really think the money will send kids to summer camp?
Me: Isn’t it nice to think?