Friday, August 8, 2008

The Note Writing Bandit

On Wednesday night I, along with my sister and  Anne, went to Kristen's house for one of our regular poker nights.  These are nights of wine-drinking, carb-eating, and not-playing-pokering.

And while the recent poker night was fun, it was also sad because it is the last one Anne will be able to attend since she's moving to Brooklyn this weekend to go to law school.  Boo. 

When the night was over, my sister and I, nicely wine buzzed, walked out to my car parked on the street.  It was not until I was safely buckled in that I noticed a note taped to my driver's side window.

I was, as you can imagine, alarmed.   I specifically remember that I did not hit a car when I parked here a few hours earlier.   How do I remember that? Because, you see, you don't forget when the car you are driving collides with another car. And furthermore, if you do hit a car while you are parking, you don't just remain parked behind said car so that it's owner can see his banged up car, then your banged up car, put 2 and 2 together, and then leave you a well-deserved note.

"What the hell is this?" I said to get my sister's attention. I unfastened my seatbelt and got back out of my car to investigate. The note was written on a 3 x 5 index card and taped to my window. Also, there was another message on the reverse side of the card.

So I guess that had I read the note in the sequence that its author intended, first as I approached my car, and then later as I sat down inside of it, the whole message would have been.


What sort of twisted fuck makes these complex, two part, ellipses, front to back notes?

With the complete message sinking in, I looked at my parking situation. I was not close to any car. I had not hit any car. There was no damage to either my front or rear bumper. What had I done to merit such a threat?

I'm also left to wonder about the wording of this whole thing. "Don't ever park close to my car again" Does this person know me? How does he/she (probably a he, girls don't pull this nonsense) intend on monitoring my future parking jobs?

"You hit my car you will pay for it." Is this meant to be IF you hit my car you will pay for it? Which would imply that the author of the note is still parked in front of me? He is warning me not to hit his car as I pull away from the curb, I suppose. 

Or does this clearly delusional individual believe I have, some how, hit his car and now he is telling me that I will pay for it. It's very hard to decipher this brief message. Though I guess with only one index card to write on, there isn't a lot of space for elaboration.

I suppose the interpretation of the message depends on the order of events. Either the guy got to his car, noticed my apparently abhorrent parking job, and so he wrote me a note before he drove off. Or, he was standing inside of his apartment, noticed my car parked dangerously close to his, and came outside with a note.

I'm learning towards the latter option as the note was written on an index card that was SCOTCH TAPED to my window. If this note was written by someone who'd just arrived at the scene and had to gather note writing materials from his car, then this man would have to drive around with a whole office in his glove compartment. Now, I don't know about you, but if I were forced to come up with note writing supplies from the contents of my car, I'd end up writing a message on an old starbucks receipt with a wad of gum stuck on one corner, using an uncapped, nearly out of ink ball point pen found under my seat. I'd then shove the note under the windshield wiper of the message recipient's car, and hope it doesn't blow away before he reads it.

I suppose there is a third, even more depressing option. That the man arrived at his car, saw that my car was practically humping his bumper, retreated back to his house to prepare a note, and then returned to tape it to my window. Which means that during that whole production he never lost interest in this endeavor.  He was that upset.  

And what if he went through several drafts of the note before arriving at his final masterpiece? Sick.

So before I left my parking spot on Wednesday, I debated what action I should take. My sister called the cop she is dating to see if anyone could, in fact, legally get me in trouble. I don't see how someone could accomplish that since I hadn't actually DONE anything and since there was no evidence or witnesses or anything.  The Cop confirmed my beliefs.

There was no car parked behind me at this point. Which meant that perhaps the owner of that long-gone car was the note writer. And in front of me there was a Lexus SUV. The sort of car that would be driven by an ill-tempered maniac who would write a misguided and unduly threatening note. But I couldn't remember if it was parked in front of me when I arrived earlier that evening.  Or if this was some new person who'd parked there while I was inside Kristen's apartment.  And I didn't want to go leaving a retaliatory note for some other unsuspecting citizen, thereby perpetuating the cycle of hate.

Not that I know what I'd write in my note anyway.


"What is WRONG with you?"

"Scotch tape? Index cards? Seriously?"

And so, in the end, I did nothing but toss the index card onto my console and drive off into the night. I can only hope that the mysterious note writer encounters this blog and reads this post. And says to himself, "Wow, I suck at life."


Jack and Jill said...

Well now you've got his handwriting and posted it on the internet and I bet someone will recognize it and write to you saying "my asshole boyfriend wrote that note. he's an asshole, just ignore it."

Isn't this how they find kidnappers too, except they post the notes on billboards?

This is going to be awesome.

rs27 said...

I think the real question is..

Who still uses index cards?

It must have been a 6th grader. They are the only ones with index cards

margottobed said...

DUDE whats with people with aggression that like to ruin the day of people without aggression.

i keep getting screamed at through the car even though II didn't have the stop sign and it totally pissed me off at the time!

JenBun said...

A few things:

One, I have scotch tape in my car. I'm just that awesome! (And sometimes I have to wrap presents on the fly! I also have tissue paper in there.) But, although I am going to be VERY near to you this weekend, I was nowhere near Kristen's house (wherever that may be) last night and, alas, did not get to leave you a note. Mine would have been much nicer anyway!

Two, you know who seems like he would leave a note on a car? Chris. I don't think he would leave THIS kind of note on a car, nor do I think he is in any way a douchebag (which the Note Bandit totally is!) (and wouldn't The Note Bandits be a totally good name for a band?!?), but he just seems like, if he had a Really Good Thought, he would write it on a notecard and tape it to someone's window. Hi Chris! This is in no way meant to be derogatory towards you!

Third (because this just ISN'T long enough!!), I like to save the envelopes that parking tickets come in (not that I've ever gotten a parking ticket!) and then write notes and put them in those bright yellow envelopes and leave them on my friends' cars. So, if you get a "ticket" that actually says "Are you a parking ticket? Cuz you got FINE written all over you!!"... well, that was me. :)

Phil said...

I'd say it was a guy based on the handwriting alone. Maybe the guy is a serial note-writer... if I've learned anything from living in LA, it's that parking sucks no matter where you go. It's not so much that we're bad at parking, it's that parking situations frequently suck, big time.

Katelin said...

wow. that's so ridiculous. and the fact that they just had index cards and tape handy is a little weird, weird i say.

Felix for Zosia said...

This is exactly why the decline of punctuation is so upsetting to grammatical sticklers. If you are going to write a terse note you probably don't want the recipient puzzling over its meaning. If I were an English teacher I would totally use this blog post for an in-class example (with your permission of course).

Amanda said...

My question is: in what way did he want you to pay? Because if he actually wanted compensation from you, he should have left a little more contact information. Otherwise, the whole endeavor is useless.

Paula said...

What an effing weirdo. Man, I wish you knew who it was.

surviving myself said...

I bet Magnum PI could figure this case out, if you want, I'll let him know you need his services.

devin said...

it's a good thing you have a blog. otherwise, i would know nothing about what happens in your life.

Beth said...

That is extremely creepy and cryptic.