St. Patrick's Day in Kansas City can sometimes be an absolute mess. Aside from the masses of people congregating on Grand with COOLERS of beer at 9:30 (drunk by 11), there's usually reports of pedestrians urinating in parking lots, car break-ins and, sometimes, even shootings or stabbings. All of this happens in, or around, the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade.
This year looked to be a little bit more promising in the ease department since it was a rainy, gloomy day.
That last statement turned out to be understatement of 2008...
The weekend of St. Patrick's Day (the holiday was on a Monday, if you recall) brought the residents of our block new caution signs inside of our buildings. The signs basically said to not park on our section of the street after 8 a.m. on Monday (St. Patties Day) because that's where the parade turns around. If a car is parked there, it'll be towed.
Fair enough. We move our car by 8:00, we don't get towed.
After working some on Sunday evening, I came home and parked in front of our building around 9:00. There were cars everywhere on the street. I knew that Ashlee was leaving by 7:00 a.m. (one full hour before the towing) so parking in front wouldn't be a problem.
The next morning, we were getting ready for work and Ash left when she was supposed to – 6:55. It wasn't one minute after she left that I received a phone call from her telling me that her car was gone. Upon looking outside, there were NO cars left on the street. The lone truck that was across the street had just been hooked up to the tow truck and drove off AFTER the owner of the truck asked him to NOT tow it.
Ash told me on the phone that the police that were downstairs had no idea about the signs posted in our buildings, and instead, pointed towards the "Emergency NO Parking Day Or Night" signs that had magically appeared between me coming home the previous night and when the cars had been towed away.
Saying we were pissed doesn't quite describe our feelings.
During lunch, we made it out to the tow lot to pick up her car. After paying $145 for the tow fee, we found out that she had received a $38 ticket for illegal parking in an emergency zone. To top it all off, the car was towed at 5:22 a.m.
Yes, nearly three hours BEFORE we were told to have cars moved.
Being in the festive mood, Ash started to make phone calls around the city. She contacted Parking Control. She contacted the Police. She spent a good chunk of her afternoon trying to find out who was responsible for this mess. Surprisingly, she received the runaround.
When we got home that night, we saw a note from the guy whose truck was towed in front of his eyes. Poor guy, both his AND his fiancé's vehicles were towed. The note was asking if anyone else had been towed and wanted to fight it. So we called him and told him what we had found out so far.
The next day Ashlee finally talked to someone that had an idea of what was going on – the director of the parade. Ash explained the whole situation and basically told them that we should be reimbursed for our troubles. Here's the shocker, the parade director agreed.
Long story short, we're to be receiving a check next week for our expenses. Of course, no one from the city will take responsibility, so next year's parade will be around $600 less spectacular. Not that any of the drunkards will notice it.