Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

Insane Tow Truck Driver

Okay, so we’re all at work happily working away on our cereal and anti-foot fungus commercials when lo! What din from yonder street does arise but the sound of a tow truck. Being the curious lot we are we looked outside. Before we begin though a little background is in order. In the Mission District there are many vehicles that one will see parked and moving around the same general area. Sometimes people live in these vehicles and who can blame them, the weather is nice and the rent is probably cheap. Several of these vehicles happen to be old buses and RVs. Now, these are the ones that, when I was driving to work, I would curse because they took up so much space on the streets. Now that you can imagine all these brightly painted buses and RVs with shades and curtains over the windows we come back to the story. So, the street right outside the Main Brain building has parking at 90 degrees to the curb. One day a week there is no parking at certain times so that the city might “clean” the street (if what it looks like after they supposedly clean is clean I’d hate to see it if they left it dirty). For the last couple of weeks there was a short bus (it looked like a full bus from the front, just shorter) backed in on the opposite side of the street. Besides being there and accumulating parking tickets it was also sticking out and being a nuisance. Well, apparently the DPT had enough of this apparently abandoned bus sitting there and they called for a tow truck. This is where the din came from. Not only was the tow truck driver eager to get the bus back to the yard, he appeared insane. Now, being that the street is 90 degree parking it can get a little tight at times and this tow driver had a big truck for towing the bus and the bus to get out. So, he hooks up the bus from its left side and starts to pull it out. Since all the back tires are flat the bus is being a bit difficult in moving. Not only is the driver unable to pull the bus straight out, but since he’s pulling it at an angle it is coming precariously close to the black Ford Focus hatch-back on its left. How does he propose to solve this problem? He pulls out his jack, lifts the back end of the Focus up and pushes it away from the bus and to within less than an inch of the BMW next to it. The driver then continues to pull the bus out, but it’s still incredibly close to hitting the Focus. Then the driver gets a bright idea, he starts pushing the bus back to get its back end up on the sidewalk! Well, that would have gone well except that anyone that has ever backed up with a trailer will tell you when you’re at an angle you will never get the trailer to go straight when backing. So, the driver starts pushing the bus backwards and of course it’s tail is coming back to the left and getting close to the Focus again. Now, here’s where the sheer brilliance of the drivers plan comes into play. Not only was he achieving his goal of getting the back end of the bus onto the sidewalk, he was also ripping the drivers side mirror off of the Focus. Yes, he damaged the car that was parked legally next to the bus. At this point he just kept pushing the bus back and it looked like he scrapped the Ford, but he might have been just clearing it. So, he gets the bus backed onto the sidewalk and starts disconnecting the tow rig. At this point I see my friend Jan’s new Miata sitting at the end of the row of cars where this tow driver is working. I put two and tow together and figured he was going to be driving his truck up on the sidewalk to try and maneuver the bus a bit. I called up to Jan and told him what was going on. He the runs outside and moves his car because who knows what that driver was going to hit next. The tow driver then hooks up to the back end of the bus and pushes it to the bus’ right in an attempt to give himself a better position to pull the bus out. He then comes back around to the front of the bus and starts pulling it out again. However he’s still angled so that he’s too close to the Ford. To solve his dilemma he comes from the left side of the bus to the right rear, attaches a chain around the axle and then hooks it to his tow hook. Yes, you’ve guessed it right, he starts to drag the bus’ back end away from the Ford. Not only is he just chained, but he’s using a lot of engine power and is very close to other vehicles parked on the street. At this point I was kind of hoping either the chain or the axle would break and I’d get to see the ensuing carnage occur. That didn’t happen and he got the bus out fine, but then blocked an intersection while he switched ends he was towing from and wrote a note to put on the Ford. The DPT also left a note. That poor car owner. I’m just glad I wasn’t parked out there. Dumb people scare me.