Friday, April 21, 2023

Point of Personal Privilege: Where's Lex Luthor now that we need him?

Last Saturday afternoon, while returning home at the end of Spring Break, my car broke down on the Garden State Parkway.  I called for a tow truck, and me and my car (which had a ruptured gas tank) were taken to a dumpy shop somewhere in Hackensack, New Jersey.  The shop was closed (and would be closed until Monday morning) so I got myself a Lyft to the Amtrak station in Newark and got myself home, walking into my apartment at exactly 1:30 AM- or about five hours later than planned.  

Let's talk a bit about Hackensack, and about this shop.  Hackensack is a craphole, of course.  I imagine it's been a craphole since at least the 1970s.  If you used to be familiar with Hackensack but for obvious reasons haven't visited in the last several decades, let me satisfy your curiosity.  Still a craphole.

Now let's talk about the shop.  As I said above, it was closed.  It was closed the next day, too- when I called from home to ask about my car, I was told that there was nobody there to look at it and that I should call back Monday.  I called back Monday, and was told that there was nobody there to look at it until later in the day.  That afternoon, I finally managed to talk to someone at the shop, and was told either "there is so much corrosion that I can't even dismantle the tank to put a new one in" or "we can't take this job on, we have too many cars waiting in line already"- I'm not sure I didn't hear some version of both.  I asked if the car was a total loss, but I couldn't get a straight answer on that, either.  I asked about a few personal items in the back seat that I had been unable to take with me on Saturday and he made it clear that "we aren't going to be sending anything."  I got the very strong sense that the guy on the other end of the phone was put out to still have my car on his lot several hours after he had opened for the week.

Fortunately, I was able to contact a friend of a friend who has a friend who runs a tow service, and for a very reasonable price had the car picked up Tuesday morning and delivered to Maryland.  And here's the main point of the not-great review I gave this shop on Yelp:

My car was in this lot from 5 PM on Saturday until just before noon on Tuesday- a total of 67 hours, of which 38 were hours in which THE LOT WAS NOT OPEN and there was NOBODY THERE TO SPEAK TO ABOUT MY CAR.  But I was charged $183 for storage fees- $43 per day for FOUR DAYS, plus tax.  Yeah, technically the car was there for "four days"- Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  But give me a break- more than half the time it was there, it was not retrievable because of the lot's hours.  

So Mr. Luthor- I'm out of Hackensack now and am therefore the envy of pretty much everyone currently still in Hackensack.  Please, proceed with your plan.  Absolutely nothing of value will be lost.  Even Miss Teschmacher's  mom must have moved on to Florida by now.  Fire away. 


  1. When you told me you're car broke down in Hackensack, my first thought was of Superman, and Lex Luther yelling, "Miss Teschmacher!"

    1. It was mine, too. My parents were born in Jersey City and I knew of Hackensack but my only knowledge of it was that it was where Miss Teschmacher's mother lived.