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  • Paul Davidson

Someone’s Stealin’ My Quarters

They don’t think I know it’s going on. But I do. They don’t think I am aware of the underground criminal network currently in place in Los Angeles. But I am. They don’t think I see their complicated web of deception. But my eyes are wide open to it all.

I’m just too stupid to catch them.

Here in Los Angeles, and most likely in every major metropolitan city or town that has Valet Parking there is a problem running rampant. Among valet parkers there is an unspoken practice taking place that none of us are paying attention to.

They are stealing our quarters.

But the “I’m A Valet Parker Stealing Your Quarters of America” group has thought their little vehicle-parking pyramid scheme through fully. They know how to take your quarters, they know when to do it and they sure as hell know that they’ll never get caught because which of us wants to throw a huge tantrum over seventy-five cents getting stolen from our car ashtray?

That’s the extremely frustrating part of it all. I value my quarters. I use them for meters and I use them for candy vending machines. I use them for soda and for tip jars. I have more use for my quarters than I do for any of the following “useful items”: a comb, toothpicks, pillowcases, Swiss Army knives, hot-swappable USB flash drives, and corkscrews. Just the look of those shiny silver quarters in my car’s change dispenser makes me happy. Screw the pennies and the dimes and the nickels. I love my quarters.

And even though I always remind myself to count the quarters before I leave my car at a valet parking station, I always forget to. This is part two of the valet parking crime wave’s attempt to make you feel like an idiot. You don’t know if you’re really seeing things or not.

When you get your car back and drive away, it’ll take at least two minutes before you remember to check your change tray. There, you’ll finger through the change and think to yourself that you thought you had six quarters but now you have three but it looks like you have more pennies and dimes then you had before so really are you even remembering what change you had before anyway? Maybe you had six quarters, two days ago, before the meter incident and the coffee crisis. Or maybe not? Hell, you can’t remember. And you’re definitely not going to go back and complain to the head of the valet parking team if you’re not sure about how much change you had in the first place.

Damn, these guys are good.

And I’m definitely not going to be that guy who gets out of his car at the valet parking station and looks to the valet parking person as I’m handing off my keys and says: “I have six quarters, three dimes, two nickels and fifteen pennis in that change jar. Just so you know that I know so you know.” I might as well tell him “I’m an excellent driver,” and leave well enough alone.

I dislike get annoyed by can’t stand hate them.

But until I can fashion a hi-tech, infra-red, night-visioned collection of tiny, hidden, miniature cameras that have a perfect view of my change/ashtray/collection area just to the left of my manual shifter in the front of my car, which will catch them in the act…

…they are going to continue to steal my quarters and I can do nothing to stop it.

Woe is me.

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