And Now For a Datsun 810 Misadventure
That poor car! I really did put it through hell for those few years that I drove it, but for all the smack I’ve talked about it over the years, it was a pretty reliable car.
When I was getting close to the end of junior college I started thinking about finding a “real” job in an office somewhere. You know, where grown ups work and wear suits and go out for happy hour on Friday nights and talk about other grown up things. I knew my career path was not going to be in retail (though The Gap corporate offices sounded very slick out there in San Bruno, CA) and after doing all the work to finish my degree I didn’t want to keep working for $3.80 an hour.
It was time to start job hunting and interviewing.
I visited the guidance center at school and made some selections from the job descriptions they had available and even set up some interviews. The only thing left to do was shop for a serious interview suit.
I drove the old Datsun over to a mall near home and shopped around until I found a navy skirt suit and a couple of blouses to wear with it. I’m pretty sure I only wore that hideous polyester suit once since I got the first job I applied for, but I was pleased with it at the time and was feeling very adult as I walked back to my car with my bag of grown up duds.
….that was until I saw the little red Toyota parked in the side of my Datsun.
At that point I reverted back to my 2 year-old-tantrum-throwing self.
I was in complete shock that someone would not only swing wide into their parking space (thus wedging their car into the side of mine) but then to just leave it there like some terrible joke.
As I flung my ¾ full soda at the windshield of the offending vehicle, I knew I was making a mistake, but the satisfying splash it made as it hit the car was too satisfying to resist. Looking back, I believe my outrage was based more upon someone ruining my adult right-of-passage moment than any deep feelings I had for the car.
Seriously though, who leaves a Toyota parked in a Datsun???
Anyway, a park policeman witnessed my little hissy-fit and walked over to see what all the fuss was about. Being a bona fide lawman, he confirmed the vehicular contact and that it would indeed impede my ability to actually leave the parking lot. Whew! I’m glad he straightened that out!
The park policeman was off duty but said he’d get mall security (Gasp!) out to my location to see what they could do to help me out. They too confirmed my predicament however, they were also perplexed as to how they could help me so they called in local police for back up.
Long story short, I wound up with about 12 men with varying degrees of law enforcement background picking up the Toyota and moving it away from my car. One of city cops slim jim’d the offending car open in order to access the registration information.
The asshole driver’s name was Damien and it turns out he was a county judge’s son. Soon, the obvious infraction was turned into a case of a “phantom driver”.
Apparently Damien claimed that someone had broken into his car, driven it into the side of mine and threw soda on the windshield. When your daddy’s a judge, any bullshit story you can come up with becomes plausible even with witnesses.
Even my insurance company bought that bogus story (can’t remember who I was insured by at the time or I would totally out them as well).
So Damien got off, my insurance paid for the damage, and the car started failing about 6 months later (cracked head gasket). I drove it in a billowing cloud of white steam until it stopped running entirely.
I would be curious to find out what other vehicular antics old Damien got up to after he weaseled his way out of his trouble with me, but those are other people’s stories and I’m sure I’ll never hear about them. I wound up buying a Toyota myself after things calmed down. I never did run it into anybody though.