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Life on Mars Towed My Car January 26, 2009

#1 User is offline   Chefelf Icon

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:03 AM

Life on Mars Towed My Car

I don't know much about the TV show Life on Mars. Before this morning I knew just enough to know that I'd heard of it. Now I know that it is a crappy show that I will never watch and will encourage everyone I meet never to watch as well. Like all shows in America Life on Mars is a remake of a British Version of Life on Mars from a couple of years ago. So, in short, don't watch the crappy United States version, watch the original British version. I'm sure the American one is just awful.

You may ask: Hey, Chefelf, if you've never seen this show, how can you hate it and encourage others not to watch it?

Funny you should ask! Let me explain.

This morning I left my apartment with Jen with the idea that I would drive her to work because her ailing knee makes it difficult for her to walk the half mile from the subway to her office. After stupidly thinking I'd parked my car on our street as I had on Friday (my day off) I remembered that I'd actually parked one street over after leaving work on Saturday. When I got to that street not only did I not see my car but I didn't see any cars. What I did see was a long line of orange traffic cones and shabby pink signs hanging from the telephone poles.



The sign taunted me with its lies. I normally park on this street whenever possible and had worked several days since January 21st. There was no way this sign was hanging since January 21st as it claimed. Living and parking in New York one develops a heightened sense for such signs. It's standard practice to exit my car and circle it several times looking for ridiculous parking notices that my have sprung up. I even do this in areas that I am very familiar with.

After swearing for a while on the street I decided to call the number on the sheet. The phone was answered promptly, "Life on Mars." I explained my situation and they said they'd call me back. Apparently when this sort of thing happens they tow your car to an available spot in the area. While we waited for the call we circled the neighboring streets seeing if we could find the car. At that point Life on Mars called back. Apparently Life on Mars is not merely a show but is instead some sort of hive mind. Each time you speak to them it is a different person and that person identifies themselves as, "Life on Mars." Life on Mars informed me that they couldn't find any car matching my description or license plate but that they were working on it. I didn't want to be mean to the guy on the phone because I realized he was just doing his job and was probably not the one who was ultimately responsible for the towing of cars. Then I reminded myself about the hive mind. It was then that I mustered up all the anger I could and lashed out at the man on the phone by not saying "thank you" or "goodbye." I know it seems a little harsh but I was really upset.

What upset me even more was that the hive mind was also extremely pleasant and accommodating on the phone. Towing your car and then finding it was their service and they provided it well. Eventually they called back for a third conversation where the gentleman on the phone informed me of where the car was which was about ten blocks away. This time I imagined that I was communicating directly with Harvey Keitel via the hive mind. That did little to warm my freezing fingertips as it was freezing cold (the "feels like" is 13 degrees today so I'll take that to mean it's actually 13 regardless of what the deceptive "actual" temperature of 20 degrees says). At this point Jen needed to get to work so I got her to a cab so she could get to work.



The view from my car was of a long line of similarly towed cars all sporting yellow notices provided by the Life on Mars collective. I quickly got into my car, started it up, and drove back downtown to find a parking space. This was the biggest mistake of my morning as Life on Mars seemed to have taken over every other street in upper Manhattan, making it impossible to find a spot anywhere. I circled and circled and circled and circled until I eventually found a less than choice spot atop a mammoth ice slick so thick it leveled the curb outside a building on Haven Avenue. A narrow, crooked spot on top of a car-sized patch of ice was the best I was going to get.

I let my emotions get the best of me by jumping in the car, happy to see that it actually existed, and forgot that I'd just need to put it somehwere else anyway.
As I got home I read the yellow slip from my windshield and realized the stupidity of moving my car at all. This yellow ticket was like the invincibility star in Super Mario Bros. It basically said to the police that they could not tow or summons this vehicle within 48 hours from the date of the car's relocation. This was an incredible power that I had just thrown away in my rage. If only I could remember my mythology better. I'm sure there's some myth about a god who throws away a tremendous gift or power out of anger and grows to regret it. Let's just call that god Chæfelfos from now on.

Don't fall prey to the mistakes of Chæfelfos! Learn from the legend of the ancients! Life on Mars sucks!
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#2 User is offline   Vesuvius Icon

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:32 PM

Hmmm, do you know why Life on Mars was taking nearby, available parking? That's strange.

Hive mind... maybe they're taking the parking lots to build a large colony. A colony of super soldiers that react in fast, prompt service, and towing capabilities. They'll go from lot to lot, expanding their colony, only to tow more cars out of the way. Soon, they will assimilate all residential and commercial parking, only to monopolize nearby towing companies. All headed by a huge queen that lays eggs!
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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:03 AM

Sorry to hear all that, but I have to admit I found the ending funny, where you realized that you could have left your car where it was without any trouble for 48 hours but that you blew it. That's good shit.

This is one of those remake thingies where there's no value to buying the original product because they'll do better with current advertising, and where of course a lot of the cultural touchstones won't translate as well across the pond. (another example being the remake of The Office) That said, I saw the first season of the British Life On Mars (all of it; I am a masochist), and it is terrible. I can say in this case without one doubt that the American version will be better.

My guesses regarding why they needed to tow your car: either they were parking work vehicles there, or they needed to park vintage cars there to match the 1970s setting.

"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:14 AM

Both of Civ's guesses are correct. Across the street from where the car had once been were a half-dozen or so late-60s/early 70s-model cars. On the side of the street where the car should have been were the pink signs and no cars -- presumably they were going to park Michael Imperioli's trailer or craft service or some lights or whatever there.

Note: the many times they have filmed Law and Order up in the park, I feel the largest form of disruption has been tons of PAs with clipboards infesting the surroundings. L&O keeps it lean. That being said, I'm obviously biased.
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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:46 PM

QUOTE (Chefelf @ Jan 26 2009, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was then that I mustered up all the anger I could and lashed out at the man on the phone by not saying "thank you" or "goodbye." I know it seems a little harsh but I was really upset.


That's the most Canadian thing I've heard all year.
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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:27 PM

LOL yeah. A guy sideswiped me about 6 months ago by changing lanes without shoulder checking. I pulled over and just sat there fuming for a bit. When he came to my window and asked whether I was ok I just said "yeah, yeah, pull around the corner and have your details ready." I wouldn't even look at him. About a minute later I got out of my car and apologized to him for being snippy. $2500 in damage (insured, no deductible) and I was more upset that it had made me a bit grouchy! O Canada!

This post has been edited by civilian_number_two: 27 January 2009 - 11:46 PM

"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:32 PM

Nice people like you scare me the most, I think.

This post has been edited by Gobbler: 27 January 2009 - 05:32 PM

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#8 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:54 PM

Saaaaaailors, towing chefelf's car, Oh man wonder if they'll ever know, it's the best selling shooooo-oooo-ooooow!

Bad luck there, but made me think of David Bowie, and how nice Canada is.

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:29 PM

So in New York they can just randomly hijack your car whenever they want to film your street? Wow I think that would be illegal here.
QUOTE (arien @ Jun 29 2008, 03:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So this baby, while still inside its mother, murdered his twin brother and STOLE HIS PENIS.

That is one badass baby.

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 07:05 PM

Well, it appears they can legally do it so long as they put up a sign that morning but put a date on it that implies the sign has been up for several days. Apparently that is the real trick.
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#11 User is offline   Slade Icon

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:05 PM

Humbug, Civ. I saw all of the original LoM, and it was a fabulous show in a very silly way.

I am sorry for your car irritation, Nate, and yeah, you people who require mustering up anger to not say something very polite in these sorts of situations weird me out. tongue.gif
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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:48 PM

I'm with Jm - first thing I thought of was David Bowie. ...Go figure, right? tongue.gif

I find it hilarious that you actually took the time to take a picture of the tow notice, Chefelf! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Spoon Poetic: 28 January 2009 - 01:49 PM

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:35 PM

Well Spoon, the original show - which sucked - made direct reference to Bowie in that it's the last thing the hero hears before he goes back in time. I imagine that the clever device of the whole series being dreams he has while in a coma will be dispensed with in the American one. In the American version I'm sure he'll just literally go back in time. That cleverness aside, I'm sure it'll be better, because the BBC one sucked.

tongue.gif Slade
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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:27 PM

You are surprised that the man who produced a photo documentation regarding the misuse of quotation marks above a toilet took a picture of a sign that got his car toed? You're a silly girl.

That was a bang up article by the way. Where do people get the idea that quoties are for fraggin emphasis???

EDIT: Added link to article. "Sorry," JM; couldn't stop myself. -civ2

This post has been edited by civilian_number_two: 28 January 2009 - 08:51 PM

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I don't know about you but I have never advocated that homosexuals, for any reason, be cut out of their mother's womb and thrown into a bin.
- Deucaon toes a hard line on gay fetus rights.
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#15 User is offline   Spoon Poetic Icon

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:09 PM

Haha, I'd never seen that article before. That's pretty "hilarious!" Thank's for adding the link, Civ. :-P
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