Boo the Booters

All those towing companies are reveling in underhanded, unaccounted-for money.

Hidden in most private parking lots on campus are tiny, swift-footed spy trolls. I can’t think of any other explanation for how quickly unattended cars are slapped with immobilizing “boots.”

The speed of the process is almost disturbing; those trolls have to be the most-efficient little parking attendants on earth. Unassuming drivers can’t walk 10 feet from their vehicles without turning around to find mocking, blaze-orange mechanisms wrapped around their left front tire.

I’m starting to see how unfair these schemes might be. Regardless of the fact that they’re harboring ridiculously fast trolls, companies that run booting outfits seem to be quite suspicious. Should it really be legal for companies to immobilize someone’s briefly unoccupied vehicle for a $100 ransom? The idea seems bad enough, but the reality of the process is worse.

Having a boot removed is a long and drawn-out nightmare. Frankly, it makes me sick. The bully boot companies (read: Gopher Towing) require that the “bootee” call a number and spit out some information so that an employee is sent to the proper location.

Just waiting for the person can take up to 30 minutes, as I’ve learned from being present at some friends’ booting ordeals. The time issue brings up a very important question – how can the vehicles get booted immediately when someone from the company must be called in to remove them?

If the answer is because trolls aren’t adept enough to remove what they’ve so hastily clamped on, I’m not buying it. Not one bit.

I think the real reason is that the parking companies thrive on inconveniencing the bootee. For instance, just paying the company is a tremendous hassle. The $100 must be paid in cash (because everybody carries that much in their wallet) or by credit card, which, the employee will admit, is not an easy option.

They have to call in a special truck from miles away, and because the truck is always busy, it could take up to an hour. This is most likely a made-up tactic to hide the success of their disreputable business from the Feds.

Let’s face it; all those towing companies are reveling in underhanded, unaccounted-for money. And at $100 a car, it’s an easy way for these crooked thugs to get rich quick.

City ordinances require that clear signs must be in place to warn drivers of booting tactics, but if they’re out there, they’re damn hard to spot. Nevertheless, I doubt typical drivers would suspect they’d be booted mere seconds after jumping out to pick up Chinese food. It’s just not fair. The system exploits parking-ordinance violators because it is so sneaky and fast, and something must be done.

However, I hope they don’t do something about it anytime soon, because I plan to make some money with my own booting business. Yes, I know, I’m a hypocrite, but wait till you hear this plan – I’m going to wait for public parking meters to expire and then boot my way to wealth!

And yes, I’ve ordered a band of trolls to help.

Mat Koehler welcomes comments at [email protected]