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December 23, 2000

Satire by
Lauren Weinstein


Greetings. I got a call last night from my very irate friend Bob in Florida.

"My car was ripped off!" said Bob. "I had it parked in my driveway one morning right here in Palm Beach, and they just drove off with it!"

"Did you find out who stole it?" I asked.

"I already know who took it, and they claim they took it legitimately!"

"You should call the cops."

"I already did. They said they couldn't do anything about it!"

"Huh? I don't understand ..."

"They said it was OK for another person to take my car, even though I owned it. They said that the computer punch cards that were used to enter my vehicle registration information had been screwed up in Leon County. So they claim the car really isn't mine according to their records, and they gave my car to this guy who had wanted it originally at the dealership but couldn't come up with the down payment!"

"Well, all you have to do is manually show them your own copies of the registration, and they'll know the car is yours."

"They refused to look at my copies. They said only the copies in their files mattered, and since those were messed up they'd give my car to someone else."

"Well, that's crazy. You should go to court."

"I did. The judge turned out to be the brother of the fellow who ended up getting my car, and the state attorney has worked for that same person. And the jury had relatives working for this same guy or his cronies, and they said it was too late for me to file a claim to get my car back anyway."

"Why didn't you file a claim earlier?"

"Because the court told me I couldn't file a claim until after they had looked over the evidence to see if my claim would be valid, because otherwise my claim might tarnish the reputation of the guy who was taking my car!"

"Well that whole thing sounds crooked to me."

"You're not kidding! I'm thinking about complaining to a higher level."

"Like who?"

"I was thinking about the next President, at least maybe he'd understand," said Bob.

"You know, he just might," I said.

= = = = = =

Lauren Weinstein

For information about the author, please see: http://www.vortex.com/lauren

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