4) Visa loves me – or Tow Guys Are Not Poets—or The Day they towed My Honda. Harold Funk.
This is a picture of a most excellent cabbie, Harold Funk. Harold took me from the Rockville subway station to the Big Tow towing company at 375 Derwood Circle, Rockville. Harold told me as we came to a stop, “Here’s the place. $12.” “Most excellent,” I thought. I added a $2 tip. Harold Funk deserved it, I thought. He deserved more than that, I thought too.
I paid with my Visa card. I was contributing to the economy, I was giving it a much-needed jolt the Republicans are always talking about, but then I thought: “I am making myself poor,” And I was making myself poor. I was also making Visa rich.
I asked Harold Funk if I could take his photograph. He recoiled. “Are you the police policing?” I calmed him. I proffered my card, which reads: “The Honorable Tim Ruane: Artist, Photographer, Artist-Photographer, Bad Abstract Painter, Writer of Metaphysics and doggerel sonnets which plagiarize off Shakespeare sometimes, et cetera, et cetera.” Harold was impressed. he read, he calmed, he said: “Okay.”
I snapped three, maybe four, pics of Harold. This is my favorite. His right hand stuck out, looking odd, almost obscene, in the other pictures.
I got out of the car and entered the office Harold had pointed to when he said: “Here’s the place.”
I entered. A man, surly in nature, looked up at me after staring into his widescreen tabletop Dell computer for 5 minutes.
He intoned: “Yeah?”
I am here to retrieve my car.”
“What is it?”
“A 1969 Honda Civic, with 182,000 miles on it and still running.”
After a few minutes of conversation with this man, who cheered up a bit after I told him how much money I owed the IRS (he owed the IRS, too), I learned that the Big Tow towing company was 6 miles away. Harold Funk, alas, had steered me wrong.