WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 4, 1989
I'm in a bad area of Inglewood trying to deliver a rush order to "Acme Heating & Air". The traffic is a mess. I've circled the block three times, and there is no place to park. So I pulled into the parking lot of Riken Tire, right next door to my delivery. I stepped out of my car and was walking toward the sidewalk when the foreign owner came running after me.
"HEY LADY...You can't park here!"
"I promise I'll be back in one minute. There's no where else to park." On most days I would follow the letter of the law and move my car. I didn't want to upset that crazy little foreign man, but I had to park somewhere.
"NO WAY!" He screamed as I ran next door to make my delivery. I was back in a flash. What is the harm in that? Lord have mercy on my justified parking offense.
When I returned to my car, the "mad tire man" was on my tail with a Doberman pinscher, he called Killer, by his side.
"You're not going any place," he said. "I'm locking you in here while I call the police."
"Fine," I said. "Call the police." I sat in my car.
"I'll call them when I feel like it. You can just stay here until I get ready." He pulled the front gate shut, clamped the lock down, and said he might keep me there all day. It looked like he had control of the situation as he and his dog walked off smugly speaking a foreign language. They disappeared into the huge warehouse that was stacked with rows of tires.
(10:56 AM)... I am shaking mad. Trapped in the parking lot of Riken Tire by a controlling wild-eyed alien. He is sorely mistaken if he thinks I'm staying here for one more minute. I have an appointment. The only way out is to take my chances with the killer guard dog. I'm leaving notes behind to trace my steps in case I don't make it back.
On a rush of pure adrenalin and the wings of a prayer, I stepped out of my car and carefully walked inside the warehouse. I did not see him or the dog anywhere.
"HEY!... MISTER." Dead silence. I yelled for him until he finally came around the corner. I was thankful he didn't have his dog with him.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT!?" He was extremely agitated.
"Did you call the police?"
"No. I'll call them when I'm ready."
"You'd better call them NOW," I said. "Or let me use your phone and I'll call them."
"You're not using my phone. I'm teaching you a lesson. I'm making you stay here."
"You can't keep me here against my will!"
"Yes I can."
"OH..NO..YOU..CAN'T," I yelled at the top of my lungs.
As we screamed at each other, I ran to the fence and flagged down a pedestrian, "CALL THE POLICE. Tell them I've been kidnapped!"
The black man shrugged his shoulders and nonchalantly said, "I don't wanna get involved, lady."
He walked by without missing a step.
The tire man was in my face. I was livid.
"You cannot make me stay here. I will climb over that fence." Wearing high-heels and a business suit with a short skirt, I planted one foot above the other and scaled up the chain link fence. I was shaking so bad I could hear my teeth chatter. I threw one leg over the top bar preparing to climb down the other side and make my break, when Mr. Idiot unlocked the gate and swung it open. There I was straddled on top of the gate as though I was riding a horse, hanging on for dear life, with my skirt hiked up over my underwear.
Soon as the gate opened, I bolted to the ground in a blind rage. Forgive me Father for I have sinned. With a vein-popping scream, I called him a terrorist and told him to go back to his own bleeping country. And take your dog with you. I have never been so mad in my entire life. Well, maybe once or twice. My head was shaking uncontrollably. I informed him that I was going to the pay phone across the street to call the police.
That's when I noticed the people on the sidwalk who had gathered to watch me. I drove across the street to the phone booth and called Joseph. I could barely get my story out, through the tears and trembling vocal cords.
Joseph said, "You shouldn't have parked there, babe."
I drove to my office in Los Angeles to cancel my appointment. I was a wreck and told my boss the devastating details of my ordeal. He wished he had a picture of that. He said he'd get it in the newspaper with the caption. "Burke employee goes to any length to make a sales call." He laughed till he cried and then he laughed some more.
I left the office and stopped by Joseph's warehouse on the way home. I couldn't believe that he, too, was laughing about my earlier phone call and hostage report. I don't think that being kidnapped is really that funny.
All the way home I planned how I was going to spend the money from the huge settlement I'd be getting from the lawsuit. After sorting through forty-three yellow pages of attorneys, one of them finally took my call. He said that I don't have a case because I parked illegally in the first place.
"So that gives him a right to kidnap me?"
"Looks like it," the attorney said.
For in America you can run over your baby if you have post partum depression and kill people if you've eaten too many twinkies. That's why foreigners like this country. They can kidnap a salesperson for a one-minute parking violation and get away with it. In his country they'd cut off his legs if he did that.
I phoned the Inglewood Police. The officer suggested calling a civil attorney tomorrow. He said to slap a suit on that guy. Nothing ever came of it. All I ended up with was a good story to tell, and another
After I took a hot bath and settled down, I called Alice.
"Do I have a story for you..."
She depends on me for entertainment. Her husband, Paul, and their children, Richelle and Richard, live in Tustin Territory, Population-4, a remote area out of Winston, Oregon.
They only get one channel on their TV and half the time it's reruns. Sometimes they can get a 2nd channel. If it's a really important show Paul will climb on the roof and turn the antennae. Alice loved my story. She said she'd tell Paul and it would be all over the mill tomorrow.