I just added 20-30 minutes to my walk home by pausing to watch some unusual police and towing activity along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston's Back Bay. Stadium Auto Body had three wreckers there, and an unmarked cruiser with a Boston cop in it was stopping all traffic on the last eastbound block of Commonwealth (between Berkeley and Arlington) so the wreckers could maneuver.
Curious, I walked over and looked at the temporary No Parking sign (these are ubiquitous in the Back Bay and temporarily, or not so temporarily, alter the normal use of a space for construction or moving van purposes; like this one). The sign said no parking 7am - 3:30pm on several days, ending 12/13. Because it was 12/14 at about 5:30pm, that couldn't be the reason, I thought. So I strolled to another pole and looked at the sign there. It said no parking for several days 24 hrs. a day starting 12/15. Well, that can't be it either, I thought.
So I made the mistake of politely asking the wrecker driver, who was in the process of mishandling [described below] a Lexus SUV, why they were towing the cars, thinking maybe the city was going to clean up some of the snow along the curb and wondering if they'd be coming to my block. I was very polite, very non-confrontational, and 15 feet away. He yelled at me, rudely, to ask if the Lexus were my car. I said no. He yelled again, "Go ask the cop." He was very rude and used pointing and arm-gestures that indicated I'm an idiot for even asking him and I should leave him alone. So I said -maturely, I know- "I was just asking you a question, asswipe." For some reason, that pissed him off, and he and his fellow tow operator discussed coming over to confront me, but decided against it.
So, thought I, the best way to annoy these guys is simply to stand 15-20 feet away and watch every move they make. Which I did. At some point, the Lexus owner happened by and asked the same question I did. They were rude to him, too, but he really wanted the answer so he went to ask the cop. Then he and the cop walked to the two signs I'd seen and discussed them. The cop insisted that the signs were 24-hour signs (ignoring that neither of them addressed 12/14 no matter what hours you read into them). I stayed out of that one. It's bad form to argue with a cop, no matter how wrong he is. The car owner left, resigned to the loss of his car, but not before I described to him the incompetent hooking-up and dragging of it. (It's AWD, and they just chained it and dragged it, wheels flat and up the ramp, putting unnecessary stress on the drivetrain. They should have used dollies, in the absence of a key.)
At some point, the cop came over to me and asked why I was giving the wrecker guys a hard time. I said I wasn't. He asked me if I used any profanity. I said no, not counting "asswipe" as profane. He lectured me about how hard those guys work. I said I was just watching and I offered to leave if he wanted me to. He said I could stay "As long as we understand each other." I assured him that we did, and watched them yank some poor schmuck's Saab out of a snowpile and off to tow-yard hell.
1. Boston Police will tow any car anytime, regardless of the postings;
2. Stadium Auto Body has at least one incompetent jerk towing for it;
3. Cops never admit they're wrong no matter how low-key the incident;
4. Always agree when the cop asks if "we understand each other," even if you don't.
If this happens to you, call the city and ask for a claim form. You may get your money back. They have a claims office and lots of lawyers for just such events.
I am not bad-mouthing the cops. Their main goal is to stay in charge of whatever they're doing. It's a safety issue, and I've been there myself.
I believe Stadium Auto Body sucks.