R.I.P. Arizona Parking Solutions
June 18, 2008 7:55 PM   Subscribe

R.I.P., Arizona Parking Solutions. Guy parks car without displaying his pass. APS boots car. Guy dollies car into his garage and invites APS to reclaim their boots. Or not; their choice: either way, they can't tow, he won't pay the fine, and he really doesn't need to be driving the car. This catch-22 upsets the owner. And eventually APS goes off the deep end, booting nearly everyone's car in the community. The media becomes involved. And we become witness to a business owner suiciding his own business.
posted by five fresh fish (129 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Alas, the forum message links appear to be utterly broken, or I'd have linked directly to The A1 and A2 German's posts. He's handled the situation with originality and self-control. The same can not be said of the business owner.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on June 18, 2008


Jack-booted thugs. The reason for the 2nd amendment.
posted by dawson at 8:03 PM on June 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


There are photos down near the bottom of the forum link that are worth seeing

Great story!
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:03 PM on June 18, 2008


From thread:

subgraphic: SOMEBODY NEEDS TO GET 4CHAN ON THIS ISSUE.

axe: God no.
posted by JHarris at 8:08 PM on June 18, 2008


And the story gets even better: the HOA contract with APS is now public, and it turns out APS has been violating the terms of the contract. They've been overcharging violators. They're supposed to provide a warning, not booting, for not having a pass displayed. And they may have been booting illegally.

Oh, woe is your little life, Gerry Richardson. Never start a land war with Asia, and never piss off a member of a popular autos forum site.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:09 PM on June 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


I don't "get" the whole booting thing. It's a bit like punishing bicyclists who leave their bikes lying around by locking them up with a good strong chain and combo lock. Bicyclist goes "Hm, Ok.", gets out his trusty bolt cutter, cuts the chain and keeps the lock.

Booting (and booting a bunch of innocent bystanders) just seems like a good way to unify the community against you and loose a few expensive boots in the process.
posted by Avenger at 8:11 PM on June 18, 2008


Is there a single link or story that I can read to understand all this, or do I have to wade through a whole forum?

Also, where is the media involvement? You said there would be media involvement, and that usually implies at least an easy-to-digest news article.
posted by yhbc at 8:12 PM on June 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


Can't have your boots loose, after all.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:12 PM on June 18, 2008


Here is how I understand the story.

1.) His 3-car garage is too small for his car collection (pictured)
2.) He fails to follow community rules regarding parking tickets. Rules he agreed to when he moved in.
3.) He whines when he breaks the rules, and says he should not permanently display his ticket because it attracts thieves to his already heavily-modified, expensive, and ultra-desirable car.

Spoiled jerk.
posted by whoshotwho at 8:15 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


1.) His 3-car garage is actually the right size for the three cars he owns (pictured)
2.) The rules are that a minor infraction, ie. not displaying the pass, is a warning, not a boot. Rules that were implemented after he moved in.
3.) He doesn't whine about the consequences and, indeed, offers to pay the fine if the HOA decides to enforce the rules. And he sensibly does not advertise his community by displaying the pass when he is not at home.

Silly ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:20 PM on June 18, 2008 [31 favorites]


And the story gets even better: the HOA contract with APS is now public --

Wait a moment. It wasn't public? Doesn't "HOA" stand for "Home Owners Association?" The home owners themselves weren't privy to a contract that their association signed? Wasn't that just inviting this kind of thing to happen?

I'm probably missing something important, sure.
posted by JHarris at 8:21 PM on June 18, 2008


Sorry, much as I hate rich spoiled jerks, I hate quasi-legalized robbery even more.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


By the time I get to Arizona!

Slamming track.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:25 PM on June 18, 2008


Does anyone have anything good to say about HOAs? Every time I read about one, it's some insanely fucked-up story like this.
posted by boo_radley at 8:31 PM on June 18, 2008


Does anyone have anything good to say about HOAs? Every time I read about one, it's some insanely fucked-up story like this.

Much as I detest busybodies and pocket Hitlers ... it's confirmation bias. A very large number of places are under a HOA or body corporate agreement of some sort, and while we get to hear about it every time they do something insanely fucked-up, when they quietly and reasonably go about their business, we don't get to hear about it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:34 PM on June 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


As much as I hate HOA's and cocky towing/booting companies, this guy sounds like an enormous douche.
posted by lundah at 8:35 PM on June 18, 2008


So... where is the media involvement and the alleged suicide?
posted by kjh at 8:40 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, don't count your chickens before they've had their boots removed. Or something like that.
posted by chrominance at 8:43 PM on June 18, 2008


As much as I hate HOA's and cocky towing/booting companies, this guy sounds like an enormous douche.

lundah, I think that's actually the beauty of it. Maybe they'll annihilate each other.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:43 PM on June 18, 2008


Well, I'm looking for something to contradict that bias, I guess is what should be obvious. Someone to say "I had a problem, and the HOA was right on top of it and things worked great".
posted by boo_radley at 8:43 PM on June 18, 2008


flapjax: saw them live around the time they released that track. Even rapping over the DAT, it was still kickin'.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:43 PM on June 18, 2008


Sorry, FFF. While I'm all for making Metafilter more scurrilous, I think it's a bit of a stretch to think that this sordid little tale needed to be featured on an international blog like Metafilter, especially considering how hard it is to follow.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:44 PM on June 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


At least we got to see Chuck D killing the governor of Arizona. But yeah, this outragefilter is far too localized.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Someone's grudge against a parking enforcement company doesn't strike me as Metafilter material, especially when there's clearly such a 'spam this everywhere you can!' agenda at work.
posted by Rendus at 9:01 PM on June 18, 2008


If you want to follow the sordid little tale, use the forum's search function for posts by this guy.

It's pretty funny, that's for sure. Best reference in thread here.
posted by anthill at 9:02 PM on June 18, 2008


Fixed: Click here to read the OP's story from the end to beginning
posted by anthill at 9:07 PM on June 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I'm looking for something to contradict that bias, I guess is what should be obvious. Someone to say "I had a problem, and the HOA was right on top of it and things worked great".

I, oh wait, no. When I bought my first house (in a neighborhood full of bright pink, lime green and orange houses from the '50s) I was contacted by the HOA to give them dues. And then contacted by the city government to day, "No, don't give them dues. They've been disbanded due to embezzlement." And then I learned that the trees the HOA had required everyone to plant a few decades before I moved in had a limited life due to the cultivar and that was the reason everyone had a rotted stump on their lawn.

However, I have an ex friend who regularly reported neighbors who pissed her off for failure to mow, making noise during quiet hours or aesthetic issues and the HOA did come down on people, often without evidence. As a personal witch hunt squad, it worked out for her quite well.
posted by Gucky at 9:13 PM on June 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


Here's a clarification of the situation, written by the German company that makes the wheel boots.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:14 PM on June 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


Some one call "Angle Grinder Man"
posted by 445supermag at 9:15 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


A HOA is great for people who are incapable of deciding which color to paint their home or are too anti-social to actually advise the person next door that there may be an issue that needs resolving--the sort of folks who need an intermediary to work out differences for them because they still haven't gotten past the junior high school mentality of currying disfavor by reporting everything to the teacher.

It's also great for people who actually enjoy looking for infractions that affect them not at all because they enjoy the discomfort that it brings to others. They've been called "smug bastards" their entire lives, so why not have something to be smug about?

HOA's are tough on the "live and let live" bunch, though. Tough on people who want to live their lives without a lot of interference and who don't care to go out of their way to make life more difficult for their neighbors. It's tough on the folks who just want to live their lives according to their own code--the Code of the West that the great state of Arizona was founded on--working, minding one's own business, and helping a neighbor in need.

That's why you don't hear the good stuff about HOA's.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:16 PM on June 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


The media becomes involved.

The media only became "involved" in that our sub-literate douchebag called them, and was told they weren't particularly interested but they could forward him to the Investigations! voice mail if he wanted.

Maybe if this had some media associated with it, or at least if there was one single shred of evidence that this guy's narrative had any credibility at all....

As it is, I keep expected fr0zen to show up and start defending her man.
posted by tkolar at 9:16 PM on June 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


er, "kept"
posted by tkolar at 9:26 PM on June 18, 2008


The media becomes involved. And we become witness to a business owner suiciding his own business.

Where? When? How?
posted by ericb at 9:34 PM on June 18, 2008


I read all the postings by the car owner/message board poster.

It seems that the parking enforcement company violated the contract with the home owner association in booting the car instead of warning the car owner. It's clear in the contract that booting may only occur in certain conditions, and that those conditions did not exist at the time the car was booting.

Many of you think the guy that didn't bow down to the 'authority' of the parking enforcement is in the wrong. If you actually read the thread, including the contract, you will see that the guy is not in the wrong.

The parking enforcement company is in the wrong here. Not only wrong in principle, but wrong in action. The police agreed with the car owner and the housing association has agreed with the car owner.

I think it's great that the guy is standing up to the abuse of power.
posted by Argyle at 9:44 PM on June 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


And eventually APS goes off the deep end, booting nearly everyone's car in the community.

Huh? What? Where's the evidence of such an action? Surely not in your hyperlink.
posted by ericb at 9:45 PM on June 18, 2008


I have to wonder if APS has found that thread and is watching it furiously while the mockery flows like the tide. This is a classic testosterone-fueled power struggle on their part, since they were offered their boots back and they refused to take them without their money. I can't imagine an outcome where they keep their lucrative contract with the HOA now that their flagrant violations have come to light.

Boots just crack me up, they remind me of the anarchist kid I knew in college who removed them for fun and sported a decent-sized collection.
posted by mullingitover at 9:49 PM on June 18, 2008


Argyle wrote...

Many of you think the guy that didn't bow down to the 'authority' of the parking enforcement is in the wrong.


Just out of curiosity, what thread are you reading where people are saying things like that? I mean, like, any single person saying that much less "many"?
posted by tkolar at 9:52 PM on June 18, 2008


Allright, folks, we heard from Public Enemy, but how 'bout some other Arizona-related tunes? Yes? Okay, then! Lessee... we got Arizona, a fairly horrible little tune that I remember got a good bit of radio play when I was a kid, as did the much more agreeable By the Time I Get To Phoenix. If I come up with any others, I'll post 'em.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:06 PM on June 18, 2008


I'm with tkolar on this. AZ Parking still seems to be in business, contrary to the RIP claim. There has been no real media coverage of this story. The BBB seems to think that the company has attempted to resolve other complaints satisfactorily. The links contain a few pictures of booted cars, hardly evidence of the mass booting of cars in the complex. The approach this individual took to solving his problem has not resulted in meaningful progress towards a resolution of the dispute.
posted by humanfont at 10:06 PM on June 18, 2008


Meh. I still get a kick out of it, just as I did with the Calgary stolen car vigilante thread.

If there's one thing the auto forums are good for, it's the stories of injustices that end up punishing the perps. The guy with the car has played it pretty well, IMO, and I think the idea of dollying the car was brilliant. That he pushed a douchebag who's been over-zealously booting cars and over-charging people into going insane is just icing on the cake.

I'm terribly sorry my idea of good fun doesn't match some of yours. But, hey, that's the beauty of this world wide web thing: there's almost certainly bound to be something else that strikes your fancy. Feel free to find it and post it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 PM on June 18, 2008


Ah, here we go, someone did it for me: Five songs about Arizona.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:10 PM on June 18, 2008


Benson, Arizona
posted by krinklyfig at 10:18 PM on June 18, 2008


There are three problems with HOAs, all of which have affected people I know:

1) People who have no business living in a HOA community buy there anyway. Sometimes this is because they're stupid, sometimes because of #2, below.

2) In some parts of the country, it is very nearly impossible to find a home not within an HOA community, giving rise to problem #1.

3) If you stuff the board, an easy-going, very loose "maintain the gravel road" HOA can turn into the fourth Reich almost overnight. The latter happened to my parents, complete with HOA board cronies getting away with murder while people raising questions suddenly found themselves with multiple infractions of new and mysterious rules. Best part was special assessments to pay for the legal fees the HOA incurred because of lawsuits brought by residents of the HOA.

We live in the sticks, complete with guys who seem to value wrecked cars as yard ornaments and kids on dirt bikes operating 24/7 because even that is infinitely preferable to a HOA, for us.

For others, HOAs provide an important service. There are lots of folks who cannot tolerate a yard full of wrecked cars next door, and I'm not convinced that's anything more than a differing idea of what's acceptable, not a character weakness.

Best advice for buying in an HOA community: very very carefully read the rules, meet the HOA president and board, and get your damn self onto the board ASAP if you can. By being involved you can help keep the tinpot dictators at bay.

You'd be surprised just how little most HOA officers know about their own rules. Ask pointed questions and if you get lots of vague "that's not allowed" despite no actual rule existing, be forewarned.
posted by maxwelton at 10:21 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


That he pushed a douchebag who's been over-zealously booting cars and over-charging people into going insane is just icing on the cake.

There is no evidence of that other than pictures of two booted cars. The pool service truck is reported to have been booted for several days now, which suggests to me that it was booted for a real reason. He's now facing legal action from APS. I don't see how the perps are punished. It seems they still have a contract in place at the HOA, his car still has a boot on it. He can't remove the boot without paying them. He may end up owing them more after the courts are done, or at least owing lawyers some money.
posted by humanfont at 10:24 PM on June 18, 2008


HF, you haven't actually read the whole thread yet have you? They took the boot off after the first meeting at his house.
posted by Parannoyed at 10:31 PM on June 18, 2008


maxwelton writes "We live in the sticks, complete with guys who seem to value wrecked cars as yard ornaments and kids on dirt bikes operating 24/7 because even that is infinitely preferable to a HOA, for us."

Yep. There's a farmed 5 acres across from me, and a guy living in a two room adobe "house" in an adjacent lot which has three 50s model pickups on blocks, one of which is going to rust rapidly. Right up the road is an equestrian center, and a little further is a farm with dairy goats. Another neighbor is a ceramics artist with a studio occupying the primary 1/3 of her house that would normally be a living room. There are $750,000 homes next to $20,000 mobile homes, and some earthships mixed in, some fancy and expensive, some very spare, many houses in mid-completion for years. There are a few gated communities here with HOAs, but mostly people think that's silly and can't be bothered.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:31 PM on June 18, 2008


humanfont writes "his car still has a boot on it"

No, the boot has been removed. The cops made APS take it off.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:33 PM on June 18, 2008


This one has potential - every car enthusiast forum yearns for a legendary thread these days.

While this guy is having more fun with it, the lobster claw incident in Calgary was overall better (so far) as highlighted by this picture in the paper
posted by jeffmik at 10:38 PM on June 18, 2008


humanfont writes "his car still has a boot on it. He can't remove the boot without paying them."

APS came by (with four cars and the owner apparently) and removed the boots. A cop was also in attendance for the de-booting
posted by Mitheral at 10:46 PM on June 18, 2008


HOAs are defacto local governments that aren't held to the same restrictions that actual governments are, yet often run by the same people that seek power in higher offices.

I think the local county government should be the ones enforcing land use laws, not busybody HOA board members.
posted by Laen at 10:46 PM on June 18, 2008


No, the boot has been removed. The cops made APS take it off.

I missed that in my initial read thorugh. Though to be fair the cops didn't make them take it off, APS chose to remove the boot and they are pursuing action with the HOA and courts. They also have taken away his parking passes so he can no longer park on the street.
posted by humanfont at 10:46 PM on June 18, 2008


Links: Summary of posts in forum covering the major action, big update, most recent
posted by kyleg at 11:14 PM on June 18, 2008


They also have taken away his parking passes so he can no longer park on the street.

They had to give them back
posted by Tenuki at 11:17 PM on June 18, 2008


I've read the links and I'm still not seeing where the "booting nearly everyone's car in the community", "media becomes involved", and "business owner suiciding his own business" happens. Maybe it's my speed-reading?

In any case I'm underwhelmed by this post. If people put half the amount of energy they put into avoiding fines into, I dunno... something useful or selfless? This world would be a nicer place. This is just a wealthy jagoff who's long on testosterone and short on perspective. Why not just say, "Oh hell, I screwed up -- but I have my own driveway and three-car garage, so I can afford to pay this ticket and easily avoid this situation in the future."
posted by loiseau at 11:23 PM on June 18, 2008


Why not just say, "Oh hell, I screwed up -- but I have my own driveway and three-car garage, so I can afford to pay this ticket and easily avoid this situation in the future."

Because he was in the right?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:32 PM on June 18, 2008


I keep on clicking on "the media becomes involved," but there's no link to any news outlet's coverage there. I feel like that generally when "the media becomes involved," someone creates some sort of story about it. Just sayin'.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 11:44 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't see it either. It's just one guy, arguing with just one parking company. Why the hell is this on MeFi's front page?
posted by Malor at 11:57 PM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


On one side, it's a "car enthusiast"; on the other, it's an HOA. Unless there's a way for both sides to lose -- for example, a plague of pthermites (giant prehistoric fire-breathing termites) rises up from under the housing development after sleeping thousands of years and eats them, all of their descendants, their cars, and their homes, and then goes back underground to sleep until the smell of another HOA or car enthusiast rouses them -- there can be no happy ending to this story.
posted by pracowity at 12:27 AM on June 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Unless I'm mistaken, both sides are losing.
posted by ryanrs at 1:10 AM on June 19, 2008


The HOA that my mom's condo is in when they told her to remove her potted plants from her patio wall because they made other houses look not as well kept up.

The gardeners hired by the HOA love my mom and her plants, though, so it's all just an interesting game of legalese-filled letters being sent back and forth. Amusing, since the HOA contract says nothing about potted plants at all. Tinpot dictators is right.
posted by mdonley at 1:15 AM on June 19, 2008


To me it's pretty simple: he admits he knew that if you park on the street, you get ticketed. So he messed up -- he admits this up-front. But even if for some reason this rule was hidden from him and the consequences were truly unfair, the giddy reports to an Internet message board just aren't the most convincing way to make that argument. He comes off like an 8-year-old.

I think people like this make America worse... people who claim their god-given right not to pay a damn parking ticket. As far as civil disobedience goes, Martin Luther King he ain't.
posted by loiseau at 1:16 AM on June 19, 2008


Why the hell is this on MeFi's front page?

If the post gets booted, will someone drag it to Metatalk, I wonder?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:18 AM on June 19, 2008


*laughs at people who live in a HOA*
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:26 AM on June 19, 2008


I think people like this make America worse...
posted by loiseau at 1:16 AM on June 19


Really? I would say that unregulated industries and companies that boot private vehicles in violation of their own written contracts make America worse. Towing companies and booting companies are run by the shadiest, most unethical people in the world. I don't think it's their side you should be taking, especially when they're clearly in the wrong. It's not a very good Article, but maybe you should RTF thing anyway.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:52 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I find it amazing that a private company can legally deny you the use of your car because you forgot to display a parking permit of which you are in possession. Or because you happened to park a little off-center in a parking space and your tire is on a white line (e.g., the pool service truck).

I also find it amazing that said company can then legally steal your car if you refuse to pay them to regain the use of your car.

Lastly, I find it amazing that there are some people who are okay with this.
posted by moonbiter at 2:14 AM on June 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


To me it's pretty simple: he admits he knew that if you park on the street, you get ticketed....

If by ticketed you mean, "Get a written warning" then, yes, you are correct. Instead, he got a $140 fine, sans warning.

To draw a parallel, there are things you can do that will result in you being on fire or bleeding from a major artery. I personally think that if I see you doing such a thing I should say something, advising you that, should you continue, you are going to find yourself covered in your own blood and/or on fire.

This is subtly, but significantly different from my stabbing you, or setting you on fire.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:17 AM on June 19, 2008


Why does everyone say this guy is an asshole? It's clear that APS was violating their contract. He found a legal solution that bypasses their violations. They freaked out about it. They paid the consequences. Three cheers for him!
posted by jeffburdges at 2:58 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, people saying this guy is an ass didn't RtFA. He was quite careful, called the cops twice checking legality, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:04 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where is the business suicide? Did the HOA fire APS?
posted by jeffburdges at 3:57 AM on June 19, 2008


I think it's great that the guy is standing up to the abuse of power.

I know, this is exactly like Rosa Parks if Rosa Parks owned three cars and had a hyper-inflated sense of entitlement and way too much free time on her hands.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:34 AM on June 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


This boot thread is way less cute than the piggy boot thread.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 4:35 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I also think it's nice that this guy is standing up to this abuse of power. No, it doesn't really matter much, but it's still a good thing. Let's just hope the HOA fires APS.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:50 AM on June 19, 2008


As I left the house to the gym other vehicles where booted. ONE WAS A SHASTA POOLS COMPANY TRUCK! ALL IT DID WAS HAVE ONE TIRE ON THE WHITE LINE!

Ok, that's it! I'm selling my family and moving to New Mexico to take up arms against the ASP.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:19 AM on June 19, 2008


You know, my dad told me this story about responsibility when I was a kid, about how when his family was having a big dinner with guests, etc., his mom (my grandma) told him and his siblings "be back at the house by 7 for the dinner. This is really important. If you stay out past curfew you'll be grounded for a week."

His sister stayed out with friends until midnight, and when she came back, their furious mother asked what she was thinking, and my aunt responded, "I wanted to have fun with my friends. it was worth it."

That, honestly, is why I can't help but declare this guy an asshole, and the people who are claiming he's "standing up to abuse of power" as silly. Because the point of the story from my dad isn't that a punishment might outweigh the activity, but that you're supposed to understand you're not supposed to do the bad thing in the first place.

We all understand here that at no point is he actually suggesting he didn't know he was violating a rule here, right? He admits he knew that the rule was being violated. But the stupid, ignorant parking garage clearly forgot that he was Very Fucking Important. This entire thread isn't about how he was unfairly punished; it's about how he was surprised that he was punished more severely than he expected for doing something he knew he shouldn't have ever fucking done in the first place.

This is the same douchebag who parks in the handicapped spot because "he only has to run in for a minute." Who takes his screaming three-year-olds to an R-rated movie because maybe this time they won't start crying. Who takes two sandwiches at the free lunch because "now he'll have one for later." Who needs to position himself on the bus to make it look like there's not enough room for you on that empty seat next to him. Because he is Very Fucking Important.

There is a word for these people: assholes. And if you're defending it then maybe there's a similar word for you too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:24 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Reading the dude's posts in order (e.g. this or that) helps bring out the story a lot more clearly, and it'd have been nice to at least have that up front in the post; while it's kind of neat to see something unfold over time throughout a thread, with a 40+ page thread it's a bear to dig through after as a casual reader.

That said, yeah, invoking the vibrant images of media response and corporate suicide and then not...having any of that? Grrr. It's an interesting story, and there's obviously a lot of little vectors here that people can relate to on either side (privatized parking enforcement, HOA pros and cons, community action, etc), but I'm feeling a little ripped off by the payout.
posted by cortex at 6:37 AM on June 19, 2008


Let's just hope the HOA fires APS.

Let's not. Instead, let's remain completely indifferent to this menage รก trois of complete and utter douchebags.
posted by dersins at 6:41 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


My only comment is the same comment I have in all HOA threads:

The entire concept of HOA's is obscene, they appear to be nothing but an opportunity for powertripping jerks to indulge their perversion. The only reasonable solution is to ban them entirely.
posted by sotonohito at 6:47 AM on June 19, 2008


Why does everyone say this guy is an asshole?

Well, among other things his .sig is a misogynistic fat joke....
posted by tkolar at 6:52 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is the same douchebag who parks in the handicapped spot because "he only has to run in for a minute." Who takes his screaming three-year-olds to an R-rated movie because maybe this time they won't start crying. Who takes two sandwiches at the free lunch because "now he'll have one for later." Who needs to position himself on the bus to make it look like there's not enough room for you on that empty seat next to him. Because he is Very Fucking Important.

I'm not sure what story you're actually reading.
posted by inigo2 at 7:01 AM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, among other things his .sig is a misogynistic fat joke....

"The A1 and A2 German"? What does that mean? Or am I reading the wrong thing?
posted by pracowity at 7:15 AM on June 19, 2008


There is a word for these people: assholes.

I agree completely. People who forget to put their hang-tags on their mirrors when they park in areas in which they are entitled to park, which is what happened here, are far, far worse than the combined evilosity of Hitler, Pol Pot, and Zuul.

Not just assholes. Asshole MOTHERFUCKERS who FORGOT TO PUT THEIR HANG TAGS UP thereby INCONVENIENCING NOBODY AT ALL and TAKING UP NO SPACE THAT THEY WEREN'T ENTITLED TO TAKE UP ANYWAY. Jee-zus. Can't we just kill him?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:27 AM on June 19, 2008 [9 favorites]


Or am I reading the wrong thing?

Last line of every post he makes.
posted by tkolar at 7:31 AM on June 19, 2008


I keep on clicking on "the media becomes involved," but there's no link to any news outlet's coverage there.

My screw-up: I mis-read the bit where he contacts a few of the media outlets; I thought they said they'd send an investigative team out.

There seem to be a lot of people in this thread who (a) don't know how to use their browser's "search" function to find "A1 and A2 German" on the pages and (b) haven't actually bothered to read the web pages.

The guy has been parking in the same spot for ages. His car is heavily modified, very distinctive. The APS guys know the car: one of the guys he talks to says he's checked out the car before. The guy is in possession of a parking pass; he forgets to hang it from the mirror one day. APS is supposed to issue a warning, not double-boot the car and charge him $50 more than the set fine.

The guy checks with the cops that it is perfectly legal to dolly his car into his own garage with boots still attached. He makes sure the cops are there when APS shows up to collect the boots and attempt to get him to pay up for "services rendered." APS takes the boots, but doesn't get the money.

A picture of the booted car in the garage hits the net and ends up in APS's email inbox. APS's general manager and probable owner goes apeshit. Dozens of cars get booted in some weird sort of revenge, including contractors who are parked to unload their tools and materials, and guests who are properly parked in guest parking.

Throughout all this, the guy has remained calm and sane, keeping the cops and HOA informed as to what's going on and encouraging forum members to leave APS alone. APS's GM and probable owner, OTOH, has flown off the handle, threatening legal action and so angry that the cops suggest it's a poor idea for the two to meet face-to-face.

And now, I suppose, you probably don't need to make the minimal effort to use your browser's search function after all.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:39 AM on June 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


don't know how to use their browser's "search" function to find "A1 and A2 German" on the pages

Or maybe couldn't be bothered to do a search on each and every one of 41 pages?

the guy has remained calm and sane,

..in as much as a person posting in ALL CAPS with LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!! and pretty clearly posting biased crap from his own narcissistic point of view can be said to be "calm and sane".
posted by tkolar at 7:44 AM on June 19, 2008


"The A1 and A2 German"? What does that mean?

A1 and A2 refer to shared platforms for VW cars. The A1 was MKI Rabbit/Jetta/Cabriolet/Scirocco and the A2 was MK2 Golf/Jetta and Corrado.
posted by jeffmik at 7:47 AM on June 19, 2008


@XQUZYPHYR:

"be back at the house by 7 for the dinner. This is really important. If you stay out past curfew you'll be grounded for a week."

What if your aunt had come home at 6pm and still been grounded? Her parents would have arbitrarily ignored their own rule, just as APS did. This guy should have received nothing but a warning from APS. They ignored their own rule and jumped right to the booting of the car, and this guy is calling them on it. That's what this is about.

And if you're defending it then maybe there's a similar word for you too.

Look in the mirror, buddy.
posted by eratus at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2008


To me it's pretty simple: he admits he knew that if you park on the street, you get ticketed.

That's what I love about Metafilter. You can have literally every single fact 100% wrong, and you still get to be smug.
posted by standbythree at 7:56 AM on June 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


The one positive HOA experience:

I owned a condo in a 4-unit building. We had an HOA. We were the HOA. The four of us would get together monthly and eat cookies and drink tea and go over the problems. The bottom half of the building (me and my favorite neighbor) hated the top half of the building (comments redacted). The meetings were fun because we all had to negotiate responsibilities, we were all broke, and we were all trying to pass the buck(s). I was the secretary and so I sat with a laptop in front of me, typing everything everybody said (and hiding my surprise at the asinine suggestions coming from above).

It reminded me of fond memories as a child of playing poker with my dysfunctional family. They really prepared me for life, and I thank them for that.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:27 AM on June 19, 2008


The latter happened to my parents, complete with HOA board cronies getting away with murder while people raising questions suddenly found themselves with multiple infractions of new and mysterious rules. Best part was special assessments to pay for the legal fees the HOA incurred because of lawsuits brought by residents of the HOA.

Cakes like that, and this, are generally iced with kickbacks to the HOA board.

I think people like this make America worse... people who claim their god-given right not to pay a damn parking ticket.

It amazes and depresses me how instinctively and reflexively submissive many of us are to any manifestation of authority, no matter how obviously mistaken and illegitimate.
posted by jamjam at 8:38 AM on June 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


am I reading the wrong thing?

You're reading the wrong thing. The thing that makes it clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that he's a fucking douchebag is the fact that he tags every post with this line:

"Having a bucket that runs 13's is like saying you have a 200lb girlfriend but she's good in bed."

It is shocking how many different kinds of asshole he's managed to pack into a single sentence. Fuck this guy, fuck his childish hotrods, fuck his fucking emoticons and exclamation points!!!!!!!!, and fuck his infantile glee at stickin' it to the man for real this time, man.

On the other hand, fuck APS and their petty martinet of an owner / manager, and fuck this and every other HOA in the country who get erections every time they screw over a homeowner.

(Oh, and fuck this post, too, for containing more lies than truth. Where the fuck does the "suicide" of APS come from? Or actual media involvement? Certainly not from the links, which go to a 40-page forum thread that we're supposed to search through to find the fucking story. Ctrl-F yourself. Ctrl-F this post right in the ass.)

And of course this all appears to be taking place somewhere in the hell that is the greater Phoenix metrosprawl. Fuck that whole part of the state, too.
posted by dersins at 8:39 AM on June 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


What I like about stories like this is that carheads are usually guys with some at least minor (if not siginificant) engineering ability and the tools to realize a variety of personal visions.

What I mean by that is that the enforcement of arbitrary rules and regulations is usually a matter of engineering. Much like how magicians depend on the audience refusing to believe that anyone would go through the enormous cost in mechanical engineering and effort that it takes to pull off many illusions, agencies like this depend on people believing that the technical hurdle of something like a boot is insurmountable. The gumption of somebody literally dollying their booted car into their garage is kind of awesome in that regard. If he'd been legally allowed to, he would no doubt have managed to take the boot off even if it destroyed the boot in the process.
posted by shmegegge at 8:42 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


We had an HOA. We were the HOA.

I think that qualifies more as neighbors getting together (formally) to discuss issues and work them out with each other. The classic HOA situation is power-drunk retirees crushing any expression of free-spiritedness within their jurisdiction.

Sounds like fun, though!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:45 AM on June 19, 2008


an international blog like Metafilter (emphasis mine)

Do I need to explain to you how the Internet works?
posted by oaf at 8:55 AM on June 19, 2008


Please, elucidate.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:06 AM on June 19, 2008


an INTERGALACTIC blog like Metafilter BOM BOM BOM bom BOM-BOM bom BOM-BOM (total fantasy and soundtrack mine)
posted by katillathehun at 9:13 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Clearly, it's an internetional blog.
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2008


shmegegge writes "The gumption of somebody literally dollying their booted car into their garage is kind of awesome in that regard."

Somewhere in that monster of a thread is a comment suggesting the victim remove the boots and then epoxy them to the pavement in the parking spot. I'd so not be able to resist round two consisting of me parking an old clunker sans permit; waiting for it to be booted; then just unbolting the suspension from the car and removing the body leaving the suspension and wheels booted in the parking space. I bet with a little prep work before hand (removing all the bolts and reinstalling so they wouldn't be rusted in place; removing transfluid so you wouldn't make a mess when you popped the axles; installing an anchor point in the roof to hook the hoist to; etc.) a couple guys could remove the body in less than an hour easy.

Ya, it's probably a good thing I don't live in an HOA/Architectural controlled community.
posted by Mitheral at 9:44 AM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


The entire process of booting seems incredibly stupid to me: There is something about your car that is causing grief, perhaps it's illegally parked, maybe it's blocking traffic, whatever...

The obvious solution here is to place a device on it which ensures that it can't be moved, and thus exacerbates the problem as much as possible.

I've never had my car booted, but like so many things in life, it's a problem which strikes me as something that thermite is the perfect answer to.
posted by quin at 9:45 AM on June 19, 2008


It amazes and depresses me how instinctively and reflexively submissive many of us are to any manifestation of authority, no matter how obviously mistaken and illegitimate.

On the bright side, when my cynicism mounts to the point I say fuck it and become the evil hypocritical authority, I can peruse sundry threads on this site for a nice list of people who will bend over and hand me all their bucks.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:52 AM on June 19, 2008


On the bright side, when my cynicism mounts to the point I say fuck it and become the evil hypocritical authority, I can peruse sundry threads on this site for a nice list of people who will bend over and hand me all their bucks.

Weird, I was going totally the other direction with it and wondering if it would be immoral to take money from people who will send their cash into to any internet cause, as long as it involves sticking it to the man.

'Cuz I got caught sticking a potato in a cop's tailpipe the other night, and I need help with a legal defense fund. $5, $10, whatever you can spare. Yeah, it was juvenile and pointless but it was totally worth it, and you can be a part of it by sending me money!
posted by tkolar at 10:01 AM on June 19, 2008


But I don't see this guy asking for any money?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:18 AM on June 19, 2008


if this really goes the distance and I loose I am possibly setting up a Paypal Donation Fight The Power Fund, $5, $10, $20 what ever you want.

However, tying it to this particular case is missing the point.
posted by tkolar at 10:32 AM on June 19, 2008


There really are no winners here. The subject of the story comes up with a creative solution to his alleged injustice but he also calls his persecutors Nazis & accuses them of running Guantanamo. The parking contractor behaves badly throughout the affair, caught up in the power of a corporation essentially tasked with privatization of law enforcement. The OP puts together a confusing & misleading summary of the story. And the rest of us have to wade through it all for ourselves rather than being guided to the best or most relevant parts of it by the OP. Sorry, in spite of the novelty of what the guy did this was not a good post.
posted by scalefree at 10:32 AM on June 19, 2008


Y'know, I'm amazed at myself.
I actually tried to follow part of that thread.
I actually tried to follow a goodly number of the comments in this - what?- 103-comment-long ..... 104, counting mine.

And at the end, I have just wasted roughly a half hour of perfectly good time. Dang. When will I learn?
posted by drhydro at 11:09 AM on June 19, 2008


Mitheral, you are my kind of a-hole!

Really, I'm not sure why, but when it comes to parking enforcement most of the cases I see end up in a huge abuse-of-powergasm for both sides. This is one of the reasons I have avoided owning a car.

But I would buy one to pull Mitheral's gag. A junker, of course.
posted by eritain at 1:45 PM on June 19, 2008


Are there any posts specifically pertaining to the APS owner's "fuck it, let's boot every motherfucker within ten square miles" powergasm?

That's the most interesting part of the story --- a spectacular corporate flameout --- and that's what I want to read.
posted by jayder at 2:47 PM on June 19, 2008


Why is it that car aficionadoes seem to spend all their time on crappy phpBB bulletin boards? (Last time I saw one, I think, was when there was a Metafilter post about a guy who had a very rare japanese car and all these bulletin board denizens banded together and caught the tattooed delinquent who stole it.)

There's something really odd about these communities and the members' bizarre "avatars" and little signature lines, and when you combine their adolescent obsessiveness and immaturity with the fact that the people have jobs, homes, and lots of money to spend on cars and accessories, I find my infrequent forays into their phpBB forums very puzzling.
posted by jayder at 2:51 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're missing the bigger picture, jayder. Most people who spend their time in some sort of text-based discussion online do so on crappy phpBB bulletin boards. Car nuts are no exception. Crappy phpBB bulletin boards are the earthy topsoil from from which more interesting stalks of internet conversation bloom.
posted by cortex at 2:59 PM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


adolescent obsessiveness and immaturity

Just because Metafilter doesn't have sigs or avatars doesn't mean the phpBB's have a corner on the market.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:03 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


APS owner's "fuck it, let's boot every motherfucker within ten square miles" powergasm?

Yeah, didn't happen.
posted by tkolar at 3:11 PM on June 19, 2008


I need to ask: why is this post favourited nearly thirty times? I don't understand at all why it's exceptional.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:46 PM on June 19, 2008


It was a nice riposte to the post before it.
posted by tkolar at 4:53 PM on June 19, 2008


FWIW, someone named "ifmnda" has re-posted the Audi owner's posts, which makes for a nice summary. Pages 51, 52.

Looks like APS took back all its boots and has started using warning stickers like they were supposed to.

Someone in the thread made commemorative t-shirts! Very amusing.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:07 PM on June 19, 2008


Dave Faris writes "Just because Metafilter doesn't have sigs or avatars doesn't mean the phpBB's have a corner on the market."

Yeah, some of the threads when images were allowed ... you remember when AlexReynolds imploded?
posted by krinklyfig at 9:34 PM on June 19, 2008


jayder: ... APS owner's "fuck it, let's boot every motherfucker within ten square miles" powergasm?

tkolar: Yeah, didn't happen.

Well, it appears that something like that may have happened. I found this in the summary on page 52. And if you scroll about a tenth of a way down the page you can see photos.

"APS HAS JUST OFFICIALLY GONE BOOT CRAZY IN THE PAST 24 HOURS EITHER IN FRUSTRATION OR RETALIATION! I left work this morning and all these cars had these boots on them, all over the place, I got home and my roomy walked in, "Dude, why do all the cars have boots on them?"

From this phone call I received from the HOA member, "Yeah, they are trying to find ANYTHING to boot everyone, tags, etc."
Man, these cars that have displayed tags and they have boots on them, one Tahoe got booted for being on the white line, another guy hd to pay $90 to have the boot removed because his tags are expired!!!!!!!!!!!!"
posted by jayder at 10:21 PM on June 19, 2008


Dammit, thread got locked. No more updates.
posted by azpenguin at 10:58 PM on June 19, 2008


Jayder wrote...
Well, it appears that something like that may have happened. I found this in the summary on page 52. And if you scroll about a tenth of a way down the page you can see photos.

... of one van that's been booted and two cars parked next to each other that have been booted.

Not that I'm suggesting that the narrator is unreliable mind you; he's just a little over-enthusiastic in his descriptions.

I hope some local media outlets pick the story up, so we can get at least a second viewpoint.
posted by tkolar at 11:59 PM on June 19, 2008


This is such an important story that you feel a need for a second viewpoint?

I'm afraid some of you are taking this way too seriously. Enjoy the story for what it is: a guy figures out how to deke out the car booting company, the GM goes a bit overboard in his reaction, the thread goes viral, and commemorative t-shirts are printed.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:33 AM on June 20, 2008


Enjoy the story for what it is: A douchebag with authority issues gets his car booted and posts a "fight the man" blog about how oppressed he is, causing a small business owner to be harassed by thousands of nameless strangers.

I feel the need for a second viewpoint because this story (and this very post that we're writing in) has real life consequences for APS. If the narrator's story is confirmed, then fine: APS deserves the trouble it's brought on itself. If the narrators story is half whining and half wish fulfillment fantasy -- which is what it certainly sounds like to me, having known a few of his ilk -- then you, fff, have participated in the widespread slander of innocent people.
posted by tkolar at 8:47 AM on June 20, 2008


Well, for a story that's so viral, I'm shocked that I didn't see any mention of it on BBC World News last night.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:51 AM on June 20, 2008


They're holding the story until they can get a comment from a Sussex man whose cat can, he claims, sing opera.
posted by cortex at 9:00 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ahem. I think we can learn a lesson from the manager of APS and pick our battles more carefully.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:14 AM on June 20, 2008


tkolar: ... then you, fff, have participated in the widespread slander of innocent people.

Oh, please. "Widespread slander of innocent people"? You accused FFF of being over-enthusiastic in his descriptions, but I think you've done the same thing.

This situation is FPP-worthy because it strikes a familiar chord with many of us who have been subject to the petty tyrannies of people like these APS goons.

Yes, I agree the "The A1 and A2 German" comes across as a real ass -- the kind of celebratory, jaunty, thumbs up, fuck-you attitude in the photos comes off as really over-the-top.
posted by jayder at 10:06 AM on June 20, 2008


For every petty tyranny I've encountered, I've met two overgrown children who believe that every rule that applies to them is unfair.
posted by tkolar at 11:13 AM on June 20, 2008


Sadly for your argument, the rule in this case actually is unfair.
posted by moonbiter at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2008


Sadly for your argument, the rule in this case actually is unfair.

If I believed the narrator about how the rule actually is enforced, I would agree.

And truth be told, it would not surprise me in the least if APS was everything he described. I refuse to participate in a lynch mob on the testimony of one person, however.

It's all fun and games until the first death threat is phoned in.
posted by tkolar at 11:40 AM on June 20, 2008


I guess I prefer to overgrown children to petty tyranny everytime.

Perhaps that makes me a slanderer.
posted by Argyle at 8:38 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


FWIW, it's been days and days since the Audi-owning guy has posted to any thread in those forums. I wonder if he's languishing in jail.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 PM on June 23, 2008


By the way, anyone who wants a complete reading of the Audi guy's posts can find them here. The link showed up on Reddit a few hours ago. Guess he's seeking another venue.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 PM on June 23, 2008


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