So I get this call last night. The Caller ID comes up on the TV screen in this house and it gives me "Unknown Caller" and an 800 number. I pick up the phone, say "hello", and get a recording about accepting a collect call from an inmate. These are always interesting, of course. Not that I get them all the time, mind you, but it happens.
Anyway, the caller turns out to be a friend who works for me from time to time doing those odd jobs I dislike intensely. You know the kinds of jobs I am talking about, the ones requiring some actual physical labor. Or climbing around the attic.* Or having some clue about what I need to do to get the job done right.
Currently, he is putting in a cement pad to be used as a permanent location for my backup generator (used when we lose power during a hurricane and it appears it will be hours, days, or weeks before it is restored). He is also running a LAN cable from one side of the house to the other. Both projects are unfinished as yet.
He was supposed to drop by yesterday morning to continue work on the pad now that the cement has set. He didn't show. Now I had a good idea why.
Seems he had a little car accident where he ran off the end of a road, down into a ditch, and into a fence. This damaged the car and the fence. His OnStar failed to work and he did not have his cellphone with him. He wasn't hurt but the car was not going anywhere without a tow truck. And so he struck out on his own, finally getting a ride from someone who got him to his home.
He calls Onstar to notify them and notifies the police and calls a towing service and his insurance. And then settles down for the evening, thinking about the
new issues in his life. A couple of hours later, a couple of Sheriff's Deputies appear at his door. And arrest him for leaving the scene of an accident and for damaging private property.
Imagine his confusion. In any event, he sits in jail for a couple of days with a $4000 bail. He doesn't have it. Nor does he want to pay a bondsman $400 (nonrefundable) to get it posted that way. But some good fortune strikes and his bail is lowered at a hearing yesterday to $1000.
It is a bit later when I get that call. Apparently, he is getting desperate.
I don't often bail people out of jail. In fact, I have never done this. That means I haven't a clue what is needed. But I also don't like to know that someone I like is sitting in a cell somewhere. I know these are unpleasant places, not like a hotel rooms. Therefore I agree to come down and bail him out.
Arriving at the jail, I soon learn I cannot use a check and they don't take plastic either. Cash and Carry only. He is out of luck. I do not keep that kind of cash around. I also learn they cannot inform him that I am unable to bail him out and that I cannot "visit" him (via handset, TV camera and monitor) to tell him myself.
I go home and wait for the next "Unknown Caller" when he calls to find out why I have left him languishing in his dungeon cell.
This morning, I drop by the bank, get the cash, drive back downtown to the jail, bail him out and then drive him home. He's grateful. Imagine that.
He'd better do an awfully good job on that cement pad.
* We don't actually have an attic, we have an non-air conditioned, fiberglass insulation covered, crawl space in the area between the roof and the ceiling.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago