We all know who Karen is.  The one who calls the police on a parent and child playing ball, alone in a park, hundreds of yards from the nearest possible recipient of their potentially coronacootie-fueled exhalations.  The busy-body neighbor reporting to volunteer contact tracers your weekly card game, or upcoming July 4th backyard BBQ.  Gladys Kravitz, on SJW steroids.

 For six years my band’s trailer has been legally parked in front of my place, whereupon I can keep a watchful eye.  Right under two street lights, in a nice, quiet neighborhood.  Safe.  Unobtrusive.  Our van is brand new — just purchased this past September.  Hardly a derelict eyesore.  

Yesterday, I looked out my window to see one of those red stickers pasted on the van’s windshield — the kind we see on vehicles abandoned on the side of roadways — marked for tow-away.  I immediately went out to the van to see what was up.  On the sticker was a note from the Raleigh PD that I had seven days to move the van and trailer before it was towed “at owner’s expense.”  On it was the reporting officer’s number.  I snapped a photo of the sticker with my iPhone, and went back inside to call the police department.

Calling the non-emergency number, I explained to the desk officer that my brand new van, parked where it always has been, had been marked for towing.  I explained that it hasn’t moved in over three months . . . for a rather OBVIOUS reason:  I’m a musician, not allowed to work because of the #CommieVirus lockdown.  Normally it gets moved around every week, maybe parked in a few different spaces, here or there, as available, but for the past months has been stationary.

He gave a friendly laugh, looked up the case number, and told me that one of my neighbors had called it in as an “abandoned” vehicle.  (A real dick move.)  He also said that they had no desire to tow the van and trailer, and that if I just moved the vehicle to another location — and perhaps did so once a week — that I could remove the red sticker.  He was great, and we spent a few minutes commiserating over the ridiculousness of this current situation we all find ourselves in.  I emailed him the photo of the sticker, and he notified the cop who’d placed it on my windshield to leave it alone.

This morning I got up and moved it about a half block down the road.  I’ll wait a few days, then return it back to the same location where it’s been idle since March.  Not a major pain in the ass, but the very thought that someone felt it necessary — for whatever reason — to call this in to the police, really chaps my cajones.  It’s not bad enough that I’m currently denied the right to earn a living, but now I have to actively play musical chairs with a legally parked vehicle in order to sidestep the ire of Karen, and avoid a towing and storage charge.  Not to mention the possible damage the towing company would do trying to haul off the van/trailer combo.

As it happens, I just this week actually booked a last-minute July 4th gig for one of my bands.  Out-of-state, in a remote, private location, away from the prying eyes and ears of all Karens.  We’ve played for these folks before. They know how to party.  It’ll be our first show since the lockdowns began.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that our scheduled August dates are now being cancelled as governors extend reduced-capacity restrictions at major venues, making it financially unfeasible for those venues to operate without incurring more losses than if they just remain closed.  Yeah . . . I called that one back in March, too.

 #COVIDKaren #CoronaCooties #CommieVirus2020

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