Let me start by saying something about the picture I selected for this post. I have no clue if this guy is/was on parole. In my defense, the only people I’ve ever seen dumb enough to get tattoos on their faces and split their tongues fall into one of two categories: 1) on/have been on parole or 2) will be on parole at some point. I’m sure dude is real artistic-like and is just expressing himself. Be sure to look for him at your next business meeting.
Here’s the scene: a man calls the police because, according to him, his vehicle’s oil pan was damaged by a fuel filling cover at a gas station. Â You know, where the tanker dumps the gas for the gas station and thousands of vehicles drive over it with no issue whatsoever? Â Yeah, that one. Â Anyway, seems the man was on parole. Â Cops searched his car and found a weapon. Â Shocking. Â They went to his home and searched, ultimately locating another weapon. Â He went to jail.
I was asked to look at the collision report the man filed regarding the alleged damage to his vehicle. Â Right away, I smell equine feces. Â He had taken photos of the fuel filling cover (with measurements and all) as well as the damage to his car. Â My first reaction was, “No way did this happen…at least not the way he says it did.” Â I came up with two theories:
1. He plowed into the gas station at an unsafe speed, bottomed out, and damaged the oil pan in his car.
2. His vehicle didn’t meet the height standard set forth by the CVC (California Vehicle Code).
Either way, the gas station (that he seemed intent on suing for damages) isn’t at fault. Â Common sense should have tipped him off, but, then again, he is a parolee.
I called the parolee and met him at his residence where the vehicle was parked. Â At first sight, I knew theory #2 was the one. Â If you look at your vehicle, you should notice there is about a 3″ gap or so between the top of your tire(s) and the lower edge of your fender. Â Much like the picture to the right. Â Now, there are different styles of vehicles, of course, but in general, the 3″ rule is fairly standard.
What the parolee wasn’t aware of is CVC 22400. Â That section talks about the height of the headlights. Â The lowest the center of a headlight can be, at least in the state of CA is 22″. Â His measured at 18.5″. Â Long story short, he was wrong and, ultimately, at fault for the collision because his vehicle was illegally lowered. Â Good news for the gas station.
All that was just a bit of a sidebar to the true entertaining story.
Seems the parolee felt some kind of misguided kinship with me because I ride a motorcycle. Â He decided to share with me why he was on parole. Â He launched into a story about how he just left a job interview where he landed the big job making $70k a year. Â His celebration choice? Â Jump on his custom painted rice rocket and do a wheelie at about 100 mph. Â Long story short, he got popped for evading. Â At least that was his story.
Time and again, I’ve regaled you with stories about questions I ask people and how they lie and how I tell them we already know the answer, but we ask you because we’re testing your honesty, yada, yada, freaking yada. Â Well, this applies a bit, too. Â Although I certainly didn’t ask for his life’s story, once again, I smelled the pungent odor of Mr. Ed’s leavings.
I looked him up. Â We can do that with those database thingies and those compooter whatsy-dooz-its. Â He was telling the truth about his evading. Â There was a conviction for that. Â Is someone going to go to prison solely for that, though? Â 99% of the time, the answer is no. Â There’s always more to the story. Â Turns out he is on parole for being a felon in possession of a firearm (12021(a) PC, if you care).
It never fails to amaze me that people either out-and-out lie to us or they lie by omission in order to paint themselves in a better light.
Again…don’t do it. Â We already know all about it.
Feature photo credit: Flicker and williamcho