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The Case of the Broken Side Mirror

Mollie Gets Up Close and Personal with I.V. Vandalism

Vandalized car

It was 3 o’clock in the morning, and I was just settling in for a long Thursday night’s sleep. Suddenly, I was jolted out of my almost-slumbering state by an eruption of thunderous banging on my front door. After a brief consultation with the friend that was crashing in my room, I dismissed the knocking as yet another confused drunk person mistaking my house for the one they were supposed to be partying at. We closed our eyes and started to drift back to sleep.

Then, the flashlights shined in. Bright, piercing beams of light poured through my bedroom windows and jolted me right back awake again. My friend poked his head through the blinds and confirmed the worst fears that had been nagging the back of my mind since the loud knocking began – it was the cops. Exhausted, scared, and scantily clad in my pajamas, I slid open the door with trepidation.

“Are you Mollie Vandor?” The officer asked as his flashlight proceeded to blind my poor, bewildered eyes. I responded with an only slightly-hesitant, “Yes.” The officer then went on to inform me that someone had vandalized my car, and that I needed to come outside right away and take care of the situation.

I put some clothes on – yes, Mom, your voice in my head prevented me from wandering outside in what passes for my pajamas – and I headed outside, assuming that ‘vandalized’ meant the worst. It turns out that some drunken guy had mistaken my car for the car of a person he had gotten into an alcohol-fueled fight with, and so he decided to take out his rage on my side view mirror.

My poor, shattered mirror lay prostrate on the cold, hard pavement – separated from the car where it had been newly attached just a few weeks ago, after some other drunken asshole tore it off. There it was; all the money, effort, and time that I had put into fixing it, laying on the ground in too many pieces for me to comprehend at 3 a.m.

Of course, drunken asshole number two couldn’t stop at my side view mirror alone. He also decided to bend in the mirrors of a few friends’ cars parked around mine – and take my roommate’s mirror right off her car too. And, of course, my mirror was the only one he destroyed beyond repair. I suppose it serves me right for having the gall to actually park my car in front of my house and assume that people might respect the fact that it is my property and not theirs.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. Thus far this year, my car has its side view mirror broken off, the bumper rammed into, and the license plate adorned with a lovely piece of sharpie graffiti proclaiming “fuck the state” -that last little piece of vandalism gold occurred while the car was parked in my driveway. As if it wasn’t awkward and scary enough when I rolled up to valet parking for the Santa Barbara Film Fest, the Oscars, or the various shi-shi L.A.-based production companies I’ve been interviewing with for a summer job, I’ve had to do it with a poor old Honda Civic that now looks as though it’s been through a war – a gang war, with lots of mean people holding sharpies and some apparent deep-seated resentment about the state of California.

I just don’t understand why people in I.V. insist on ruining each other’s rides. My roommate recently went out to grab something from her car only to find a Maxi pad stuck to the windshield. Apparently, the very tip of her bumper had been protruding into the edge of someone’s driveway – an edge which you would not use to get in or out of said driveway unless you had some serious steering problems – and that house had decided to thank her by adorning her windshield with a bright pink feminine product proclaiming “Don’t block our driveway.” And while the top of the pad came off rather easily, the adhesive plastic part will probably be stuck on her window until well after she graduates and leaves this place.

The last time I checked, most people partying in I.V. are aware it’s a college town. And, most people who know anything about college towns know that we’re struggling to make ends meet – let alone take care of a bunch of random damage done to our already-shitty cars by someone who should have passed out seven shots ago. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times more before The Indy makes me turn my column over to someone else; a tiny town like Isla Vista, with such a concentrated – and well-lubricated – population will never function properly unless people respect each other.

And, nothing says disrespectful like turning my car into the innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of your personal Rocky moment. If a bunch of dumb, drunk guys want to duke it out, that’s their business. It’s stupid, and it screams “I’m compensating for something and I can’t handle my alcohol,” but it’s their prerogative to beat the crap out of each other. As long as the crap-beating stays confined to their own faces. Hey, they decided to get into it, they can suffer the consequences. I just don’t understand why they have to bring other people’s cars into it.

All I know is that now I need to go get my side view mirror fixed – again. Well, at least the guys randomly playing soccer in the street had the good sense to call the cops when they saw some guy decide to take his anger out on my car. And, at least the cops decided to respond with full force – four cars, including one off-road vehicle, and at least six officers all came out to serve and protect my poor little mirror. And, when all is said and done, at least the only damage done was done to my side view – my sense of security when it comes to the state of my stuff in sweet little Isla Vista was shattered a long time ago.

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