The Panang of Parking

Lincoln's Toe Truck

Lincoln’s Toe Truck

For decades, Seattle has had the famous Lincoln’s Toe Truck, bright pink with a giant set of toes on top. After some years of actual towing service, it ended up sitting on top of a building downtown and now finally has a home in the awesome, rebuilt/relocated Museum of History and Industry.* As a kid, whenever we drove down I-5 to visit the Seattle Center or other destinations involving the Mercer Street exit, we excitedly looked for the toe truck.  Kids loved the toe truck.  Adults loved the toe truck.  It made towing seen fun and silly.

* MOHAI is right on Lake Union and if you’re hungry after museuming you can get fish tacos from a taco boat (like a food truck, but on water!) that pulls right up to the lakeside walkway as seaplanes take off over your head — I didn’t try it when I was there last year and still (mildly) regret it.  Next time.

Towing seems less fun and silly when you park at the wrong end of the Ruan-Ren strip mall in Wheaton (on Amherst off University).  As we were leaving last night, one of our Ruan servers was running around the restaurant asking if anyone owned the SUV that was in the process of being towed.  Nobody seemed to – the owner could have been at Ren’s, or…Brother?  Anyway, we emerged from Ruan to see the SUV hooked up to the tow truck, ready to go.  We just avoid that whole parking lot on principle, between the towing danger and the difficulty and awkwardness of getting a spot to begin with.  Park on Amherst at a  meter, or in the Metro garage across University.

I’m not overall a big fan of towing companies, I think they are predatory and in many cases an overly expensive and logistically difficult solution to a minor problem.  But in this case, I had little sympathy for the SUV owner, because both Ruan and Ren have multiple signage about not parking at the other end of the lot, to a comical degree.  Except apparently not comical enough, because still some people have not gotten the message.  This post was meant to be funny, but it was 100% true about not parking in front of Alex, or the store on the other side of it whose name I can never remember.

So the towing incident was the lowlight (someone’s lowlight, not really ours); the food was good as ever.  We tend to order the same stuff at Ruan over and over again, pad prik khing and mussamun curry, etc etc.   Both Ruan and Ren were doing good business, always nice to see, especially at a time of year when people aren’t necessarily out and about as much.


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