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Joiner: Should he play or should he go? Also, your favorite tow truck story

GAINESVILLE -- It's simple folks. Either you think Tony Joiner did no wrong (Tim Tebow's opinion, so it must be right) or you think Tony Joiner is an alleged car thief.

Leave me a comment (Yeah or Nay) on whether or not Joiner should play on Saturday. Also, if anyone has any funny tow truck stories, please share those with Gator Clause, too. (Living in South Florida, I'm sure there are plenty of tow truck stories out there.)

I'll be compiling the best tow truck stories and announcing a winner soon. I'm pretty sure there will be a prize involved (maybe a Florida Gators trailer hitch or a "Tase The Tigers" game-day T-shirt from the Auburn-Florida game).

My favorite tow truck story. (This story is 100 percent true and you're not going to believe it.):

When first I was hired by The Miami Herald almost three years ago now the first place I lived was in a condo located on Hollywood Beach (I know. I know. Insert Hollywood Beach joke here. Look, I'm from Birmingham, Ala., OK. So, of course I was going to live on the beach when I first moved to South Florida. Too bad it was Hollywood Beach. Mistake!)

The condo was great, but the people in the condo were "not so great." The entire complex was empty during the offseason except for me and about six other units. That meant all of the condo's designated parking spaces were also open.

So, one night I was in a hurry to get home to file a story about a high school game. (To file a story is newspaper lingo for "get that dad-gum story to your editor ASAP!!!") Back then high school writers didn't have Internet air cards, so it was "part of the fun" figuring out how you were going to file your story before deadline. Roaring down AIA and pulling into the closest parking place available at my condo complex was a common occurrence. (My parking place was inside the complex's parking garage but the gate was broken at the time. It took about five minutes to 1. Get out of the car, 2. Unlock the gate, 3. Crank open the gate (How the other people in my complex did this I have no idea? Long in the tooth they were.), 4. Drive car into parking garage, 6. Back car into ridiculously small space, 7. Get out of car (with laptop, notepads, etc.), 8. Close gate.

I filed my story, fell asleep and forgot to move my car into the garage. The next day I woke up to find a note on my door from the condo Nazis and my car towed. (Please feel free to share your favorite condo Nazi story, too.) Keep in mind, I parked in a space that had been empty for several months and (like most of the spaces at this complex) was not going to be used for another couple months. 

I didn't know anyone in South Florida at the time. No problem. I walked to the tow truck company's impound yard (three miles away) with cash in hand. There was just one problem. (Well, actually two problems.) 1. I forgot my driver's license, and 2. It wouldn't have mattered anyone because the car technically wasn't mine. I bought it from cousin (a Virginian) and was yet to receive the title in the mail. There was a bill of sale in the glove box, but like I said, I didn't bring my driver's license.)

To my surprise, the tow truck guy (green teeth, hunchback, all that) didn't care. He took the money, opened the gated electric fence and let me drive away with a car that wasn't even mine FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF $125! He never even asked me my name.

Moral to the story: If a tow truck guy tells you it's sunny outside, then you better wear a raincoat. And if a tow truck guy tells you Tony Joiner "didn't really intend to steal that car," it would be wise to question the authenticity of the tow truck guy's story.

-jo-

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