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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How I was almost arrested at the dry cleaners.

A few hours ago I tweeted this:

"So, how's your morning been? What's that? Oh, yes the dry cleaner tried to have me arrested. No biggie. JESUS what a day."

 I thought a mini blog was in order to explain myself.

Today I found myself being held against my will inside a dry cleaners.

Not a sentence I expected to have to type, ever in my life. EVER.

I have been going to this dry cleaner for the past year. They are a Vietnamese couple, you pay cash up front and they operate on a fairly dodgy hand written receipt system. 
The cash register is a throw back from colonial times and they prefer to grunt instead of speak. Why do I go there? They do a bloody great job and it's cheaper than anywhere else I've been to.

A week ago I had dropped off 3 of my most sparkly dresses and 4 black jackets with various tassels, studs and leather trimmings. These are the staples of my wardrobe as you can well imagine. It is what I call the "nucleus" clean, all the most important and utilized items put in together for an en mass sprucing. 

I now realise this was a mistake when I was faced with never seeing them again. What was I thinking?! The royal family never fly together just in case the plane goes down. The President and the Vice president travel on seperate planes for the same reason... You always have a spare around just in case. I should have only put half of the nucleus in. 

The man who works there gestured at the receipt book and I was forced to admit that I had, in fact lost the 10cmx10cm piece of paper he'd given me the week earlier. My dresses happened to be hanging just to the left of the counter. I said "Look they're just there, if you call the number on the receipt my phone will ring and you'll see they're mine" he shook his head and told me to get out. 

I said- "Can I show you some I.D to prove it's me."
He said: - " Drivers Licence"
I then produce my WA license as I am waiting for my VIC one to come.
He said: "This is fake. I not trust this. Must be Victorian"

I then produced the following:
Medicare card.
Credit cards.
Working with children card.
All of these cards baring my name and/or my resemblance. 

He still refused to hand over the dresses and press some sort of button that alerted the two women working out the back. They came rushing up to the counter demanding to know what was going on. 
I again tried to explain that I had lost the ticket but if SOMEONE would just ring the number on the receipt hanging on the dresses my phone would ring or perhaps they would like to peruse the 55 other forms of ID I had produced. 

Woman number one said: "We not trust anything but a Victorian license. You find someone with a Victorian license to sign for you."

I said I would not be doing that. I explained that I had already paid, I have more than enough ID here to prove it's me and that I was taking my dresses and leaving... I grabbed them off the hanger and headed for the door.


Next thing I knew the man has got me in some sort of head lock and woman number one has jumped across the counter and locked the door. Woman number 2, with the skills of a Ninja -managed to wrench the clothes from my hands. She then screamed something in Vietnamese which was obviously along the lines of "call the police."

Cut to me standing in the corner shaking with no escape and 3 crazed lunatics shouting at me and calling me a thief!

The police were on their way and I had heard them tell them I was "violent" and an "angry person." Really?! Only one person had been placed in a head lock and it wasn't any of the 3 small shouty people who stood before me.

I managed to stop shaking long enough to call Scotty. The conversation went something like this:

Scotty: "Hello"

Me: "(Hiccup, sob)...I'm being held captive at the dry cleaners, they've called the police they say I am trying to steal my own clothes. Can you please come, and please bring your Victorian drivers license"

Scotty: "Right, (deep sigh) I'll be there soon."

The fact Scotty didn't even question it or sound remotely surprised probably looks pretty bad but I can honestly say this have never happened before.. Ok, so once I took on a woman who punched a bank teller in front of me but other than that my record is clean!

The police were taking their sweet time, I guess I wasn't considered that dangerous a criminal in my leopard print maxi dress with my bewildered 3 yr old child (yes Odette was there) sitting on my hip. 

Scotty arrived to find me crumpled in the corner with Odie stroking my hair, bless her she knows the drill. He knocked on the door and surprisingly they let him in. He produced the much sort after "Victorian drivers license" and my clothes were handed over... JUST LIKE THAT.

I informed them all I would not be returning there ever and to expect a visit from the police as I was pressing charges for assault... Of course I will never follow through with that but it felt really good saying it.

I am still a bit disturbed over the whole incident but I do have my vintage Chanel sequined jacket back so alls well that ends well. 

E x


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!!! I can't believe they thought they could do that!!!! Actually, I can believe that. I once had a run in with some Vietnamese bakery owners over something that should have been a non event (looooong story)!! It got personal too!!!
Those drycleaners were asking for more ID than it takes for you to get out of the country or secure a credit card!! Ridic!!
Glad you (and most importantly your clothes) are safe and away from that place!!

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Vietnamese people. Maybe there's a cultural barrier or something...?

- Kez

Cheesey said...

So... these folks have never seen The Inbetweeners... or even the fake Vic licence ads on Facebook? Sad :(

dBlog said...

name and shame!

suzi said...

you took on a woman who punched a bank teller? I must know more! Please tell the story! :)