If a Repair Shop Takes Your 2003 Jeep on Joyrides That Include Parking Tickets and Backseat Sex, You Must Be in Florida

Source - Victor Oddo wants to know what happened to his car during the three weeks it was in the care of a Clearwater repair shop. 

And he has good reason to be curious – and furious. Oddo received two parking tickets and two toll charges – in different counties – all while the 2003 Jeep Liberty was supposed to be at Mustang Speed & Restoration. 

There’s more: Oddo claims that while he was cleaning up the car after he picked it up, he found sand and stains in the backseat, clothing tags and a pink, lacy thong in the back under the passenger seat. 

“People are joyriding in my car while I’m sitting here having to walk everywhere,” Oddo said. ...

Oddo says he dropped off the Jeep on Jan. 15 because the engine light was on. Text messages between him and the owner document three weeks of slow progress before he finally picked up the Jeep. ...

Then came parking tickets in the mail. On Saturday, Jan. 18 at 12:58 a.m., somebody got a $40 ticket at Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa. Then, at 5:11 p.m. the same day, someone got a $30 ticket for an expired meter in Clearwater.

On Jan. 23, the following Thursday when it was still in the repair shop’s custody, there were two Sunpass charges on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. One was going north at 10:58 a.m. and one was going south at 12:24 p.m. 

When asked about all of this, repair shop owner Jeff Arthur first told Investigator Shannon Behnken that none of this happened and that the car wasn’t at the shop yet. ...

Arthur said the only person who could have possibly taken the Jeep on a joyride was currently in jail on murder charges. He declined to provide details, like a name, so that the story could be verified. He added that the alleged murder took place after Oddo picked up his Jeep. 

Rarely in the blogging business does a story present you with so much content, depth, detail and nuance. I mean, Florida is obviously a limitless source of material, but this one is just layer upon layer of subtext. It's the whole Florida Man human experience in a few paragraphs and one local news feature. 

It had me at this. The juxtapostion of Victor Oddo's beard with his 2003 Jeep Liberty. This is the kind of art direction you'd normally expect to find in the movies of Kubrick, Wes Anderson or the Coen Brothers. 

Add to it the run around he got from Mustang Speed & Restoration. The foreshadowing of all the miles on the car. The plot twist of the sand and pink thong. Then the big reveal of the tickets in the mail. And of course the denouement of the alleged guiity repair guy being in jail for a murder he committed after his wild sex ride in that 17 year old P-wagon.

But if you look at nothing else, go to the 2:30 mark and watch Shannon Behnken's confrontation with Jeff Arthur. It's all just so beautifully Florida as to be indescribable. 

That is how you run a successful operation. Deny you ripped off a customer. Let it be known you hire unnamed murderers.Tell the reporter on camera that you ripped the guy off but it's only $40 so what's he bitching about? Then tell her to fuck off so it'll go beyond the local news into the stratosphere. And by all means promise to pay for the tickets but don't. Then you can just imagine all the 5-star Yelps that will follow as the world beats a path to your door. 

Once again, I find myself saying thank you, America's Wang. You are truly the gift that keeps on giving. [h/t to Toucher & Rich]