In an effort to save the world, I went out last
summer and bought a Mercury Mariner hybrid, which got a whopping 30 miles
to a gallon. Little did I know, however, that it would be a target of
Sure enough, some "greenie" came down
my very private street sometime before dawn on Friday morning and stole my
hybrid right out of my driveway.
For 17 years Iíve parked my car in my driveway,
keys on the floor and wallet in the side pocket, unlocked, and never have
had a problem. But as soon as I buy a hybrid---gone. Itís got to be a
Since Iím determined to save the world, Iíll
take the insurance money and go buy another hybrid, thereby causing car
manufacturers to make more hybrids. Itís obviously a brilliant scheme by
environmental activists. Risky, but brilliant.
I explained all this to my wife last Friday
morning after I walked outside to discover that my car had disappeared
sometime during the night. She was skeptical, but I pointed out that her
gas-guzzling Volvo was still sitting in the driveway. They obviously
wanted the hybrid.
She ran outside to inspect her car. Those
environmental wackos had gone in her unlocked door and added to some
obscure environmental fund by stealing all her quarters, her sunglasses,
and her tennis bag. But, I pointed out proudly, they had not taken her
"Maybe thatís because Iím not stupid enough to
leave my keys on the floor," she said. "I told you this was
going to happen someday."
I knew that one was coming. While I had casually left
my keys and wallet in the car for 17 years, my wife has painstakingly
brought her keys and purse into the house every night. So I was winning,
until last Friday morning.
"Think of the convenience Iíve enjoyed over the
years," I replied, as I kicked over a chair and threw the telephone
book onto the floor to pretend I was upset at those environmentalists.
"You never had those carefree moments."
She was torn between feeling sympathy for me
because I had lost my car, my wallet, my calendar, my cell phone, my golf
clubs, my tennis racquets, my CDís, my favorite sweater, and a few
thousand other thingsÖ.versus feeling smug about the fact that she had
been proven correct about not leaving the keys and wallet in the car.
Naturally, as in most marriages, she went the smug
route. "I hope you learned a lesson," she smugly said as I
pounded my head on the kitchen table. "I assume youíll be locking
your car from now on."
I stopped pounding my head on the table for a moment
and looked at her. But only for a moment. Then I resumed pounding my head.
My world seemed shattered. No car, no credit cards, no
driverís license, no cell phone, no calendar, no nothing. My whole life
was in that car. How could I possibly recover from such a catastrophe?
It was 8:00 in the morning. I wearily trudged to the
phone and called the police to report the theft. The officer came over
right away and I endured the knowing glances he and my wife shared when I
mentioned that I regularly left my keys in the car.
Then it was on to bravely attempt to recapture my life.
With my wifeís eager assistance, I cancelled all credit cards, filed the
insurance claims, bought a new cell phone, rented a car, went to DMV and
got a temporary license and even bought a new wallet at Macyís.
I was back home by 11:00. It took only three hours to
get my life back together, which, if nothing else, shows how I greatly
overestimated the complexity of my life.
Itís just stuff, all ultimately replaceable (except
that trusty seven-iron). No one was hurt, but the age of innocence in
front of our house is over forever. Thatís the sad part. From now on, to
my wifeís delight, Iíll lock the car and bring my keys and wallet
And Iíll buy another hybrid. Just because the world
is filled with a bunch of thieves doesnít mean itís not worth saving.