Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Car Thief?

Would it surprise you to know that a Holy Joe like me could be a car thief?

A while back, I was spending a couple of weeks taking classes in Florida and needed a vehicle to make a few trips around town. My good friends John and Barb kindly offered me the services of their van. The problem was that they were out of town.

No problem! They said their son would put the keys under the front door mat and the van would be in front of their house. I could come pick it up anytime.

My friend Joe even volunteered to drive me to John & Barb's house. I had printed directions . . . except . . . and this is key . . . I left OFF the last page that had their actual street address. Step by step, the directions led me to their very street but I had to guess which was their actual van/house. "This will be easy!", I thought.

Joe and I slowly drove down the street. Eventually, we spotted a white van. We checked the mat by the front door and sure enough the keys were there. I took them and fired up the van. As I was adjusting the seat and mirrors I looked in the back of the van. If was full of strange mechanical equipment. I know John is a handy guy but this was weird. I told Joe, "I don't think this is John's van!"

Just then, the front door opened and a lady came out, "Jeff said you'd come by to pick of the van." Jeff!?! I didn't know a Jeff! Sheepishly, we returned the keys to her and suggested there might have been a mix up. Good thing, because just as we were walking away a big burly guy, presumably named Jeff, came out and saw that we were certainly NOT HIS friends. We quickly jumped in Joe's car and got moving.

A little more searching down the street brought us to a red van. Yes, the keys were under the mat by the front door. This proved to indeed be the van owned and operated by John & Barb and, with much relief, I took possession of it.

However, as I was heading out, I was wondering, "Is there a chance that I am, in fact, a car thief?" I cannot deny that I actually took possession of a stranger's vehicle, just for a minute or two. And although I returned it immediately, I'm concerned that technically, according to a strict interpretation of the law, I stole a van. I hope Jeff is a reasonable guy because my finger prints are all over that vehicle.

Possible next blog: "Life from Prison!"


Michelle said...

I suggest they move to southern California and there would be no mix up...no leaving keys under the mats!

I "stole" a car once too. I had a Toyota Camry - which pretty much have universal keys. I popped the trunk started taking in the groceries. Made my second trip only to think...weird, I don't remember getting paper bags...only to met the car's owner. He laughed because he'd taken my backback inside before when he got into my black camry. I didn't store things in the trunk after that.

Duncan Parlett said...

Hilarious, Michelle! I guess I'm not the only one.

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