There has been a lot of pain, suffering and reflection connected to this car theft business. Well, to be fair, there's been a good deal more reflection than pain and suffering, most of it centered around that empty space where our car used to be. We have been fortunate enough to have a rental car to fill that void: a big black Dodge Charger that we are fully expecting to turn into a robot when we push that certain button. There are a lot of buttons. Buttons that make the seat go down. Buttons that make the radio louder. Buttons that make the radio softer. Buttons on the steering wheel that will do either one of those tasks if you're too busy with your other hand pushing buttons that help you determine the relative fuel economy of the trip you're taking. And somewhere in there is a button that opens the flap that covers the gas tank.
As fantastic as this machine seems to be, it still requires fuel, and its expansive American-ness make it a challenge to park anywhere without mooring lines and a dock. The machine guns are a nice touch, but we tend to favor the smoke screen for quick getaways. Did I mention that you can hook your iPod right into the sound system? That great big sound system that can be controlled with the touch of a button located conveniently on the steering wheel, just below the targeting computer.
But it's not ours. The family wagon with the T-shirts for seat covers, and the sundry scratches and dents that tell the story of the past ten years. The two-inch Bobble Obama on the dashboard could probably be replaced via Ebay, but it won't be the one that came to us from our friends' trip to Hawaii. That gold Saturn wagon is slipping slowly into the bin of "cars that I have owned." The ones that I cursed while I poured oil in them, and replaced the batteries, and changed the tires on the side of the road. The difference being this: I knew when I drove them smoking and sputtering onto the lot one last time in trade for the next set of wheels, I was done with them. Somebody else decided this one for me.
Maybe somewhere on that big black rental dashboard is a tracking function. If I catch the guy, I promise to set the phasers on "stun."