Sunday, March 05, 2023

Take Out

 One of the best things about living in an urban area is the vast array of dining opportunities. I had an appointment downtown this past Wednesday evening, and my wife took the opportunity to turn it into a bit of a date night. Get your knee scoped, then go out for dinner. On the trip to the hospital, the discussion began: Burritos? Chinese? Stew? Is there anyplace nearby that would serve us a nice hearty stew? 

By the time I had finished with my inspection, we continued the debate into the parking garage and out onto the street. "How about the sushi place up the street?" I remembered this was an itch that my wife had been meaning to scratch since our neighborhood sushi bar had changed ownership. So, instead of availing ourselves of the wide variety of choices downtown, we drove all the way back to our neck of the woods and parked in the CVS parking lot next door to the place that was once Nama and was now Tomsa. 

When we walked in, the place was all but empty, and we were greeted with great enthusiasm. Sitting down, my wife and I reflected on how few restaurants we had sad down in over the past three years. We took our time ordering, enjoying the attentive service. I had soup, salad and a Bento Box with teriyaki chicken and mixed tempura. She had noodle soup. As we savored our meal away from our house, we talked about dining experiences we had in the past. What desserts we remembered. Where would we like to go in the future? 

On the way out, we waved goodbye to the staff, and took a mint for after dinner. So civilized. Then we walked around the corner to our car. 

My wife pushed the start button and began to back out of our space. There was a scraping sound. Then the engine kicked in and sounded like a hundred eight year olds making fart noises on their arms. 

We didn't look at each other for a moment. We knew what had happened. In the space of time, and probably much less, that it took us to enjoy our dinner thieves had crawled under our Prius and sawed off our catalytic converter. We decided to limp the beast the quarter mile back to our own driveway, where my wife immediately set about making the police report and insurance claim. I crawled under the car to inspect the damage. 

The protective cage that our mechanic had installed was nowhere to be seen. The back of the exhaust system was drooping down below, creating the scraping sound. I got a piece of wire from the garage to hold it up while the eventual trip to the mechanic was made. 

And through all of this, there was no outrage on either my wife's or my part. We had fully surrendered to the fact that we were now part of a trend: victims of catalytic converter theft. We didn't dwell on all the other places we might have had dinner that would have allowed us to come home with our car intact. We didn't imagine being part of a vigilante mob, roaming the streets in search of the evil twits who had chopped up our family car. 

We just set about the next steps. 

We live in an urban area where such opportunities come with the territory.  

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