Sunday, December 10, 2006

They All Look Alike

174 They All Look Alike

Your car is missing.

No, no one took it. (Who wants one of THOSE!?) It’s just that you parked and now you’re back, and where IS the thing?

Unless you have one of those toyboxes on wheels or a really imbecile color (bright yellow is oh so fashionable now but a guarantied value-dropper at trade-in time) your car looks pretty much like everyone else’s.

In fact, every car that isn’t an SUV or one of those toyboxes, looks like a 1986 Taurus.

Searching requires some forethought. Look around carefully. Eliminate the imbecile colors, which probably have imbecile names (“Lunar Mist” is Toyota-speak for “almost black,” for example.)

Okay, so now you’ve narrowed your search to four door sedans that are sort of dark blue or grey or (gulp!) Lunar Mist.

The next thing to do is get out your electronic, radio-controlled door unlocker, point it at a row of cars and click it. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be near enough to have your car beep or honk at you (unless, like one dummy, who will remain fifth-amendment anonymous, you’ve turned the thing off.)

Chances are, you’re not in range. So the next step is to start cruising the aisles with unlocker clicker in hand.

As you prowl along, you can eliminate cars with those EZ Pass gizmos on the windshield if you don’t have one, and those that do, if you do.

But the best procedure is the old cop procedure, looking for identifying marks or scars. This is usually applied to wanted criminals. But it also works for metal objects. A dent or ding, an interestingly patterned bird dropping can be an easy identifier. (Don’t worry, bird droppings don’t wash away, even if you’re parked out of doors.)

If you don’t have any of that, you might consider adding one. You might, for example, paint a big numeral on your trunk. Use either a small paint roller or a wide brush, each of which is available for little cost at your local hardware store – if you still HAVE a local hardware store. Use the same equipment to paint an “X” or other simple letter.

Or, you can use a NEW cop trick” Have a LoJack installed. When you can’t find the car, report it stolen. The cops’ll find it using the LoJack. Of course, there’s a risk. Doing this is filing a false report, which is a high-grade misdemeanor (and in some places, a low grade felony) so make a second call – to your lawyer before the cops get there.

Maybe it would be better to take a sledge hammer to your roof. Nothing like a huge dent in the roof to make a car stand out in a crowd.

Around these parts, you can hang an Israeli flag or Jewish star on the rearview mirror. No one else will have one. Or maybe someone will notice and dent your roof for you.

Shame they don’t have extra-long-range remote door unlockers.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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