My car got broken into last week. Possessions were stolen. Personal space was trampled upon. Sounds bad, right?
It would sound bad, until you consider the simple fact that less than 60 cents worth of possessions were taken. Sixty cents! I’m sure my burglar was quite upset about the loot, but he didn’t take into account my current situation:
I am a poor college student. This means I have nothing besides what I need. I have a car, shelter, some clothing from the mid 90s, a couple of cats and a Nintendo Wii.
The criminal must have thought to himself when he saw my 1987 Renault: “Jackpot. This kid with the ska stickers on his car is filthy rich.”
What could possibly have been going through his mind?
“Hey, that car is obviously worth less than $1000. Maybe this dude is saving up all of his money inside the car, because he sure as hell isn’t spending it on his wheels.”Mr. Criminal-man (or woman) would have been correct in his assumption except for one tiny, trivial detail: My car doesn’t lock. When I bought it, I had two keys for the doors and trunk. One key broke off in the passenger side door, and recently, the other key broke off in the trunk. If I had a third key, I would go for the trifecta – a broken key right in the ol’ driver’s side door.
Anyway, since I can’t get into my car when it’s locked, I just leave it unlocked – all the time, even in Philly, the land of petty thefts and brutal homicides. Naturally, I don’t keep anything of value inside because I know people look inside of cars to find valuables and then test the doors.
I know this because I am one of those people. I just look, though; I don’t touch.
So what did this gentle stranger-of-the-night snake from my ageless automobile? He took a half-eaten bag of David’s Sunflower Seeds – Ranch, the best kind. It was stupid on my part, thinking that sunflower seeds were not valuable enough to steal. Often, I forget that many people in Philadelphia are bottom-feeders.
They’ll steal anything.
I wasn’t mad when the seeds were pilfered.
It happens. Maybe somebody was hungry
and really needed the nourishment that a miniscule walled-up seed provides. I’m fine with that.
Two other things made me absolutely furious, though.
First off, whoever stole the seeds took the time to sit and enjoy them in my car, right in the passenger seat, spitting the remnants on the floor. Look, I understand the seats are comfortable,
as my Renault is, in fact, a special model. But come on. Be courteous and spit them outside of the car. Not on my floor mat. Not on my dash. That’s just rude.
Second, and most egregious, whoever took my seeds neglected to steal my CDs. Sure, they were burned, but they’re clearly labeled.
How the hell did a CD titled “F–k Work – The Remix” not entice him or her? They also showed no interest in “Wacksauce – A Compilation of Dying Seals.”
How can this be? Those names didn’t whet the proverbial palette? I understand the seeds were the focal point, but at least take time out to steal a mix and make me feel good about spreading the music. I know this was at least considered because the discs were strewn out all over the floor.
Once I found out the seeds were snagged, I didn’t know what to do. Should I call the police and report a crime?
“This is an emergency. My car was broken
into. I really wanted some sunflower seeds but some bastard took them. Can you come quick?
“What do you mean there’s a murder that requires your attention? Well, something else just got murdered – my sense of security! Good day, sir.”
Yeah, that wouldn’t go too smoothly. My only hope for justice is to find this seed-stealing derelict and give him or her a piece of my mind, or a mixed CD.
Mike Gleeson can be reached at email@example.com.