It’s not the way I wanted to end the first week of Advent. When I went to bed Thursday night, my collector car was parked where it’s been parked every night for more than a year: in the alley behind our house. When I awoke Friday, I could see the alley, but not my collector car.
If you are wondering why I would leave a collector car in such a vulnerable position, you have to understand this version of collector car: It’s a ’95 Ford Escort. If it were listed in a blue book, it wouldn’t have a price next to it; it’d have a face laughing so hard, tears would be rolling down its cheeks. When I told the police officer who took the report the make, model and year, she gave me that, “Why would anyone want it?” look. Heck, my wife and kids have been asking me why I would want it, and I hadn’t given them an answer either.
My mom gave me the car more than eight years ago. During that time, here’s what “Grandma’s car,” as it was known in our family, collected:
miles – more than 145,000 at the time of its disappearance;
rust; it was the car to which one added parts, not from which one stripped them;
recyclable materials; depending on the price-per-pound, it could transport more than $20 worth of aluminum cans in a trip to the salvage yard. (There was probably more than five pounds in there when it was stolen). The thieves probably got $4 for the cans and $2 for the car.
dirt; it hauled garden products. I could have grown root crops in the dirt that accumulated in the spare tire well. That car also held an assortment of apple cores, banana peels and other compostable items. The engine and exhaust system might not have been eco-friendly, but the interior was certainly green.
a receipt for a free Spot Not car wash; I should warn the new owners: Other than snow, rain and morning dew, that car has a serious reaction when it comes in contact with water. And don’t even think about wax; the only wax that has touched that car was from an Advent candle that rolled under the driver’s seat one December and melted into the carpet the following summer.
Since Advent is a season of hope, I hope those in possession of Grandma’s car are finding a good use for it. I am, however, concerned about their intelligence level. They put the “duh” in “duhmb” when you consider that no more than a hundred yards from where they removed Grandma’s car were vehicles, in the open, with four- and five-figure dollar values.
Here’s my theory: The car wasn’t the target of their heist. What caught the eyes of the thieves was the collection of Christmas audio cassettes in the back seat. Since working audio cassette players are rare, and they figured this one worked, they took it. Grandma’s car just happened to be attached to it.
So, when the transmission drops out of it, and they’re stranded, they can just pop in some Bing Crosby and have their own holiday sing-a-long.  It would be most fitting if they started with this one