Thursday, February 07, 2008

An obituary, and other interesting tales

The criminal element has made itself known to me in 2008.

On a rainy night in early January,
Loretta was struck in cold blood by an unidentified driver in an Oldsmobile Alero.

Well, not completely unidentified - sir, I got a good look at you and know that as soon as I have mastered the basic elements of ninja training, you will be the first object of my vengeance. (That is, after all, what we ninjas do, we avenge).

Officers arrived on the scene 20 minutes later. But the damage had been done. Loretta was later pronounced dead at J and J Auto Body Repair.

Loretta, as you motor on to the next world, I would like to thank you for always transporting me safely and stylishly to my various destinations. God bless.

So, one week after my car was totaled, I receive a phone call from my younger brother, debatably recent college grad, with this piece of news:

His car, a 1991 Toyota Camry, had been (wait for it)... STOLEN!

Yes, stolen. His 17-year-old car, plucked off the San Franciscan streets to feed some diabolical street gang's need for speed. One day he parked it outside his friends' apartment building; the next morning it was gone - no towing company or impound lot had any record of it - the car had simply vanished into the criminal underworld!

He posted this sign to aid the hunt for his vehicle. It must have helped, because a couple weeks later, his car was recovered! Complete with missing/altered parts and parking tickets! Stereo, gone. CDs, gone. They had even taken his cologne, those sweet-smelling bastards.

The best part about all of this was that while my brother and I were busy losing our cars, our parents were trying to vacation around various parts of Asia. They received the news about my accident via email, and had been so "terribly upset" that my brother didn't know how to tell them his car had been jacked just one week later. He was still contemplating how to sugarcoat the news, when my mom called to check in on affairs at the house.

He employed a strategy of talking quickly and since (I suspect) she was too stunned to respond, this seemed to work. He imagined mom surrounded by relatives, calmly trying to wrap her head around this latest development. She finally stopped him and said she had to go, but not before a final entreaty.

"Find a job. It's time."

The latest is my brother has procured some fancy used Volvo at a local car auction since his old car is toast, while I'm still technically a pedestrian. To my knowledge, he also remains on the hunt for that ever-elusive paycheck. In the meantime, I've been renting, but that is not without its own headaches. [Apparently you need a credit card to rent a car?? Damn you and your discrimination against the validity of the Visa check card, Deluxe-Rent-A-Car!]

Anyway, this all makes me very glad I've taken up ninja training, as I clearly have a lot to contend with in gangland, what with drunk and/or uninsured drivers and thieves of low-quality autos.