Thursday, February 12, 2004

#6: Not-As-Little Guillermo Steals His Own Car
(As requested by Sibbitt)

The first car I ever owned was a 1998 Mercury Tracer. Well, I couldn't really say that I owned it since I was still making payments on it. It was one of those "How long can three years possibly be?" kind of purchases. Subsequently, that's where a great deal of the money I earned from Basic Training went to.

There was a brief period between my purchasing the car and my (cough) actually acquiring my driver's license. This was mostly due to my lack of driving experience. Civilian vehicles, anyway. I was actually driving 2 1/2 ton trucks for the my National Guard unit whenever I drilled with them.

During this very brief period, the only time I would drive the car was when Andrew Nunemacher and I would do midnight training runs.

One evening during this infinitesimally brief period, one of my friends dropped me off at my house. There had been talk of some other event that night, and I was interested in attending. Since I didn't live very close to where said event was going to happen, I didn't want to inconvenience anyone by needing a ride home.

I had my key in my pocket, so as soon as I was dropped off at my house, I hopped into my car and drove off. I didn't even go inside.

I ended up staying out for about an hour. There was nothing exceptional about the drive. There was the smell of wine that the car always had. There was "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down on the radio (it played without fail every time I was in the car.)

Just a typical, pleasant week-night drive.

As I pulled up to my home, I noticed something unusual. There seemed to be a lot more police cars outside of it than there usually were. Two more, in fact, than the usual number, which was none.

One thing that wasn't unusual was the sinking feeling in my stomach that I was going to be in more than an infinitesimal amount of trouble.

What had happened was this:

My mother had been using my car; she had my permission as well as that of the state of Arizona to operate it. She had been about to leave on some errand and had gotten into the car. Before she started it, she had realized that she had forgotten something inside the house. She had taken her key, left the car door unlocked since she was planning on coming right back, and gone back into the house.

The instant she had stepped inside, my friend had pulled up, dropped me off, and I had jumped into the car and driven off. My mother had come out in time to see the back end of the car turning around the corner. She had jumped to the drastic conclusion that someone had stolen the car and acted accordingly. Hence, Johnny Law waiting for me on my doorstep as I pulled up.

I spoke to my mother and the police, all the while skillfully avoiding the subject of my non-existent license. I apologized profusely. The police scolded me for not telling my mother that I was going out. I looked properly chagrined and agreed. They also told me that they had pulled over another Mercury Tracer in the area and, pistols drawn, had made the driver get out of the car with his hands up and all that. Oops, sorry guy.

I guess the moral of the story is to never return to the scene of the crime.

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