on gas and cash and such.

There’s nothing more humbling than coming back to work on Monday to find you’ve left your Honda Civic idling with the doors unlocked and the radio blaring for almost 48 hours.

I knew this girl in high school once who locked her keys in her car while the engine was still running. She went on to class and emptied her gas tank during the school day. I remember teasing her mercilessly for weeks about the incident. Karma is a killer, but even more damaging is running around the town, acting like a dumb asshole.

To explain, for those of you unfamiliar with the system, to save on our commute expenses, Seth normally picks me up on his way home from the office, and we leave a car in the secret place.

Although economically beneficial, the LoveCOTA system is the root cause of some logistical confusion on the weekends, especially when we find ourselves needing to be in different parts of the state with only one car between us.

Throw the company pool car in the mix (his of course, not mine, as the CM Porsche always seems to be checked out…) and at times, we’re the joke where the farmer tries to get the chicken, the fox and the feed to the other side of the river unspoiled.

There have been at least a few occasions where, for one reason or another, we’ve pulled in to our transfer station to find an extra car — or better yet — no car at all. (Did we leave the Hyundai in Knox County again, dear?, etc.)

On Saturdya, at the transfer station, while Seth waited, I put the Honda in park, moved the necessary goods from one car to the other, rolled the windows up and eagerly hopped into Seth’s car. I neglected, however, to lock the doors, or you know, “shut the car off,” or whatever.

Shut up. It’s an easy thing to do when you’ve got such a smooth foreign engine. Plus, it was cold (AND breezy) and I was eager to get into the company car with the heated leather seats.

The defense rests, your honor.

The Honda survived – unspoiled and ustolen — with probably only some minor engine damage. But how?

People have told me that theft in the Northland area is somewhat prevalent, but I disagree. For almost two days, my car sat running, pre-warmed and inviting for any would-be thief, but no one was interested.

When I was dropped off early Monday morning, I opened the car door and immediately heard Johnny Cash, who had looped tirelessly through the gospel of John all weekend long. As I slowly understood what happened, I wondered if perhaps the Bible as read by Reformed Sinner and Country Music Legend Johnny Cash is the best crime deterrent? (Send back your Club.)

It is very plausible, after all, that the would-be car thief hopped in the driver’s seat and was just about to put it in drive when he heard “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

I wondered how many criminals were accidentally converted as a result of my carelessness. It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened.

Surprisingly, a Google search for “left my car idling for 48 hours,” does not bear much fruit. The Owner’s Manual said something about combustion and build-up and also, as an FYI, the orange engine light? Not a good thing.

As I sat confused in the driver’s seat Monday morning, the needle dipped closer to “E,” and I realized the gas light had been on for quite a while. Good thing I had filled up on Friday.

It seemed the same god who had prompted Johnny Johnny to wear black had left me just enough gas to coast down the block to the station.

It’s hard to be me.

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  • colleen

    that is funny. thank you. i laughed out loud in the middle of the computer lab. rather embarasing for me. i appreciate the laugh though. you are a funny girl. never gets old. strange.