Sunday, August 25, 2013

Grand Theft Auto

This morning (well, before noon, anyhow) we were woken up by the kind of pounding on the door and squawking of radios that only ever means police officers (Couriers have a different, more furtive, knock) and Emily tells me that that sound, to her, means bad news of the 'come quick, a loved one is in hospital' variety, which demonstrates that we are obviously very different people because for me the first thought is always along the lines of 'the game is up - burn the files and find out when the next plane leaves for Argentina.' But I honestly couldn't think of anything I'd done that would bring police officers to my actual house, so I found a pair of jeans and opened the door.

Even though it was early and they could no doubt see that I was not up to effective communication yet, they immediately started in on questions about, of all things, my car. Like for example when did I last see it? and how many sets of keys are there? Had I lent it to anybody really, you know, shifty? I was still kind of bleary eyed because it was, as I said, the morning and too early for polite visits, so naturally I began to babble. I revealed that you don't really need a key to open the door of our car because it's kind of special that way, you can actually open it with a spoon, come have a look and I'll show you, it's parked right here in the carport, and all the while my sluggish and guilty brain was trying to figure out what antisocial behaviours I might have perpetrated with the car lately  that would bring two police to my door on a Sunday morning, and I was drawing nothing but a blank because honestly, my life is not that interesting.

And of course they looked at me pityingly - who is this disheveled buffoon babbling about spoons and with his jeans not properly on who clearly hasn't yet realised that his car is not where he left it? Because it wasn't, of course, otherwise they wouldn't have been there asking questions about it, and it began to dawn on me that my role here was not that of suspect run to ground by brave officers after a giddy spree of running orange lights and driving at 45ks in a school zone, but rather an honest taxpaying citizen who had just had some bugger thief off with his wheels.

So I did my best solid citizen impression and engaged the officers in conversation on the front lawn, because we have quite a lot of open homes around here on a Sunday morning and I know the government is worried about house prices at the moment so I like to do my bit by making sure the first thing prospective buyers see when they drive down the street is a skinny scraggly-haired lowlife blinking like a star-nosed mole and with his pants only half on bailed up on the front lawn by a couple of cops who are obviously here on a routine meth lab inspection, which I think should take a good five percent off the average offer for any house on our street this week.

This is me anytime before mid-afternoon. Forget about the 10% deposit thing, I could take the heat out the housing market just by walking down the street if I could be persuaded to get out of bed before noon every Sunday.  So far, that takes a minimum of  two police officers or the promise of a ride in an aircraft of some kind.

They told me an unlikely-sounding story about an off-duty cop who had spotted a person 'of interest' (like, you know, a 'perp' I think they call them) driving our car this morning, and this alert officer had phoned in the plates (by this time I was using words like 'tags' to show that I was up to speed with the evolving situation) and they were here to see whether we were essentially harbouring a fugitive. Which I was pretty sure we weren't, but then I obviously had incomplete information about a lot of things since I thought we still had a car in the carport. Anyhow, they went away soon after that, and the real estate agents of Morningside (Kingsland Fringe) breathed a sigh of relief as I went back inside to do up my trousers.

So it would seem that our car has been stolen, which should come as a surprise to nobody really, except that it's actually very hard to even get it going it at the best of times because the starter motor is not what it was. It also needs five new tires and some panel work, and it is full of dog hair. We've actually been meaning to sell it for ages but we're worried about getting bad trademe feedback, so it's just been sitting out there in the carport waiting for someone to boost it - which would have been great if we'd gotten around to getting it insured. If you see it around, do let me know, won't you? It's a silver Mazda 323, license plate TT1040, with roof rails and a person of interest driving it. We don't have any good pictures of it really,  because it's pretty ugly and we usually try not to get it in photographs, but here's one that was taken from the inside of the car in a rainstorm in Tauranga while we were feeding seagulls on the bonnet, in happier times. Answers on a postcard please.

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