Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gone in 1800 Seconds

So normally I am not much for current events, but I have just received word of a story that I simply must recount.  I have already mentioned that my 10 year-old cousin had some car troubles recently.  What I may have neglected to mention is that my cousin lives on a farm.  Perhaps this makes his story a bit less troubling, but at least you all know that it happened on a rural gravel road and not the freeway.

Anyway, I should also tell you that the farm that my cousin lives on is in the same general vicinity as the farm that my grandpa owns.  Yes, this is the grandpa of the rock-picking, poultry literature reading and water microwaving fame.  Technically, my grandpa is retired from farming, but old habits apparently die hard.  He has been known to appear back on the farm to "help" my uncle and cousins with their work, or at least to offer up his uplifting critique of their farming style. 

To be clear, no one is asking or forcing him to assist on the farm.  In fact, I think that most persons involved would be perfectly content for him to remain safely ensconced in his town apartment, only venturing forth for social visits to his other retired farmer friends (who also live in town).  Unfortunately, he still has the use of a car and possesses a valid license. He isn't a bad driver and certainly knows not to drive in bad weather given his slower reaction time.  However, we have been enjoying unseasonably good weather for the past few months, which means that he has been quite mobile.

Anyway, apparently sometime recently (perhaps yesterday) my grandpa was out and about in his normal routine of unasked-for assistance when he had a bit of a vehicular mishap.  Somewhere between the old farm and my uncle's farm, his car suffered a flat tire.  As a cell phone would be both useless reception-wise and confusion-wise, he does not have one.  Fortunately, the weather was nice, so he started to walk to my uncle's farm. 

Along the way, he arrived at another neighboring farm.  As an 84 year-old man who is unaccustomed to walking long distances, he decided to try his luck with the people at this farm.  Don't worry, they weren't strangers, they are probably related to him in some fashion.  Apparently, no one was home.  Too bad, right?

Here is where it gets interesting.  Although no one was at the house, there were apparently several cars sitting in the yard.  Lest you think that this meant people were hiding from him in the house, remember that this is a farm and it's very likely that the owners were out in the field. 

Always the resourceful fellow, my grandpa made an interesting decision.  He checked out the cars that were parked in the yard and found that at least one of them had keys in it.  With what I'm sure was supreme stealth and speed, he got into the car and took it over to my uncle's house.

Now, I do not know the full conclusion of this story, but I am guessing that the car was later returned, possibly without the owner ever knowing it was gone.  However, my grandpa must have been a bit proud of his grand theft auto experience, because he called my uncle in Arizona to brag about his adventure.

So to summarize, in the past month, members of my family have experienced the following car related mishaps:  rear-end collisions resulting in thousands of dollars worth of repairs, vehicle demon-possession resulting in ditch entry and tree collision and flat tires leading to car theft.  Sweet.

If I had to pick a winner, I would have to say that my grandpa takes the prize.  After all, they don't call him the "Mayor of Northfork" for nothing.

UPDATE!  My uncle gave me the rest of the story involving my grandpa's adventure.  Apparently the first truck he tried in the neighbor's yard wouldn't start (the battery was dead).  The second car started, so that is the one he took, but he figured that it belonged to one of the boys because there was loud rock music playing on the radio when he turned it on.  Oh, and it turns out that it WAS the farm of a relative.  It's all sounding very "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" to me for some reason...

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