It was like watching someone play Grand Theft Auto in slow motion. He poked and jabbed around the driver's side window with a flattened beer can, muttering, cursing and teetering. He knocked at the frame and tried the door handle several times before noticing me. "Can't find my keys. Heh heh." I smiled and let my dog sniff a nearby tree a bit longer. After another reassuring "Heh heh," he resumed.
The car is an icy blue Jaguar that is always parked in front of a retirement home, on what is rapidly turning into the worst street in the area. It stands out like a diamond in a coal mine. Construction on an extension of the retirement home has slowed because of cold weather, leaving the site abandoned for days at a time. Expensive equipment was stolen, so stadium lighting guards the replacements at night. The tempting Jag bathes in this light.
I passed up and down the street, under the guise of searching for a poop spot for doggy, to further assess the situation. Do I call the police? Do I confront? Is it his car? I chuckled at the thought of him being charged with a DUI, but without the D part. A group of teens walked by and offered insight.
"Hey, dude! You need help stealing that car? Ha ha ha! Dumbass!"
The last time I locked my keys in my car, the guy who helped me left his slim jim on the hood. Without knowing his name there was no way to find him and return it, so I still have this hard-to-get, notched, metal bar somewhere in the mess inside my trunk. It's illegal for anyone but a locksmith or tow company to own one in this state, and ownership requires character assessment. My good Samaritan helped a white female with a worn Nissan, who in turn had to decide whether or not to help a black man poking at a mint condition Jag.
He was joined by a coherent, younger man who began aggressively abusing the window frame with a coat hanger. I decided they were trying to steal the car, because no proper owner of such a beautiful object would allow such cruelty to take place. The young man gave me a look that let me know he wouldn't tolerate an audience so I went on my way, hoping I wouldn't hear the sound of a sweet, purring Jaguar engine as it comes to life.