my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Category: truck theft, grief



The OB&C, as my loyal readers know, has recently suffered possibly the greatest loss in his life, short of his libido, the theft of his 2001 chevy silverado truck (273,428 miles). Initially he was virtually comatose, lying face down, christ-like, in the empty driveway wallowing in the last lingering puddle of transmission fluid, his sole remaining link to his beloved v6.

This catastrophe befell him on the friday before thanksgiving which he and MJE were to enjoy a deux (for the first time in almost half a century, no parents, children, grandchildren or other troublesome family members) in south carolina. MJE was meanwhile doing yeoman’s duty in atl watching the three gk’s: decibelle, apricot and seymour for the weekend when this dastardly deed was done. I was therefore unable to help pry him off the cement, wipe his filthy face and drag him into the apartment to suffer, away from the prying eyes of the neighbors. This situation, despite my physical absence, demanded immediate action requiring feats of psychological manipulation and financial slight of hand not seen since the demise of bernie madoff. No time to stand idly by and watch this unfortunate occurrence derail the historic thanksgiving to be, not to mention render our insanely expensive budget-busting mail order “heritage” turkey undeliverable. When I heard the terrifying words “You will need to fly down here, I cannot leave.” the four horsemen of the apocalypse nipping at my ass could not have made me move any faster.

As much as MJE loathes technology, there are times of crisis when it can make the difference between success and abject failure, like when you can upload a term paper on the reformation the day before it is due. was created for times like these. In minutes I had located a perfectly suitable replacement in the nola environs, contacted the sales manager, negotiated a price and issued explicit instructions that the OB&C was to be sold this truck and no other. If he wasn’t the new owner of that truck by closing time the deal was off. Furthermore, if I were made to fly down there, I would make it my business to pay him a call and assured him that a visit from an enraged MJE was the last thing he would want. The guy seemed suitably impressed with the menacing tone of my directive that he assured me he would fully comply.

Next step was to rouse the OB&C from his immobilizing melancholia and get him to the dealership. I tantalized him with a link to the new truck, which at least got him off the pavement. As much as any man mourns the loss of his old truck, or wife for that matter, the notion of a newer model is pretty enticing. So like any small child, the possibility of getting a desired toy can overcome even the strongest resistance to a bath, or a wee wee before a long drive; the lure of the smell of new vinyl ultimately proved more powerful than the familiar stench of dirty hunting socks and bug repellent.

And so the OB&C has turned the page but has not yet fully recovered, and probably never will. That old chevy will always be part of him and the driveway cement.

In the end he and the turkey arrived in time and we had a perfectly awful thanksgiving.


a devastating loss


It is with an extremely heavy heart that MJE has to inform my readers of a devastating loss suffered by the OB&C. On Saturday last his beloved 2001 S150 chevy truck was stolen from the driveway in nola in an act that can only be described as wantonly malicious, cruel and idiotic. His agony was compounded by the fact that he had within the truck triple backups to everything he might need should he suffer a zombie attack or the apocalypse. Plus his spare keys to not only the truck but to every other lock he has ever come into contact with during the course of his lifetime, including but not limited to his lab at the university of washington from 1988, his lab at tulane dating from 1992, his prior truck, a ford ranger which was melted down in 1996, three boat sheds, a storage unit, the current lab, the apartment, two houses (well four if you include the two houses we used to own), two gates, his bike and a friend’s roof rack.

If memory serves, he also had three tire jacks, a large collection of music cassette tapes, about twelve bungee cords, copies of the home loan statements of two houses, a six pack of paper shop towels, two or three cans of wd-40, graphite, motor oil, gasoline additive, jumper cables, tow cables, a battery tester, three large boxes of tools, a 12’X16’ tarp, an air compressor, a rain poncho, a pair of hunting chest waders and assorted cammo attire, orange plastic hunting tape, two air horns, a bag of satsumas, a three pack of beanie weenies, a couple of quarts of gator aid, several rolls of duct and masking tape, a case of bottled water, bug spray, a big tube of gold bond exzema cream, at least five chap sticks, sharpies, lots of flashlights and extra batteries, ball point pens, small notebooks for jotting down brilliant thoughts, tire gauges, a box of extra large contractor bags, and last but not least checks for a total of $53K which were endorsed and ready for deposit in the company account, on the dashboard. If we’re lucky he didn’t have a copy of his social security card and the folder with all of our passwords in there, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

If there are seven stages of grief, the OB&C has strung that out to at least eighty-two and he’s still on number one. When he noticed that the truck was missing, after having ridden his bike by the empty driveway twice, he borrowed a neighbor’s car and drove all over town looking for it. He even followed some poor man whose truck sort of looked like his but not really, honking and flashing his lights but lost him on the expressway. He is now convinced it was stolen by an hispanic who has now driven it to guatamala where he believes that that particular make, model and year are in very high demand. How he got that notion into his head is anyone’s guess, but I can guarantee that no one will ever be able to disabuse him of it.

The good news is we don’t think the truck was damaged in the heist as there was no broken glass on the empty parking spot. The thief was obviously not only a professional but also extremely clever as he managed to find the hide a key ingeniously hidden under the driver’s side wheel hub. Just goes to show, no mater how shrewd you are, there is always someone who is one step ahead.

MJE is worn out just describing this ordeal and I haven’t even gotten to the part about getting the OB&C out of his state of suspended animation and onto the next stage of grief. Stay tuned, it’s riveting. And exhausting. I need a drink.