(This is an entry in the contest to win the new book from Dave Barry.)
by Scott Donaldson
My first car was a 1971 Ford F-100 side step truck. It was a “three on the tree” manual transmission with a V-6 motor. The battery was attached with a nylon rope, the road was visible through holes in the floor and the radio played through a drive in movie theater speaker. The truck ran on regular gas and country music. I kept a red golf umbrella in the rear window gun rack to demonstrate my civility.
This truck was very simple. I worked on everything: brakes, electrical you name it. I never took a trip of any duration without my tools and I had a lot of tools.
One fall weekend, I was robbed. The thief took my stereo and phones, the typical household electronic stuff. They chose the wrong person to rob, I wasn’t poor, I just didn’t have anything, and I lived in a bad part of town. The thief left through a back door. In order to leave, he had to push my ten year collection of tools out of the way.
Funning thing is, the tools were my only valuables. The tools allowed me to fix my truck so that I could get to work. I guess he didn’t want to steal the tools. Carrying tools might have been morally confusing. He might have felt he should use those tools and actually work. He might have actually earned a slow dollar. Slow dollars you keep, fast dollars, stolen dollars,…they are gone in a vapor.