It appeared quite funny at the time. You leave the bank after cashing a check and you find that your truck is gone.What to do? Not too alarmed, I checked for my vehicle in the back parking lot of the bank. On those days when your attention span is in auto pilot, I may very well have parked behind the bank but it wasn't to be found there. Hmmm, I thought, perhaps I parked a little further down the street. I scanned up and down the roadway and felt annoyed at the prospect that someone may have driven her away.
The light skinned beauty with three on the tree and a wooden bed didn't appeal to everyone but her charm was subtle. Cassette deck still in place and always willing to play old Stones or the jagged sax of a Foreigner tune, the 79' door speakers still managed to give you a chill. There was nothing power about her except for the straight six engine that would outlast every single nut, bolt and piece of metal that made up all the other supporting components.
Now as a side note, I have always felt a little badly for the little bank in the center of town. It was a small community bank. Not the bank that I had just wandered out from to find that my truck was missing. No, this bank was down the hill. Down the hill, in the center of town, away from my bank.
This small community bank, down the hill, in the center of town, was occupied by several little old ladies. They were robbed once by having someone enter the unlocked all volunteer fire station, take a ladder, and then use it to climb up two stories to the bank's rear window. They opened the unlocked safe and made off with several thousand dollars. Not long ago, someone walked in and demanded money or the lives of the little old ladies. He was arrested later when he bragged about the heist while having a beer next door in the neighborhood pub.
So, having lost my truck and not seeing it parked anywhere on the street, I headed down to the town square to notify the local Andy and Barney.
To my luck, or to my detriment, depending on your perspective, the Po-Po were already amassed in the center of town with a crowd of people lending their support. It was difficult to tell exactly what was going on but with the waving of hands, blue lights and the gathering of the old ladies on the side walk in front of the bank you knew that it was not good.
Something seemed oddly familiar as I approached. Two square eyes and a toothy smile appeared from within the demolished brick bank exterior, about where the front door and massive front window had once stood. Apparently, my truck had rolled backwards and down the hill until the wall stopped her backward retreat.. Good thing that the bank was there or she may have rolled into the river.
I stopped dead in my tracks and thought of my options.
Do I make my way home and tell the authorities that someone must have taken my truck while I was watching reruns of South Park or the Waltons?
Do I begin to yell and rant, "Hey! What in tha hell are you guys doing with my truck?"
Now none of these appeared to be really viable options. I had to go down and face the music. I would just meander down and see what happens.
But wait! It gets worse.
The Chief of Police was named Ahab; and he wore an eye patch. You just can't make this shit up. He always referred to me as "Sport" in some familiar way. And it did have a way of disarming my defensive demeanor.
"Hey Sport," he eyed me. No pun intended. "It looks like someone was playing a practical joke on you and it got out of hand."
"What the hell," I responded, feigning disbelief.
"Which one of your buddies do you think pushed you down the hill? You think that they saw you parked outside the church and thought they would be funny, Sport?"
It quickly made sense to me. The Chief's mother lived across from my families Baptist church and he must have seen my truck parked outside on different occasions. I could see now that the Holy Spirit was providing me with guiding unction.
"I don't know who would do something like this," I honestly replied. It was evasive but true.
"Well Sport," Chief Ahab looked at me with his good eye, "You tell your friends that these kind of practical jokes cannot be tolerated! Someone could get killed."
The Chief called his brother who owned the local towing company and they pulled my phoenix from out of the rubble. No one noticed that the keys were still in the ignition. None to smart, nah-ha.
With the Chief's parting words of wisdom and knowing that he did have his eye on me, I drove the beauty home contemplating the mystery of small town banking and police work.