joy riding.

Auto theft
By thieving Emmet

I had no idea I was part of a car theft ring until last week.
I wrote a column about sort of running away from home in a new Ford dump truck, from Boston to Alexandria, Virginia. I was an innocent accomplice, even if the shiny new truck was technically stolen.
Apparently, I struck a responsive chord among my friends and acquaintances. Apparently “stealing “the family car is a sort of rite of passage. Hey, it was just sitting in the driveway, all gassed up. Hard to resist, say the thieves.
No matter what story you have, Bohemian Bob always has a batter one, with a better car. He claims to have stolen his father go-fast 1962 Impala SS and entered the gleaming machine in the ice races in West Bath. All right, he didn’t win. But he didn’t crash it on the ice either.
Lovely Annie, related to Bohemian Bob by marriage, was a naughty girl in high school. Let her tell it.
“When I was in high school, my girlfriend’s parents attended a Massey Ferguson tractor convention in Las Vegas, leaving their Cadillac behind. Not having a driver’s license and being 15 did not deter my friend Deb and three other girls from skipping school to borrow the car and conduct a tour of the County back roads, all of us wearing scarves tied under our chins to look the part of old ladies. We drove in comfort and made it safe and sound back home later that day without any issues,” she said.
She should have known better.

“The next time we borrowed the car, though, her parents were home. It was the middle of the night during a sleep-over. We quietly escaped through the basement and pushed the car out into the street and down the hill before starting it, so as to not wake up the folks.
“That time we were not so lucky. We made it almost to Dunkin Donuts in the next town when a Presque Isle officer stopped and asked for her driver’s license. Deb fibbed and said that she was her older sister Judy who went to college at UMPI, so the officer told her to bring her license into the station the next day. Not sure if her sister ever did, but she must have, because the incident did not result in any charges,” she said.
But life is always more difficult if you are a Catholic, especially in Aroostook County.
“That same morning, Deb fessed up to her parents, and her devout Catholic mother warned us that God has his ways of letting parents know when their children step over the line…so we should not even consider doing that again,” she said.
Kids cannot resist that car sitting in the driveway.

Big Bad John is a straight-laced lawyer now. But he could not resist the siren call of the highway as a teenager in Anniston, Alabama, where the EPA is still trying to clean up the mess his family left behind.
“I was 14, Warren was 15. His plan was to take the family Buick out for a joy ride after his parents were asleep. Of course I agreed to go along. I put a dummy in my bed, went out the bedroom window and we were on our way. We drove around for a few hours, bought some cigars at a truck stop, and made our way back around 3:30 AM or so. From a distance we could see the lights on in his house so Warren says, “Let’s go to Florida!” We had maybe $5 between us. I said we couldn’t make it and if we did what would we do there? We meekly went to our homes to face the music,” he said.
Couple of wimps. At least we made it to Virginia. But it was a poor plan, especially for Warren.
“Warren had left his bedroom door open and had no dummy in his bed. His father got up to use the bathroom and a call immediately went to my house to see if I knew where he might be. The dummy in my bed refused to respond,” Big Bad John testified.
No anthology of stolen speeding family sedans would be complete without an entry from Ballpeen Hammer who fled Cobb Road in Camden for Leesburg, Florida.
He always (unfortunately) had a million stories, many about vehicle. His favorite was the one with his mother’s gorgeous, powder blue ’63 T-bird.
The words you never want to hear while driving with a daredevil like Ballpeen was “hang on!”
Our boy had seen too many movies with car chases. He yelled “hang on” to his terrified passenger and did a power turn on Route 17. “I slammed on the power brakes at 60 mph on Rt. 17 in West Rockport and skidded and rotated those heavy old T-Bird 180 degrees, and burned more rubber off heading back towards where we had just come from, all in one motion!
It was something you could only do back in the day before ABS braking. Naturally, Our Boy couldn’t stop there.
“We got busted when I did a couple 360 “doughnuts” on Rt. 90, right in front of my mother’s friend’s house. She immediately recognized the not-so-inconspicuous powder blue T-bird. The next morning, she called my mother, to see if maybe her car had been stolen, before she called it into the police. “
Luckily, Ballpeen’s mother covered for him and he avoided a life in prison.
It seems like everyone has one of these stolen car stories. Do you?