Where were we? Oh, right- dumb shit I did as a kid.
Part II - Grand Theft Auto: Suburbia
No, we didn't actually steal cars. I mean, we were young and stupid, but not fucking criminals.
OK. That's... that's not entirely true. We kind of stole cars. Let me explain with a little background first.
It started when we were a little older than the last story, probably junior high somewhere. We got bored one day, and our parents weren't home (when my cousin's family first immigrated here from South Africa, they moved in with my family for a couple of years). Why our parents ever left us home alone together is a mystery to this day. We had always had a thing about cars... we liked watching them, and we had a long standing hood-ornament contest - we'd rip the hood ornaments off of cars and whoever had the coolest one won. You know, five points for Oldsmobiles, 10 points for Cadillacs, 20 points for Mercedes', and 50 points for Jaguars (the Jags were a bitch, you usually needed pliers or some other tool). We also used to periodically take my uncle's car out and do figure 8's in the parking lot, until a neighbor caught us, and told our parents.
I still get a little shiver when I think about the little bit of disciplinary action that resulted in.
Anyway, the point is, we were bored. So we were walking around the neighborhood, looking for something to do, and we wandered into an underground parking garage. And this is where things get a little... quasi-legal. Semi-legal. OK, fine. It was probably completely illegal.
It started out as looking to see if any cars were unlocked, so we could, you know... steal change and shit. I don't know, we were 13 and bored and apparently lacking in conscience. So we found a few unlocked cars (a surprising number, I confess, but this was 20 years ago, before keyless alarms and what not). I should make it clear that we did NOT break into any cars. Ahem. Anyway, then we decided to... well, we decided to move them around. We didn't know how to hotwire them (my cousin would learn this skill later in life, and end up in the clink as a result) but we figured if we popped them into "Neutral" and one of us pushed, we could move 'em around.
Look, I know, alright? I KNOW. This is not what good children do. Would you let me finish my story before you get all judge-y?
So we found about 10 or 12 cars that were unlocked, and took turns steering versus pushing. At first, we thought it would be a funny joke to just put them into different spots, to confuse the drivers when they got out of work. But then (and I confess, this part was my idea), we decided to - ah - to stack them up. Basically, we maneuvered all the unlocked cars so that they blocked in all of the other cars. We essentially created a miniature traffic jam with empty cars in a parking garage. It was actually sort of funny. And maybe sort of evil. I'm never sure which one. The only sad thing is we couldn't stick around to see what happened when people got out of work.
Anyway, that's my tale. Sure, we did some other dumb stuff, but those two stories have been rattling around my head for a while now, so I figured I'd tell them. Listen, if it makes you feel any better, I'm actually a relatively nice person now. Seriously. Ask anyone. If we were to ever meet, I totally wouldn't steal your shit or anything. Finally, if there's a lesson to be learned from my story, it's this: lock your fucking car, people. Seriously. There are some crooked motherfuckers out there.
By the way, if you're curious about how things ended up with my cousin, since he was my chief partner-in-misdemeanors, well, we drifted apart. He moved on to getting into more serious trouble (hence his time in the pokey), while I just settled into minor drugs, drinking, teen angst and occasional shoplifting. The following is perfectly illustrative of how things ended up.
When we were around 17 years old, my family was at his family's house for Thanksgiving. I was up in his room, goofing off, and we had the following conversation:
Cuz: Hey, you need a car stereo?
Cuz: A car stereo. You need one?
TK: You serious?
He promptly slides a box out from under his bed. It is filled with car stereos, as well as other contraband.
TK: Dude. The fuck am I gonna do with a car stereo? I don't have a car.
Cuz: Oh. Right.
Cuz: You need a car?
TK: [sigh] Naw, man, I'm good. Be a little hard to explain to my dad, you know?
Cuz: You wanna get stoned?
TK: Fuck and yes.
Now playing: The Coasters - Down In Mexico