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How to Trap a Car Thief

Avoid Auto Theft with the No-Fail Car Alarm
by Shirley Gilfert

Getting a new car can be a pretty thrilling occasion, especially if the old one is slowly showing its age as much as you're showing yours. Even though the man in your life keeps telling you you're not getting older, you're getting better, nothing can make you believe it until he presents you with a new car for your (ahem-mumble-mumble) birthday.

I had been admiring this particular chariot for several weeks, had even tried it out, but being the Depression Era kid that I was, I hesitated to spend the money because my old car was "perfectly good." So what if it looked more like a yacht than an automobile? Maybe the paint had faded from a brilliant blue to a washed out gray. Maybe there were a few rips in the upholstery where the children, now in college, had gotten a little rambunctious when they were small. I couldn't justify spending that much money while old Guinevere was still running. So imagine my joy when my husband drove into the driveway and came bouncing into the house with the manual for my 2001 dream vehicle in his hands.

"Happy birthday, honey!" he beamed as he handed the manual to me. "Here's everything you need to know about your new car." He laid it down, then shouted, "Come on, we're going to drive into Omaha to celebrate your birthday."

Then he immediately bounced back out the door and got inside that dream machine. I glanced out the window and saw him sitting in the car, waiting.

As I rushed around to lock up the house, the car's horn began to honk, not once, not twice, but continually. 

Just as I started out the door, the phone rang. It was a neighbor who was concerned that something must be wrong over here. She said our car horn was honking and honking, did I know it? Now I may be getting old, but I am not hard of hearing! Of course, I knew it! I explained that it was just Gil's way of hurrying me up, and of course she understood how husbands are.

I hurried outside, the horn still blaring incessantly. The windows were all up and my husband's face was extremely red. I wasn't sure if it was the heat of a closed-up car or high blood pressure, but I couldn't help but sound a little testy when I tapped on the window.

"For heaven's sake, Gil! Honking that horn incessantly is not going to get me here any faster. Now stop it!"

"Can't! I'm not touching it and it still honks."

"At least roll down the window so I don't have to shout!"

"Can't. They won't work."

"Well, start the motor. Maybe that will stop the horn."

"Can't! Already tried it. It won't start."

"Look in the manual and see what it says!" I said between giggles.

"Can't! The manual is in the house on the kitchen counter. Go in and get it and read it to me."

His voice was getting hoarse from trying to shout above the noise of the horn and his face was getting redder by the minute. I had a feeling it was not from the heat of a closed car. I hurried into the house, grabbed the manual and ran outside, and immediately began to thumb through the manual, trying hard not to laugh while reading to him.

"Okay, have you got the remote?" 

He held it up for me to see.

"Okay. Just push the unlock button."

For once he didn't question the wisdom of this. He pushed "unlock," the horn quit honking, the doors unlocked, and when he turned the key the motor leapt into action and purred like a kitten.

I began to read to him what the manual said about the anti-theft devices built into the car, but he didn't seem eager to hear it. He just opened the door and walked around to the passenger side, saying, "You drive!"