To the Guys Who Jacked My Car Last Night...

Is it sexist to assume you're guys? It seems to me that if women wanted to steal cars, they'd be awesome at it. But since most crime is perpetrated by men, and since men are more likely to be impressed by a sweet, sexy ride like my baby-blue, 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra, well... let's call it a sexism of convenience.

Anyway, Officer Drew of the CMPD seemed to be of the opinion that you probably didn't steal the car for the money, so I can only assume that you just needed something that would impress the ladies as you cruised the strip on Halloween, in which case you'll probably be ditching the car after you've had your way with it.

You may find it hard to believe with a cherry ride like The Cutlass, but I never actually put theft insurance on it. I guess maybe I was thinking that since it was so irreplaceable, why bother? Regardless, it occurred to me that if you're going to ditch it anyway when you run it out of gas, perhaps you might consider swinging by my place and dropping it off (you'll find the address on the insurance card in the glove box -- where, consequently, you'll also find the trunk-release button).

I'm a writer, and I'd love to spend some time picking your brain about the criminal mind. I'm also a decent cook, so how about I sweeten the deal by offering a full-course meal whilst we tackle the subject? Feel free to place your menu-order in the comments.

If, however, you decide to keep my car (and you'd be kind of crazy not to), there are a few peccadilloes you should probably know about in order to maximize your experience.
  1. Sometimes it gets stuck in Park (I'm guessing this didn't happen to you last night, so... yay for that!). When this occurs, your best option is to get out of the car and jump up and down on the hood, directly above the left wheel well. You'll look a little odd doing it, but the fact that you chose to steal The Cutlass tells me you're above that sort of consideration, and would appreciate a functional workout.
  2. It's cooler out, now, so you probably won't notice until next Spring that the AC doesn't work. This is obviously a bonus feature (screw that corporate air!), but fair warning.
  3. Under no circumstances should you roll down the back left window. Hopefully that's the one you smashed to get into the car. But if it isn't, whatever you do, do not roll it down -- you'll never get it back up. This was intended, of course, as a child-safety precaution (which explains the tape over the back roll-down-button).
  4. You've no doubt noticed that your driver's seat will not adjust. Don't think of it as being "stuck in place," however. Think of it as... character. In time you, as I, will mold to the sweet, sexy specifications of this bold new ride.
  5. The radio isn't "broken," it's been disengaged by the Universe in order to allow you the time and silence to properly think about your life. Use that.
  6. My main initial concern with this theft was that I thought I'd left my backpack on the seat. In that backpack were two copies of my self-published book-of-short-stories, and a couple of notebooks filled with irreplaceable movie ideas. I figured you had no doubt recognized the car as being mine and were planning to take my ideas, write your own scripts, and make it big in Hollywood. But I discovered when I got home that I'd left the backpack behind. So, joke's on you, suckahs! I would add, though, that you've no doubt encountered a plethora of great stories in your rich and vibrant life of crime. Use that!
That's all I've got right now. If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know in the comments. See you soon (fingers crossed)!


Josh Barkey

post script: My friend J.R., whose play, Venus in Fur, I had driven up to Charlotte to see (it was great, you should check it out) kept going on and on about how admirable it was how I was taking it, but you and I both know that a ride like that can never really "belong" to anybody. Besides, a karmatic swing like this for me can only be a sign of great things to come. Perhaps I'll sell a film script next week. Or maybe the woman I'm currently interested in will decide I'm worth being interested in, as well. Whatever the case, curate The Cutlass well, my friend. Curate her well.

post, post script: Since this is an open letter and most people don't have the privilege of The Cutlass's company, I'm including the last picture I took with her, which I think expresses some of my feelings over her loss. She's in your care now, so I hope you won't take offense. Peace and Love.

NOTE: The Charlotte Police Department recovered the car two days later. I have written a second part to this letter, which can be found HERE.

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*Note: I put a lot of time into giving you this ad-free reading experience. If this post means something to you, you are more than welcome to pay me back by linking the bejeebers out of it on your social medias. And/or better yet, you could go check out one of my books. Dankegratzithanks.


  1. Oh man, what a bummer! I had my Toyota Camry stolen many years ago when I lived in Miami. Back in those days, as a resident of the Car Theft Capital of the World, everyone used "The Club" to, ahem, ward off thieves. Yeah, the officer told me they found mine in the back seat! So much for security. Anyway... I feel your pain, Josh. But I agree with your friend that you are handling it well (finding the funny with the annoyances in life is good catharsis).They ended up locating my car a day or two later, and eventually I had to go to trial and face the guy who stole it. Ugh. The whole thing was a big fat headache.

    Hang in there, and hopefully it'll turn up. In the meantime, whew!... glad your backpack wasn't in there as well. I'd be more upset if my personal notes were stolen than my car! LOL Writer's priorities and all...

    1. Thanks, Barb. I will hope and dream of the chance to face these guys in court. Perhaps I could demand my civil right to a statement, then read this post to them and see if I can get the judge to laugh.

  2. Why do I enjoy re-reading this so much? So many times?

  3. I can only assume that you just needed something that would impress the ladies as you cruised the strip on Halloween, in which case you'll probably be ditching the car after you've had your way with it.Hire a Chauffeur


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