The Day I Stole a Toyota

Yep, fess up time…I once stole a Toyota…kinda…I was staying in Auckland with my good buddies Mike ‘n Lara. When I went back to NZ for a few weeks or months they would often lemme crash at theirs. When I had a van, I’d park it in the driveway and sleep there and use their wifi, showers etc. It was a lovely set up and very generous of them.

So, one day, I think Mike was cooking dinner and needed some veges. His car, a green Toyota Station wagon (not the car I stole) was parked behind my van, so he just gave me the keys to run down to the vegie shop in Newmarket with a list of things to get.

So, I did. It’s about a 15 min drive so I whipped down there and did the shopping. It was mid week, mid afternoon. Nothing odd or unusual, just a lazy-ish weekday.

So, after I was sure I had everything and paid up, I went back to the car, dumped the vegies in the back, started her up and drove off back to Mike’s. About 5 mins into the drive I had this weird vertigo-like feeling. Something felt very odd. Like I was in a parallel universe somehow… yep, not a very usual feeling (can’t think when I’ve ever felt quite that same feeling of displacement before or after this day).

I remember looking at the stereo in the car. Mike is a sound head and he has the best sound stuff everywhere. It’s not only good but loud (what do you expect from a guy who was once in a band called Tinnitus?). The odd thing was…the stereo wasn’t there… but…it wasn’t not there…there wasn’t a big hole like someone had stolen the stereo….it was not there in the sense that it was a normal Toyota dashboard. There was a plastic plate where you could put a stereo but there was no stereo.

I thought…literally… “What the fuck?”… then I realised….holy shit… this is not Mike’s car…..yes, it was a Toyota. Yes it was a green station wagon. Yes the key opened the doors. Yes the key started the car. Yes it was parked out the back of the vegie place. But NO this is not his car. I was driving someone else’s car!

I kinda freaked….what if someone now reported their car stolen? Holy shit! How long would it take me to explain that I did not steal the stolen car I was sitting in? So I booted it back to the vegie place. I was also thinking…oh my god…what if the owner is now wandering around the carpark looking for their car and I pull up…what am I going to say? What if they are super super pissed?

Anyho… I got back to the carpark and parked the car super quick. Grabbed the vegies and booted it on foot to Mike’s car and drove off as fast as I could… thankfully, or as far as I know, no one noticed…except, I often look back at that moment and I’m pretty sure in the heat of the moment I parked the car far far away from where I found it…. quite possibly someone else also had that ‘parallel universe’ feeling that day…

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