Four years ago this month I had my 1986 Toyota Van (AKA The Fun Van) stolen while I was on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
Cay was on retreat with her Brentwood kids. I finished work late on a Thursday night at Fox in Century City. It was the fall of my fifth season on Dharma & Greg. I drove Pico east to Sawtelle, headed north, and parked the van at a meter about five spots south of Olympic on the east side of the street. I had dinner at the Baja Fresh and then walked across the street to play Counterstrike at an internet gaming center called Cyber 210.
Had a long session and came out after midnight. I walked back across Olympic and WTF where is my van? The van was gone! Along with my Stewart 9'3" longboard that Greg Beier gave to me as a gift. I knew I parked it there. Positive. I found a payphone and called the police. Reported my car stolen. Called a cab. I think I drove Cay's car to work the next day.
Two weeks later on a Monday I bought a 1996 Subaru Legacy wagon.
The next day I got a call from the LAPD and they said that they recovered the van.
I went to the impound yard and saw my van. It was dirty from the dust kicked up in the yard and there was no surfboard on the roof. I looked inside where I had a bunch of camera assistant gear (bags, tools, etc. that was worth some decent kale) and they were untouched.
I drove the Fun Van home with Cay following behind me. We were both elated. Now I was the owner of two cars and so very happy to have my van back.
Several days later I drove past the address where the police report said the van was found. It was three and a half blocks west of Sawtelle on Mississippi Avenue near Colby. [Map is here]
Uh oh. That's weird. Maybe I did move my van after dinner and park it there. I sometimes parked on this street when gaming at Cyber 210. I just don't remember getting in my car after Baja Fresh to move it farther away from Sawtelle. Meters weren't running. Why the hell would I move it?
To this day I sometimes tell myself that the van was stolen, taken for a joy ride, and left on the road a few blocks away from where it was stolen.
I'm just fooling myself.
I completely forgot that I moved the van. A few of my friends [click here for a great archived phone message from Scott] suggested that this was the case but I refused to believe I could be that stupid. I was that stupid. Happily I can report that I haven't done anything that stupid since then. Maybe I have and I just don't remember it.
This is just the beginning of my story. Ever since seeing My Name Is Earl, I've been thinking about the Karma thing. This confession is a way for me to begin to pay back the 60 people who sent me ten bucks for a new surfboard thanks to a solicitation letter sent out by Cay. I have a list and I'll be trying to set things right.