When my car radio was stolen, I thought I wouldn't miss it. I did.
Was I upset when my car stereo was stolen? I suppose you could say so. I sat in the driver's seat, gaping at the vacant space where the radio used to be, and thought: They can land a man on the moon but they can't develop a door handle with little spikes that spring out like switchblades when a burglar touches it?

At first, I blamed the victim: i.e., me. Around here, we park on the street and I hadn't locked my doors. Why not just invite the guy in? I thought, reviewing the situation. Hey, wanna nice sound system? New? Just installed? Big, full bass? Clear, solid treble? Well, here ya go. You're welcome - just call me Mr. Shmuck.

But then I rationalized that not locking my doors was a good thing. If they want your radio, ready or not, here they'll come. At least my windows were intact.

As I sat there, I surveyed the surrounding houses, all of them suddenly suspect. Was it that guy? That one over there? It was, I knew, none of them. They had their own car stereos. If they wanted anything of mine, it was my parking space. In a city, there is no more prized possession than a good parking space and I am lucky enough to have a great one. But that's another story.

Later, as I drove around town, it occurred to me that maybe the
vandal did me a favor.

I hate the radio.

I obsessively search the dial for something to listen to. There's Britney and classic rock (Foreigner? Boston? Classic?) and "soft rock" and plodding, angst-drenched heavy metal and insipid pop country and easy listening (which is anything but) and watered-down hip-hop and morning deejays who mistake obnoxiousness for humor. There are apoplectic talk-radio political commentators who might blow a synapse right through your dashboard. There are fund drives and commercials and hucksters of every stripe.