Bad luck is having your car stolen. Good luck is getting it back.
To start the day, I thought we'd treat ourselves to breakfast at a favorite restaurant.

We crossed the lawn toward the...


Where's the car?

We... I... Did your mom park the car somewhere, maybe up the street?

No... . No. I parked it...


Here? Right?...

Right here...


We stood there gawking at the empty space on the street in front of our house where our car used to be.

"Sam," I said. "I think they stole our car."

My 11-year-old son gaped at that yawn of asphalt with its missing Chrysler tooth. "Stole it?"

Yes, it was incomprehensible. These things don't happen except on the news.

You might call it bad luck. Luck, after all, is capricious. We park on the street outside our home all the time. The car's never been stolen. I just thought that was the way things were. It never occurred to me that its being there in the morning was due to good luck.

Luck, though, is a funny thing. Seems to me that it is measured in direct proportion to the misfortune you might have suffered but didn't. Man, lightning struck him, left him with no hearing in one ear. Lucky: coulda been both ears.

I wasn't quite sure what was lucky about this situation. Maybe we were lucky both our cars weren't stolen.

I called my wife at work.

"Jessica?" Everything I said seemed to be a question, even my wife's name. "Did you take the car last night? Park it somewhere?"

"Noo," she answered, drawing the word out as if heading it in the direction of a question as well. "Why?"

"Because it's not there," I replied. "I think it's been stolen."