Don’t Put Stuff on the Roof of Your Car …

Don’t Put Stuff on the Roof of Your Car …

In the last issue, Rob mentioned a couple of incidents in his life (one recent) that involved leaving things on top of his vehicle – and then driving off. It seems he’s not the only one who has had similar experiences. – Editor

“You didn’t ask for inputs, but my best ‘stuff left on the car’ story had a happy ending. After weeks of work, I loaded the mesquite and oak dining table I’d made for my daughter (picture attached) into the back of our 2005 Honda CR-V. Even with the base broken down, it was a tight fit and, in the process of sequencing the pieces, I ‘temporarily’ laid the stretcher (oak roughly 2-in. x 6-in. x 5-ft.) on the roof rack. Turning a corner approaching my daughter’s house after 180 miles of highway driving, I heard a clattering noise as the stretcher fell off the roof onto the side of the road. It was scratched up a bit, but the rubber coating on the roof rack crossbars had provided just enough friction to keep it from blowing off. Luckily, I guess I had laid it up there pretty well aligned front to back so the wind resistance area was small. “ – Henry Burks

“Though you didn’t ask for stories of things we forgot and left on the roof of vehicles, I thought I would share one that brought my IQ level down a few points.
Back in college, many moons ago, I took an architectural drafting class working for a degree in drafting. The final for the class was to build a scale model of the wonderful creation my fiance and I had created. As is normal, it came down to an all-nighter before final review. Early class time, of course. With the sun up and much coffee, I left with my not-quite-complete creation balanced in hand and went to my car. I think you see what’s coming. I placed my model on the car roof as I got the rest of my things in the car. I hurried to leave and realized my mistake when I saw the model fly by my rearview mirror and crash to the street. I picked up pieces of it and my pride and continued to class. My tale of woe did little to appease my instructor, though he did get a good laugh from it. Failed the class, but made it up next semester. Hope you got a chuckle from my story. I had all but forgotten that incident till I read your article. So thanks a lot.” – David Routt

But it’s worked out pretty well for some readers who have been on the other side of these incidences. – Editor

“I think I found your DeWalt driver about four years ago. I was driving back to the house after picking up breakfast at one of the local fast food places and there, in the middle of the four-lane, was a DeWalt driver. Of course I stopped and picked it up. I had to order a charger, but not a bad deal for what is now one of my favorite tools. Thanks. Wish I had known it was yours sooner, but you know about possession being nine-tenths of the law and such.” – Charles Buster

“Laughing with you, not at you. And yes, I have those days too, and so do other people. In fact, that is how I found the battery-powered reciprocating saw on the highway (no name inside). Anyway, really enjoy the Journal. Keep up the good work.” – Skip Landis

“Stuff you find on the street that belongs to someone else: I was in San Diego for a Monday morning meeting. Traffic down the 15 freeway is always unpredictable, so left early and got there early. I turned into a Denny’s and in the parkway next to the entrance was a briefcase in the grass. I picked up the fairly expensive case and, after placing it on the passenger’s seat, opened it. I was ready for plastic bags full of white powder, but instead, there were business cards and literature and something more valuable than drugs: customer lists with spending and discount details — a district salesman’s roster, with personal information including  Social Security numbers and health history; a price list with cost figures; and a payroll master for the company. I called the fellow and told him I had found the case and how should I return it. He told me not to bother. Throw the contents in the trash and keep the briefcase if I wanted it. He had been fired Friday and he had stopped at Denny’s to use the bathroom and became so irate, he shoved the briefcase out the passenger side window onto the parkway Monday morning on the way to a job interview with another company. Apparently, this fellow was doing a good job, but the president had a relative who needed a source of income. It doesn’t take long to figure out what happened. I never found a DeWalt battery drill or a laptop. Life happens.” – Bruce Adams

Several people shared some advice: put stuff on the hood of your car. – Editor

“I feel your pain. I am retired from law enforcement, and now more devoted to my woodworking. As you can imagine, the patrol car is the office of the street cop. I lost a couple clipboards early in my career. As a veteran officer, I became a field training officer (one of the most challenging jobs in LE). Having learned the hard way, I always taught my rookies that if you insist on setting anything on the outside of your patrol car, there is only one place that is marginally acceptable, and that is right in front of the driver side on the hood where you can see it if you get in to drive off. I’m glad you got at least one of your items back.  That’s the sort of thing that can help restore one’s faith in humanity. I’m afraid it’s a real challenge for a street cop to retain any such ‘faith.’ Anyway, I enjoy reading your articles and find woodworking to be far more cathartic than police work, though I did enjoy my career.” – Michael Gilbert, Sgt. (retired)

“That is the reason when I am putting groceries or anything in my truck, or car, I always set it on the hood. Coffee or other drinks, food, etc.  I always set it on the hood so that if I get in my truck and didn’t grab it, I can see it on the hood. I have not driven off with a drink or food etc. on the hood of my truck. On the roof, it is out of sight and out of mind. Just a little tip I learned after my lone brain cell lit up, after losing drinks, food, etc. that was put on the roof of my truck while opening the door.” – R. Kimberly

“Here is a tip I learned many years ago: Don’t put something on top of the vehicle! Put it on the hood in front of you. It is a lot harder to drive off if it is where you can see it.” – Jesse Lee

And some were just amused at Rob’s expense. – Editor

“Isn’t dementia fun? Old age: the time of your life when you can hide your own Easter eggs and then try to find them again.” – R.L. Hoyle

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