So before we get started, I have a confession: The headline is misleading because my car wasn’t actually broken into. I accidentally hit the unlock button on my key fob while walking my dog the night before the Altoid heist, forgot about it (I was distracted by the act of tracing dog shit in the dark) and apparently left my car open all night long. Whoever stole them just had to open a door.
Anyway, I discovered the crime the next morning when leaving the house to drive to wherever the fuck I go during the day. And as anyone who’s had their car broken into before will tell you—by the way, this is the fifth time this has happened to me but the first with this car—the act can be more disconcerting and surreal than annoying. I sat in the driver’s seat and thought, “Hmm ... I don’t remember emptying everything from the glove compartment onto the floor mat. Was I drunk last night?” until it finally dawned on me that someone else had definitely been in my car.
My first reaction, because I’m a black man and unceasing paranoia is my blood type, was to look in the back seat just to see if there was someone hiding back there waiting to slit my throat or sell me some prepaid legal. No one was there, so my next move was a sweep of the car to check if everything was still working (it was), if anything had been broken (no), and if any drugs or weapons had been planted there to set me up (I don’t think so). And then I began to sift through the items in my glove box and console that had been rummaged through and checked to see what, if anything, was missing.
My registration and insurance card were still there, which wasn’t a surprise, since those things are only valuable to me. Also left untouched?
- a fancy-ish car seat that I once heard someone call “the baby chariot” and several lightly used baby toys and books
- a pair of Warby Parker prescription sunglasses
- my backup eyeglasses (which I’m wearing in my profile pic)
- my backup cologne (Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette Spray for Men), which I keep in the driver’s-side door
And if they bothered to pop the truck, they would have discovered the following:
- a pair of Wolf Grey Jordan 3s
- a pair of Balenciaga Race Runners (white)
- a Wilson basketball in perfect condition
- a super-duper tony tie my editor at GQ gave me when I visited their offices in August
Of course, each of these items is customized to my size and tastes, but they’re still things I assume I’d think to take from a car if I were in the “take things from cars” business. Instead, they left all that junk behind and took my Altoids. It wasn’t even a fresh can of Altoids. They probably stole maybe seven Altoids total. Which is still enough Altoids to get you through a week—they are curiously strong breath mints—but seven Altoids is a pretty shitty consolation prize. And now I have questions!
- Was this person going car to car for Altoids and perhaps had a silent “Eureka!” moment when discovering mine?
- Was this person maybe on a date or headed to a job interview where they had to rush out the door, and they forgot to brush their teeth, and they were walking down the street all sad and dragon-breathed and shit until they looked through my window and saw a single Altoid sitting on my floor mat?
- Does someone just really, really, really want me to have bad breath?
- Do they want me to have bad breath because they heard I was about to buy NBC and they don’t want that to happen?
- Was the Altoid thief so annoyed that there was no money in my car that they stole the Altoids out of spite?
- I’ve heard that the seats in my car are comfortable, so did they use this opportunity to take a nap?
- How bad does someone’s breath have to be to steal seven Altoids?
- Why doesn’t anyone have any sympathy for Drogon-breathed niggas? There are no hashtags for them, no telethons and no monthlong NFL campaigns to support halitosis research, and that makes me sad!
- Was I wrong for side-eyeing and being extremely suspicious of every minty-breathed nigga I encountered the rest of the week? Like, if we spoke that week and your breath smelled too wintergreeny, I definitely considered whooping your jolly-scented ass.
- Are the shoes and glasses that I obviously think are cool so uncool that a nigga would rather have seven Altoids than them?
(Don’t answer that last question, please.)