Saturday, February 17, 2007

I found a gun in my car today. Seriously!

So I found a gun in my car today. Not my car, really, but the car someone's graciously allowing me to use during my stay in Iowa. Danette's house (where I'm staying) has only one garage, so I park on the street in front of the house. There's just one slight problem, which isn't huge in this part of the world: The car cannot lock. Not from the outside, at least. Not if you want to be able to unlock it again.

Anyway! I had used the car last night for Karen and my trip to the movies, so I know that there were no strange objects in the car by the time I parked it in front of the house. But today, after coming home from working at Java Creek, I went to get my cell phone charger from the car... As I reached into the car, I noticed something sticking out from under the driver's seat. It was black, metal, and looked like the handle of something like a pistol! I kid you not!

I jumped back, then looked again. I didn't touch the thing. I could see it's metal, a bit scuffed up, and there was a plastic bag scrunged in under the seat next to the gun.

What the heck?!

I ran indoors and called the police. "My name's Adele. Who do I talk to to report a gun in my car? ... No, it's not my gun. ... The car's parked on the street in front of my house. ... No the car wasn't locked. ... My address is... Sure, I'll wait."

I didn't want to let me eyes off the car. What if whoever came back to get their stuff? I kept thinking, Was is real? Yes it was! Was it there last night? Not a chance! Even if I didn't see the gun, I would've stepped on the bag! Whose is it? No idea! Should I get my camera and go take a picture of it? No, stay away!

Minutes later, two cop cars pulled up. (One came just out of curiosity.) The guys walked over to the car, and as the first officer pulled the gun from under the seat, he said, "Ah! It's a bb gun!" He also pulled the bag from under the seat; it contained pellets.

Of course I felt stupid for calling the police on a toy gun, but believe me, it looked real. And I'd rather be safe than sorry. "It's OK," the officer assured me, "it looks real. That's why people use them to commit crimes. We'll keep it in case it was used in a holdup in this area. (!) If some kid just hid it in your car, they can come and pick it up from the station."

But the rest of the afternoon, I kept wondering why someone would stash a gun and pellets in someone else's car. Did they have to hide it in a hurry? A grown-up would probably think of a better way to hide it, wouldn't they? Was it some kind of a joke? What if it's not. What if the person comes back for the gun? Oh well.

In the end, worrying won't help. I've since decided to pull the car into the driveway. Danette's gone for the week, so it's not like it'd be in her way. But it would take far more for someone to walk into the driveway to open the car and look for the gun. And, after all, it was just a toy gun, so it's not like I have to apply for a witness protection program or something. :)

In fact, I think it's kind of funny being able to say, "Well, one day, I went to get something from my car and found a gun stashed under my seat..."

P.S. It's been snowing much of the afternoon and evening, so the car is covered in an inch or more of the white stuff, which helps, in a way. At least, this way, I'd be able to tell in the morning if someone had come back and opened the car door in the night... In fact, if the person would even just walk up to the vehicle, one should be able to tell from the size of the tracks if it's a child or an adult... Unless, of course, it snows much more after that time, or if the wind blows like they're predicting it will until early morning. Oh, well!

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