Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 3, 2016

The Night I Stole an Oldsmobile 88

“It was a Dark and Stormy Night!”

During all of my college years I had extra jobs in order to help pay the bills and support my family of five; the year I stole an Oldsmobile 88 was no exception; I was still doing my undergraduate work at the University of Houston and holding down a job in the evenings. You may be wondering how I could bring myself to actually take someone else’s car; well, therein we find our story.

On that fateful night I was working as a salesman at a high-fidelity specialty store on Westheimer in Houston, Texas. High-Fidelity audio equipment was growing rapidly in popularity and I was doing fairly well as a salesman plus I was thoroughly enjoying my work. I would work evenings after I finished my schooling and then work all day Saturday.

One very stormy weekday evening there were no customers so when quitting time for the secretary came around our store’s parking lot was empty. As employees we were expected to park about a block away on a residential street so our limited parking could be available for customers.

 About a half hour before it was time for her to leave she mentioned to some of us how she dreaded the thought of the walk back to her car in the dark, on such a stormy, rainy night. It immediately occurred to me that I could go get her car and park it in our lot so she wouldn’t have to make that walk; since there had been no customers that evening hers would be the only car in the lot.

Olds 88

Olds 88

She gave me her car keys and I took my umbrella and walked to her car which was about a block and a half away from the store. I unlocked it, got in and drove it back to the store, parked it in the lot, locked it up again and went back inside. I gave her the keys and told her the car was ready for her in the store parking lot; I then went back to work doing something I can’t even remember.

After around twenty minutes her time to leave came and she said goodbye to those of us who had to work later; so far so good.

Shocked Surprise!

Less than a minute passed and the secretary came back into the store with a shocked expression on her face telling us “That’s not my car!” At that point there were at least two faces with shocked expressions! This was one of those moments when your life flashes before your eyes; I think all the blood rushed down to my feet and I’m surprised I was able to stand. Some time had passed since I had taken the car so I was sure someone would have noticed and called the police.

Well, I had no choice, I would have to return the car and face the consequences; the fact that her keys had fit a stranger’s car would surely carry some weight, at least I hoped it would. I got back in what was not her car and fearfully drove back to the place where I had found it.

Imagine my utter relief when the street was still silent and dark, no police cars, and no flashing lights. I carefully parked the car exactly where I had found it, locked it up again and sure enough, right across the street was another Oldsmobile 88 and her keys worked perfectly in that one too; this time I had the right car. What are the odds that two Oldsmobile 88’s parked on the same street less than thirty feet apart would use exactly the same key?

Once the anxiety surrounding my inadvertent thievery had passed I sort of wished I had parked the wrong car on the other side of the street facing the opposite direction; the owners would puzzle over that for the rest of their lives and never guess their car had been stolen, at least for a brief time, on that unforgettable dark and stormy night.


  1. Oh my goodness, that’s hysterical!

    Love you bunches


  2. I always love a good story!


  3. That was hilarious David! This really made me chuckle! Thanks for letting us in on your past transgressions!!😉 LOL


  4. What a cute story!! I would have loved to have seen the expression on your face that evening.🤗


  5. Well I never would have guessed that my one-time boss was a car thief. Great story.


  6. That is really funny. I can just imagine you looking around for the police with an angry car owner. Reminds me of some friends who took left over pizza to their car, unlocked the car from a distance, and put the pizza on the backseat. when they got home no pizza and realized they only thought they had opened their car but had put their pizza into a similar car unlocked. You wonder what those folks thought when they got home with pizza.


  7. Your title reminds me of Snoopy when he writes one of his stories, he begins the same way, It was a dark and stormy night.


    • Kathy,
      “It was a dark and stormy night” was used to suggest a light-hearted topic along with a brief tribute to the novel, “Paul Clifford” by Edward Bulwar-Lytton. There is an annual competition called, “The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest” which awards the writer submitting the “best” opening sentence to the worst possible novel. A list of the 2016 winners and their contributions can be found here: It was used in the spirit of light-hearted fun even though the account really happened the way it was described. I’m glad you had fun with it; that was the whole point.

      And to all who have commented please know I feel much better now: confession is good for the soul!



  8. Great Story!


    • Josh,

      Welcome to my blog; I’m delighted you’re subscribed and hope it will be a blessing to you. You may have already noticed the “Search” feature in the upper right-hand corner; you can use that to locate articles on various subjects and when all else fails I’ll be happy to respond directly to any thoughts or questions. We were discussing Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy and if you enter seventy in the search engine they will pop up.

      May God bless you, Paloma and your two precious daughters.



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