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By Jordan W. Charness

“Sometimes these newfangled gadgets aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be.” Coming from Peter, this was somewhat of a bizarre statement. Peter loves gadgets. He always has to have the latest electronic toy, and no doubt if he could afford it, he would always have the latest and fanciest cars. Obviously there had to be a story behind the statement. There was, and it’s a good one.

Last week Peter had to go to the dentist. Peter actually does not mind going to the dentist. In fact, he far prefers the dentist to having a toothache. Perhaps it was a toothache that really got Peter into trouble, because while his jaw was hurting he was not thinking too clearly.

It was one of the few cool days that we had last summer, and Peter had taken a jacket with him. In his jacket he put his car keys and his wallet. When he got to the dentist’s office he hung his jacket on a coat rack in the waiting room. By the time he came out of the dentist office he forgot that he had taken a jacket with him.

It was only when he got to his car and started to look in his pants pockets for his keys did he remember that they were in his jacket pocket and his jacket was hanging on a coat hook back at the dentist’s. When he returned for his jacket he found that it was gone. He spent a few minutes asking if anyone had seen anybody take his jacket, but no one had.

He called the police and reported that his jacket, wallet and keys had been stolen. Although he didn’t know it yet, he actually had much bigger things to worry about. He called his wife and asked her to come by with a spare set of car keys. She turned up about twenty minutes later by taxi. The police didn’t come at all and asked him to stop by the police station and fill out a full report.

When Peter and Mary went outside to his car they found that it too was missing! They spent quite a few minutes walking up and down the rows of cars just to be sure that his really was not there. It wasn’t. Someone had stolen it between the time Peter had noticed his keys were gone, and Mary had returned with the spare set.

Another call to the police, and this time they came down to see him. While taking down all the particulars one of the policemen mentioned that this type of theft is happening more and more often.

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