Thoughtful is the car thief who runs errands for his victims

THIS JUST IN ...

March 24, 1995|By DAN RODRICKS

Given the contents of Bob Sheckler's car that morning, we can assume this: The man had errands to run. He had to mail a bunch of letters, take a down comforter to the cleaners and return three books-on-tape to the Baltimore County library. The best way for some people to remember errands is to load pertinent items into the car beforehand. That's what Sheckler and his wife, Connee, did.

And everything would have been cool had their car not been stolen -- right out of the driveway -- along with the letters, comforter and the soon-to-be-overdue books-on-tape.

Bob, a postman, made the depressing discovery as he left his house for work on Saturday morning, March 11.

The Shecklers assumed they'd never see their car again. But they were wrong. It showed up, abandoned and damaged, in Highlandtown, on the southeast side of the city, two days later.

"The ignition was stripped," Connee reports. "The exterior was damaged and all the items inside were missing."

The Shecklers assumed they had been the victims of joy-riding nasty boys, reckless youths who steal the property of honest, working people and have no sense of civility.

Except that, the Shecklers soon discovered, these car thieves weren't your ordinary creeps. They actually had some civility. "Courteous" is a word Connee uses to describe them. (Or him, or her; nor do we know if this was a solo or team effort; No arrests have been made.)

Not only did the thief, or thieves, mail the letters Bob had left in the car -- Connee verified this by contacting the letters' recipients -- but the books-on-tape were returned to the library. Bob learned this when he set out, with his checkbook, to pay an anticipated fine for the loss of the books. "They've already been returned," a librarian told him after checking inventory.

"Were these good guys gone bad or bad guys gone good?" Connee laughs. "Now if I get a call from the cleaners that our comforter is ready, I'll die a happy woman!"

As the world squirms

A new advantage to living in the city of Baltimore: We can get Court TV on cable.

But I must add this: Anchor talent on Court TV is an oxymoron. My attitude is, shut up and roll tape!

I've already made up my mind about the O. J. Simpson trial: Johnnie Cochran has the best suits.

Kato Kaelin reminds me of the musk-scented, air-headed loser in my college dorm, the one who scratched at the guitar and sang "Dust in the Wind" too much, who sat in the lotus position and quoted Kahlil Gibran, and was always about two inches away from getting slapped.

Check it out: Marcia Clark sounds just like Channel 11's Jayne Miller -- and might be just as sharp.

Ouch!

Phil McKenna paid $45 each for two tickets to the Jimmy Page/Robert Plant concert at USAir Arena Wednesday night. When he got to his seats and checked out the stage, he uttered a word you can't use in a family newspaper. "They were obstructed view, and we had absolutely no warning," McKenna says. "I never saw Plant or Page. We were totally obstructed by the speakers. I called the Arena, customer service, and spoke to this woman whose basic rap was, 'Sorry, I don't know what to tell ya.' " Some customers in Sections 119 and 109 were relocated, McKenna says, "but only about a fourth of those who should have been." Page and Plant were up for another concert last night. Who can blame McKenna for moaning? "Fourteen years I wait for these guys to come back and I get obstructed view."

No lights needed

Tamber's was so busy the other night that Gloria Green and her husband, David, had to wait for a table. Five minutes after they were seated, the lights went out. A power failure in upper Charles Village left everyone in the dark. "Pitch black," Gloria says. "There were no candles. We couldn't see a thing. But the waiters, the staff didn't miss a beat. We were served -- my husband likes their burgers; I had the grilled chicken salad -- and we sat there in the darkness and ate. Very surreal."

'Dances for a Sultan'

If you're in Mount Airy tonight, here's something you don't want to miss: The Beshema Dance Troupe doing "Dances for a Sultan" at the senior citizens center. Here's what the announcement says: "These lovely dancers will perform a variety of styles including veils, sword balancing, canes, tambourines, finger cymbals. Come enjoy the exotic music, a rainbow of gorgeous beaded costumes, graceful arms and staccato hips." Something tells me this is not for the faint of heart.

Final chuckle

The following telephone conversation recently took place between a Sun editorial assistant and a reader.

Caller: Is this the Sunpaper?

Sun: Yes it is.

Caller: Well, I've got The Evening Sun front page in front of me and it says FINAL in the upper corner. Now, I been paying my subscription bill on time or ahead of time ever since I been subscribing to The Sun. Does this mean I'm not gonna get the paper anymore?

Sun: No, ma'am. That means the final edition of the paper for today.

Caller: Does that mean I'll still get my paper?

Sun: Yes ma'am.

9- Caller: OK, thank you very much. Bye now.

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