David Pogue is a world-renowned tech guru. He writes regularly for the New York Times, Scientific American and the Missing Manual book series. You see him on CNBC and PBS; hear him on NPR, and watch him on the seatback TV monitor every time you fly.
He’s insightful, hilarious and ubiquitous.
He’s also just a regular Westport commuter.
I forgot to mention that David teaches a course at Columbia Business School. Last Tuesday he planned to come home after school, then fly the next morning to Columbus to give a speech.
But in the middle of class he got an urgent call from his talk organizers about tornadoes in the Midwest. They told him to get to Ohio that night, without going home first.
It’s a good thing the tech genius had his cell phone on. He changed plans, and headed straight to the airport. His Honda Fit would be safe and sound in the Greens Farms train station lot overnight.
Or so he thought.
When David got to Westport the next day, here’s what he saw:
The wheels — tires, rims, caps — were gone. All four — vanished.
The bad guys must have been interrupted in mid-job, David says, because the front right side was still propped up by a fancy jack.
Westport police arrived promptly — they sent 3 cars, in fact. They were sympathetic, taking plenty of photos and asking lots of details.
They even took the jack, on the off-chance they could recover fingerprints.
But they stressed that it should not be towed. That would ruin the disc brakes, which the car rested on. The cops told David he should ask Honda of Westport to come put new wheels on the car — in the parking lot.
Geico agreed that was a wise plan.
So the car spent another night in the parking lot. David stressed, worried the bad guys would return to pick away more pieces of his Fit.
Luckily, it was safe overnight. But another problem remained: Honda had no replacement wheels. David’s assistant Jan Carpenter called 8 Honda dealerships — all over Connecticut — to no avail. Ordering would mean at least 1 or 2 more nights in the crime-ridden Green’s Farms lot.
Finally, Jan came up with a crazy suggestion: Ask Westport Honda to bring three spares from Honda Fits already sitting in their lot. David could use his own spare as the 4th.
“But we can’t drive on those,” the Honda guy said. “They’re new cars!”
Jan — whose technological know-how seems to equal her boss’s — explained they wouldn’t have to actually drive on them. They’d just roll the car a couple of feet onto a flatbed tow truck.
Incredibly, David says, Honda agreed. Once the car had temp tires, AAA took the car to Honda, where it sits safely until the new wheels arrive.
This is not, David says, his favorite car story. But, he adds, thanks to so many clever and helpful parties, it has a happy ending.
And we’re sure he’ll get a column, radio or video story out of it somewhere down the road.