David Pogue’s Tireless Travels

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.

104 responses to “David Pogue’s Tireless Travels

  1. He could have easily just bought a new after-market set of wheels and tires at a place like Town Fair Tire and not gone through the hassle with Westport Honda.

    Then submit the bill to Geico for reimbursement.

    You don’t have to put “Honda” wheels back on the car.


    • Andrew W.K.

      Ummm. That’s what one pays insurance pay — so that the dealer will replace the parts. Have you dealt with the local Town Fair Tire? They are AWFUL!

  2. The Dude Abides

    Well, I am glad to hear that CSI Westport is on the case. Do they have any suspects???? Sounds like a prank. Who wants to steal Honda tires???

    • Not a prank. A similar crime — all 4 tires stolen, but the car was propped up when the thieves left — occurred with a Nissan the other night at a condo in Norwalk.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Must need the rubber for condoms. Why not just steal the car?

    • They don’t use rubber for condoms, Dude.

      • The Dude Abides

        Well, then, it is a wonder that I don’t have more than two kids. I knew that intertube fabric wasn’t working.

        • @The Dude Abides. Was that a joke or a typo? Inner tubes are made of rubber. Intertube is what “some” people call the internet. I think you have a lot more kids on the way…

    • Who would want that car? They’d have to be really desperate 🙂 Maybe they’re putting the wheels on a wimp Prius…

  4. He could’ve just bought a new car. He’s got the $

    • Journalism – such a cushy gig, he must be filthy rich!

      • That’s sarcasm? Right??? It’s a Honda Fit! Honda must have given it to him.

      • The Dude Abides

        Considering that 1/3 of all journalists are out of work, David is fortunate and very good.

        • Sean Kingston

          I get your point (and I feel sorry for journos) but THIS thread is about David Pogue. He could probably get a decent car by just offering to tweet about it… My god, the guy drives kids around in that thing!

          • Travis McGee

            Who cares what he drives? What are you in junior high???

          • Sean Kingston

            Ha! Bad guess on the junior high. I’m probably older than you…

            Isn’t this whole thread about what he drives and what happened to it?

          • I don’t think it is a judgement call on what he drives. Pogue is unique and that is why he is successful. You want him driving a Hummer? Would that equate success with your diluted materialistic verbage?

  5. Better Safe than . . .

    I think the Mercedes stays home from the Greens Farms station from now on. They can have the Chevy pickup.

    • The only cars I have ever heard of getting messed with at the train station are the old “train cars”.

  6. David should be happy that he had truly a fuel efficient car and that the tires were recycled.

  7. Love the detail that Westport’s finest sent THREE SQUAD CARS to respond to this call. A tad overkill? Weren’t there poor people driving on Post Road who needed to be pulled over?

    • In my “fancy” town in CT, which I won’t mention, we would have at least FIVE squad cars!! They’ve got nothing else to do…

      And they want hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace the cars that they do have — I think the cars’ suspension is broken because they’re all so fat.

      • The Downtown Friction

        @Mikey, You’re so right! I know which town you live in! All those cops do is give out the occasional speeding ticket.

  8. It’s the alloy wheels that were targeted. Replace with steel wheels.

    • Dropkick Murphy

      Yes, but still they’re “alloy Honda Fit” wheels… Hardly worth stealing.

  9. Earl Stanley

    Maybe NPR needed to recuperate some of their funding?

    • What? NPR stole the wheels? NPR owns Westport Honda? NPR owns David? NPR owns Balducci? NPR sells jacks? I can’t figure out the point or “joke” that you’re making.

  10. See that jack. Fingerprints galore.

    • Hootie & The Blowfish

      Excuse me. How can you see the fingerprints? Enlighten us. Thanks!

      • Travis McGee

        You obviously don’t watch CSI.

        • Hootie & The Blowfish

          No, I don’t but I played a doctor once. Did you know that real life is not the same as what is shown on TV shows?

          • Travis McGee

            Really? And yesterday was my birthday. What did college let out or something?

          • Hootie, You may as well give up. You obviously can’t compete against the guys that know all that stuff from watching TV.

          • Hootie dumped the Blowfish. And you don’t watch CSI? Probably got a good porn collection.

          • Bryan Ferry

            Really??? People still watch CSI??? How long has that been on now — with the same story line?

          • COPS is the longest running show on television. We are all morons while eating ourselves to death.

  11. Walter Czarnota

    Nice plug for Honda and Balducci’s. Maybe you should take paid advertisements.

    • The Ting Tings

      Huh? The Honda looks awful and Balducci is the background of one photo? Walter, I think that you need to think before you post. Thanks.

      • Hey Tinger. CAn you think?

        • The Ting Tings

          Walter, Walter, Walter… Are you a little old to understand? Maybe one of the librarians can help you.

          • No help needed since the frontal lobotomy. Morons get the name in their head regardless of context. Obviously, you didn’t attend community college?

          • The Ting Tings

            Of course I didn’t attend a “community college”. I have a post-grad degree but that’s neither here nor there. Maybe you know what you’re trying to say…

          • Sounds like you would have been better off in community college. All those student loans and all?

  12. Dan, this has gotta be a hoax.
    You’re bloggin’ us that David, the “Dummies” Rocket Scientist, did not have lug locks ?
    Gimme a break.
    But then, looks like he skipped mud flaps to discourage tailgating, so who knows?
    Gotta be an app for all that. 🙂

    • Lug locks? Mud flaps? Rocket scientist? What on earth is this??? Are still in the 1980’s???

      • If you have ever had to replace the wheels on a high-end sport car, you would not look down on wheel locks. Price out new wheels on a Porsche.

        • Men Without Hats

          We’re not talking about high-end sports cars OR wheel locks. We’re talking about cheap cars and “lug locks” 🙁 I have a high-end sports car and a high-end SUV and don’t have wheel locks on either…

  13. Mr. Goodwrench

    Lug locks? You must have been an Eagle Scout, Tom.

  14. Young Westporter

    Well Honda’s are the most stolen vehicles in America, I’m not in the least suprised. I guess its good I don’t drive one then.

    • As stated below, it’s not the car that was stolen… So your point is???

      • Young Westporter

        My point is, that most of the time, cars are stolen for the parts, especially Hondas. And with the Japanese earthquake creating severe parts shortages (as seen by the fact he actually couldn’t get replacements) then even though these are “just honda alloys” they are probably sought for that matter.
        Just being matter of fact.

  15. The Dude Abides

    But they stole the tires, not the car???

  16. Shoulda called Tire Rack. They would have shipped new wheels/tires overnight at a price that would make even Geico happy.

  17. Dave K in California

    This happens way more often than you think. Have a friend that lost his tires and wheels the same way at a S.F. BART station. In my friends case the car was left on top of some crates. When he spoke with the police, they told him that the crates are needed to get the jack from under the care after the wheels are removed. Also, my friend discovered why his Honda wheels were taken when he found out just the original 4 wheels were going to cost him well over $1000. Needless to say, he ended up installing after market wheels and with the tires both cost much less that just the wheels from Honda.

    • Another one posting about a wheel theft in another city — unfortunately, this one is on the OTHER coast!!!! Not relevant…

      • OMG, Brian, I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m sure Dave K doesn’t even know where Westport is (without using Google). LOL

        • Britney,
          You told me told you that you didn’t have anything to do with Westport since Martha moved out. No more kisses for you.

          • @Madonna, I’m so sorry that I lied to you. Please forgive me. It’s just that I still miss Kevin and find it tough to think about others like that. I’m glad that Jason is long gone though.

      • Young Westporter

        You do know Brian, that Westport isn’t in a bubble… and people outside of Westport drive Honda Fits and also deal with crime…. so exactly how is it irrelevant?
        I’m not sure if your being facetious or not.

  18. The Dude Abides

    I was under the impression that most insurance policies have a very low deductible when theft is involved. Like 50 $ ? Unfortunately nobody wants my 1978 Olds.

    • Just another guy

      My deductible is $500 (and I’m thinking of increasing to $1,000). Not sure why someone would want a deductible of $50; the premiums would be ridiculous.

      • Travis McGee

        For theft JAG only. Like the mary jane in your back seat. It is to deter thieves. You are not in Good Hands.

        • Just another guy

          I get it. You’re talking in code. Right? I sure hope so because I have no clue what you’re talking about!!

  19. The same thing just happened to me! I have an 09 Honda Fit and woke up last week to discover some [insert expletive here] jerk had stolen all my wheels and left it propped up on milk crates. It blows, and my deductible was a lot more than $50…Westport is a much nicer area than where I live, too!

  20. So what is it with Honda tires? I mean you can jack up a Beemer just as easy.

    • Just Meyer

      To whom would you sell the tires? Bigger market for honda tires.

      • The Dude Abides

        Why is that? The “hoods” drive the suped up Hondas? Every boy wants a Honda toy.

        • The “hoods” drive suped up Honda Civics on wheels they stole from Honda Fits, because Fit tires are nice. How much nicer are they than Civic wheels, I have no clue. That’s what every dealer/tire shop I’ve spoken with tells me. A local Honda dealership near me had the wheels stolen off three Fits in one night. The world is full of a bunch of classless morons…

          • Archie Griffin

            Amen to that. Must be low ranking amateurs. The big boys must go after the Benz’s, JAG’s. etc.

      • Archie Goodwin

        There is a bigger market because overall more people drive Hondas than drive Beemers. BTW the tax rate on your house is going up 19%, now that’s a bigger theft than set of wheels.

  21. Yep, knew that. Local municipalties gonna pick our bones clean soon. BTW, on other thread, went on a junket to Prince Edward Island. Last
    undeveloped site on east coast. Freaking beautiful and warm currents from south of the border.

  22. Archie Goodwin

    Well there’s a thought. I’ll get a real estate agent. BTW our brilliant leaders in Hartford are raising tax rates as well. Look for Ears to do the same. No bones will be left; save yourself.

  23. May start soon for Osama’s sea side burial insured Ears another 4 years. If the Donkeys take the House in ’12, no sinew left on too many bones.

  24. Archie Goodwin

    The 2012 elections are a long way away. Bush senior’s JARs were much higher at this point in his one and only term. The smart money, such as it is, says the house stays red, and 50/50 the senate goes red. If the economy continues to grow at below 2% rates, Ears is in trouble.

  25. But the market is good and 90 million stockholders. Osama was a game changer for the youngies who dink war is cool. They put Ears over the top ’08. Furthermore, nobody from the Elephants (skip that movie BTW) on the scene worth a hoot.

    • Archie Goodwin

      A better indicator is the “misery index.” At this point, with 8.8% unemployment, increasing inflation, the just announced surge in unemployment claims, and with a few more days like today in the market (down 139 on the Dow), Ears will need to kill a lot more bad guys to get elected. BTW Michael Moore and the Move On guys think Ears broke the law by gunning down an unarmed man based upon illegally obtained evidence. You can’t win with some people.

      • Moore is becoming illogical. His tantrums are cyclical going nowhere. I will be interested to hear the excuses for NOT exiting Afganistan now that Osama gone but I initially thought we were there to watch the Pakies so they don’t war with the Indians. With that purpose, forever. The military is like Wall Street in their insatiable thirst but don’t make any money. War, what is it good for?