By Adam Hjelm, Makin' Waves column

A few years ago a friend of mine, let’s call him “Jim” to protect his already sketchy reputation, called me from the lake in an all-out panic.

Now let me tell you Jim has all-out panics quite frequently. Some are minor panics, like when he forgot his 10-year-old at basketball practice and needed me to go pick the kid up. Some are major panics, like the time he ran out of minnows and needed me to bring him some on the lake. After all, he surely couldn’t leave the hot patch of water he was fishing to go get more minnows! Made sense to me as I trekked to the bait store for him. That reminds me, he owes me 10 bucks still for those minnows. But I digress.

Anyways, it seemed Jim had been fishing all morning without much luck and decided to call it a day. But when he went to the town access to load the boat up, someone had stolen his truck and trailer. He was flabbergasted to say the least.

At that point in our phone conversation I made the mistake of asking how the thief got the truck started. “Did you leave your keys in the truck?” I asked. “Of course I did,” he yelled over the phone. “Don’t you remember last year when I dropped my keys out of the boat in the middle of the lake? I wasn’t about to make that mistake again.”

I couldn’t argue with that logic. I told him to meet me at the other access where my truck and trailer were parked. We could call the sheriff from there. We could also load up my boat and he could put his fishing gear in my truck until we found a trailer. He agreed that was a suitable plan under these terrible circumstances.

I pulled up to the dock at the access and Jim was already sitting in his boat at the dock, waiting and mumbling to himself.

“Can you believe that someone would steal another man’s truck and trailer from the boat access? I mean you’d maybe expect a truck theft in town at the gas station, school or even church but at the lake access? This is a sacred ground. Only honorable people fish, right? Have people no morals anymore?” he said as he shook his head in disbelief.

He went on and on about the downfall of humanity and listed the atrocities of society that ultimately caused some loathsome lunatic to steal his truck and trailer. As he rambled on and on, I tied my boat up and started walking up the dock to get my truck and trailer.

One glance into the parking lot, and I turned to Jim.

“Are you sure you left your truck at the town access?” I asked.

“Of course I am sure!” he shouted back at me.

“Just asking,” I said. “Because you parked so close to my truck I am not sure I can even get my driver’s side door open, you forgetful buffoon!”

“What! Well, I hope whoever stole my truck from town, drove it to this access, and parked it here left the keys in it,” he said sheepishly as he walked to his truck.