"Acute Carnesia," or why I drove off in your pickup truck | RecordCourier.com

"Acute Carnesia," or why I drove off in your pickup truck

by Laura Brunzlick

I admit it.

When it comes to finding my car in a parking lot I am worthy of pity. An acute sense of amnesia takes over as I search for my vehicle among a sea of cars. For those withholding sympathy, let me illustrate the ramifications of this form of amnesia. Consequences include scorn and the sinking feeling that accompanies the glare you receive from the person or persons whose car you mistake for your own.

Unconvinced? Try actually driving someone else’s Toyota pickup truck through a parking lot until you realize your truck didn’t have a dirty windshield or a Bon Jovi tape in the tape player. Revel at the feeling as you notice two unamused people standing in the spot where their truck was, waiting for its return.

With hands on hips, the man and woman watched me pull up in their trusty Toyota truck. As I stepped out of the drivers seat, I pondered what to say.

“It was a mistake,” I said. “My truck is parked over there and it is white.”

I motioned toward the truck as a slight grin took over my face. I was, after all, in shock over the whole thing and couldn’t help but find it amusing. The stone-faced pair maintained their stance as I felt the weight of two sets of suspicious eyes directed toward me.

My apology fell on deaf ears as the duo eyed me like a common car thief. As I crawled into my truck and drove off, I realized my affliction was out of control.

With no support group to turn to, my curse is still with me today. The great Toyota truck incident was followed with an excruciating experience at Yosemite. After a six-hour hike to Nevada and Vernal Falls, my car was nowhere to be found. After a 20-minute search, my husband Pat and I spotted the car just as the sun set.

Pat, who does not suffer from the affliction, estimates that 90 percent of the time I head in the opposite direction of where my car is parked. Maybe 65 percent, I like to tell myself, so I don’t lose any precious self-esteem.

Apparently, I am not the only human suffering from “carnesia.” The term was coined by a columnist at the Fremont Argus in Fremont, Calif., named Ray Orrock, who admits he struggles with the malady.

I have only one suggestion for fellow carnesiacs. Invest in a brightly-colored sticker for the rear window of your vehicle. After my traumatic experience trying to discern between white and beige Toyota trucks, I stuck an orange and yellow Grateful Dead sticker to the back window of my truck. Maybe this accounts for keeping my rate at a manageable 65 percent.

Staff writer Laura Brunzlick finds time to write columns when she is not searching for her car.