Pizza from Scratch, 100

24 September, 2007

It's past time for The Car Alarm Punisher.

© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

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I apologize to RC. I couldn't find the one photo reference I had for his face. Some day, I will correct and re-scan the original, and fix this.

The other faces around the car are my attempt at placing characters from the City Watch in Terry Pratchett's Disk World books. I drew them because I love the Disk World books, and everything else Pratchett has written, and hope to get more people to read them, I think they're that fun, that good.

I have never heard of anyone say that a car alarm kept their car from being stolen, or kept someone from breaking into it. I'm sure it happens, but my experience is of hearing car alarms going off in broad daylight, with lots of people around. I don't know what sets them off. All I know is that they go on and on, and I've never seen the owner of the car run out to turn off the alarm.

I've also never seen anyone run to see if a car was being molested. Has any of you ever heard a car alarm go off and got up and gone to see what's going on? Maybe the owner of the car knows what the alarm sounds like, but again, I've never seen an owner come out to the car. I think the alarms are set to turn themselves off after a while, but it's a lot for everyone else to suffer.

If I ever get an anti-theft device for my car, it will be a Lojack, if they're still made. From what I remember, Lojack sends an electronic message to local police, whenever the car is started up without its key. There's no alarm, just a continuous update on the location of the stolen car. I imagine by now the Lojack people have added functions for detecting motion in the car, when the doors weren't unlocked by the car key.

Until then, every time I hear a car alarm go off, I'll think about the Car Alarm Punisher showing up, with his dead car t-shirt, his watch, his repeat offender notebook, and his oversized Stanley Tools "Fubar."

As I imagine it, the Car Alarm Punisher hears an alarm goes off, shows up, and makes a note of the license plate, make and model. And he notes the time. He also checks his notebook to see if this car is a repeat offender. For every repeat offense, he writes a mark. For every mark, he waits a half minute less for the owner to come turn off the alarm, or the alarm to turn itself off.

If the time runs out, he pops the hood with the claw end of the Fubar, finds the alarm's noise-maker, and beats it until it stops.

Of course the Car Alarm Punisher is based on Marvel Comics' lone vigilante character, Frank Castle, the Punisher. As bullies in school cost me decades of wishing for a terminal illness, I was so depressed, and I've read about the research that shows they grow up to be criminals, I can't help but like the Punisher. I hope Marvel appreciates that I'm reminding people of how great their character is.