When our Honda Civic hybrid went missing last Christmas, syringe Brad and I wondered if we’d ever see it again. What we didn’t realize was that while cars get stolen every day in San Francisco, visit this our car’s disappearance was a technological impossibility. The finest cryptography went into making our car’s micro-chipped ignition key, so in principle it should be impossible to hack and hotwire. Nevertheless, we found the car, emptied of gas, filled with cigarette butts and Pantera CDs, parked about 5 miles away, clearly in a post-joyride daze.

How did it happen? Following Brad’s story on the Newsweek website, readers have contributed many theories, which Brad will follow up on with Honda and write more. My favorite so far is below (Read Brad’s story first):

I think that Honky, tired of being so socially and environmentally respectable and upstanding, decided to cut loose and raise hell around town. Knowing that converting to a standard gasoline internal combustion engine would have been far too time consuming, expensive, and not to mention, horribly painful, Honky started herself up, drove to the nearest convenience store and bought a pack of cigarettes, which she immediately began chain-smoking as the quickest way to generate more air pollution. Feeling herself loosening up, I would assume that she switched the radio settings to dance, went to the nearest gravel parking lot, and spent the night doing figure eights, possibly intoxicated on a fifth of Bacardi 151, which once consumed in the gas tank, would have been ejected out the window. Obviously Honky and the Acura have a little action on the side happening, what with going in and out of each others glove boxes.

As for leaving your wife’s red leather jacket untouched, obviously it’s a bad fit, unless she is a extraordinarily big and tall woman, if it had been a car bra, you would have found it sloppily secured on the front (Or burned).

Sated and tired, Honky drove to the ocean, breathed the salt air, and passed out, probably hung over and annoyed to be woken up by you.

Meanwhile, I’m interested in collecting other stories of technological mysteries. Email me, or comment below.