Q: My sister's car was recently broken into. The only item stolen was a set of rosary beads in the coin tray. What does this mean? P.H., NOTTING HILL, VIC
A: Not being Catholic, I decided to do a bit of research into rosary beads. I googled the words "rosary" and "beads" and "blessed virgin". Up popped a website that I don't want to go into – only to say, these were not the beads I expected, and I'm not 100 per cent sure Rosario was a virgin.
Anyway, after that little sidetrack, I found some more reliable rosary bead info. I found out that rosary beads are used for counting prayers, kind of like a handy pocket-sized Jesus-abacus. So maybe this car thief was a passing religious person who'd lost count of their prayers, spotted the beads through the car window, and realised they could continue showing their deep devotion to the Lord with the help of an unbent wire coathanger and a small putty knife to jimmy open the top of the door.
Another thing I discovered: rosary beads can be made out of wood, glass, silver and even gold, so maybe this car thief thought the beads were a valuable piece of jewellery and stole them because there was nothing else in the car worth stealing. Like most cars, inside there was probably just a broken bit of plastic that was once part of the tail light, a couple of 10-cent pieces and a mysterious Mexican peso – plus a 2008 road trip CD with nothing but hip hop songs about somebody or something called "shawty".
We can only hope that this car thief has seen the error of their sinful ways: that they've been using the stolen set of rosary beads to pray for forgiveness for stealing a set of rosary beads, counting off seven Hail Marys and a Glory Be.