What the H!?!?

Hello, Matt:

My H disappeared off the trunk lid of my '93 Honda Civic coupe. All that's left are two small holes and some black rubber seal where my beloved H used to reside. Was this just crappy Japanese engineering or a more sinister act of treachery? And since I lost my emblem, I've noticed lots of Hondas missing their emblems. Does someone have a mountain of Hs in their backyard? Who's taking them and what are they doing with them? GIVE ME BACK MY H!

-- H-less in Mira Mesa

Old H? Try the swap meet or a box under the bed of some teenager in your nabe. Or on a chain around his neck. Pacific Honda's service manager says things were worse about five years ago, when they saw maybe 10 cars a day for H replacement. Now they see two or three. It's a time-killer for bored adolescents, stealing logos and hood ornaments. A nationwide pastime. The good news? You don't drive a Cadillac or Mercedes-- trophy hood ornaments; and the thieves didn't gouge your paint when they pried out the metal clips that hold the logo on. The bad news? Your shiny new H might go too, especially if the old one disappeared in a place you habitually park. It's like the thieves who steal your old carburetor, waiting for you to put in a new one so they can steal that.

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