A few weeks ago I wrote a column in which I opined, perhaps a bit sanctimoniously, about the stupid things that “other” people had done during that particular week.
As I conducted my research for that column I weeded through many examples, choosing to highlight some while excluding others.
My plan had been to include some residents of Old Town on my list.
It was shortly after a news story had run about a series of 50 or so car burglaries that had occurred in one part of that small city and I thought about mentioning that you’d think it might occur to people living up there that they may want to “LOCK THEIR FREAKIN’ CAR DOORS!”
That’s just how I was going to write it.
Big and bold like that.
Because I have a personal goal of limiting my column to about 600 words and because there was a whole lot of stupidity to choose from that week, the Old Town residents were spared my sarcastic and self-righteous recommendation.
Thank God for self-editing.
I’m guessing that if you are even an occasional reader of this column you probably have some idea of where this is going.
Less than 48 hours after that fateful editing decision, my husband came tearing up the stairs yelling, “Renee! Where’s your purse? I don’t see your purse anywhere. Did you leave your purse in the car last night?
“Somebody got into the cars,” he continued, clearly seething with anger. “The iPods are gone, I think your purse is gone and I’m guessing the kids’ cell phones are probably gone.”
We had just dropped the kids at camp the day before and the camp rule is that iPods and cell phones are not allowed. We assumed the kids had left them in the car.
Just a couple of weeks before, a friend on the Bangor Police Department swung by as he cruised through the neighborhood and mentioned that we should make sure to lock up our belongings because there had been a rash of car burglaries all over the city.
We have a security motion light in the driveway.
We have a dog that alerts us dutifully each day when the mail arrives and whenever anyone walks through our residential neighborhood.
But, alas, Abby slept peacefully stretched across our king-size bed that night, oblivious to the miscreant who was tossing our cars over just beneath the bedroom window.
We always lock our car doors, but apparently in our vacation-mode state of mind we became careless.
And so it was that we became one of the 1.85 million people who have their cars broken into each year. One-quarter of those cars are unlocked when the thefts occur.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that $1.2 billion worth of personal items and accessories are stolen from automobiles each year.
We were angry that someone had the audacity to walk up our driveway and raid our belongings. We were angry at our own stupidity and carelessness.
We were even a little angry at the dog, who continues to dutifully scare the bejesus out of our very friendly mailman each and every day.
But in the end, it could have been worse.
In the midst of my husband’s worst-case-scenario state of mind, I calmly located my purse in the house and he located his blessed iPod on the table.
Our kids used to be sticklers about rules. They were rule followers. Apparently they’ve outgrown that.
We contacted them at camp.
Seems Nick had smuggled his iPod and his cell phone into camp. Jayci had split the difference and settled on just her cell phone. She left her iPod in the car.
The above-described miscreant has it now.
But it was all he or she got and it will be all he or she gets because here at this house we’ve decided it might be a good idea “TO LOCK OUR FREAKIN’ CAR DOORS!”
E-mail Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org, and listen to her and co-host Dan Frazell from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday on the radio at 103.1 The Pulse.