Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Break In

Several years ago, a crime wave shattered our picture perfect suburban New Jersey community.  Well, ok, perhaps the term “crime wave” is a bit of an exaggeration when referring to a rash of car break ins.  Nonetheless, the local headlines screamed the news, and cops warned everyone to hide their valuables and lock their doors.  Teenage kids were suspected, but had yet to be caught in the act.

We felt fairly safe in our townhome development, with the most excitement coming from our elderly next door neighbor who chose to sunbathe in a suit which barely covered his privates.  Believe me, when your neighbor is pushing 65, you don’t want to see any inkling of his privates.

So……we didn’t expect the “crime wave” to hit our safe haven, but hit it did.  Sure enough, despite my husband Bob’s paranoia, we did, indeed, forget to lock the car door one night.  The next morning as I prepared to take my usual drive to work, I immediately noticed things were not right.  CDs were tossed all over the place, the contents of the glove compartment were scattered, McDonald’s happy meal boxes covered the back seat floor. (Oh wait, those were already there).

Frightened, I ran into the house calling for Bob, who jumped to the rescue and bolted outside to assess the damage.  Frantic, he began to search through his scattered CD collection, trying to determine what, if anything, had been taken.

“Where’s my Chicago’s Greatest Hits CD?” he yelled.  “THEY STOLE MY CHICAGO CD!”

Yes, I can just imagine the conversation that took place among the teen gang before they embarked on their hair raising crime spree.

Teen one: “Yo, dude, I got the scoop on a really good score.”
Teen two: “Yeah, where?”
Teen one: “It’s the Weinstein car.  The job’s goin down tonight”
Teen two: “I gotta get me some a dat action.  What’s in it for me?”
Teen one: “You’ll get your chance man, but I get to listen to it first”
Teen two: “Yo, no way man, ya know how rare those Chicago CDs are?”
Teen one: “Look dude, I call the shots, you want in, then I listen to it first!”

Thankfully, a thorough search of the car revealed nothing had been stolen, and yes, we even found Chicago’s Greatest Hits, safe and unscathed.  I guess the teen gang regretted their choice of vehicle since, after treating our possessions so carelessly, they concluded that nothing worthwhile existed in this “old fogey” car.

Alas, Bob is not the only member of the Weinstein household to become irrational following a real, or perceived break in.

Not long after we survived the near tragic loss of Chicago’s Greatest Hits, I arrived home one evening, only to find the lights not responding when I flipped on the switch.  I tested other outlets and sure enough, we had lost power.  With Bob working late that night, fear gripped my heart.  Trying to stay calm for my then five year old Melissa’s sake, I called him at his office.

“Go into the basement and check the fuse box,” he instructed.

“I don’t want to go downstairs,” came my frightened reply.  “What if there’s a man hiding down there waiting to attack me?”

It seemed logical to me.  A man snuck into my house and secretly turned off all of the power to lure me into the basement so that he could pounce.

“Lisa,” said Bob in comical exasperation.  “If someone wanted to attack you, why would they bother to take the trouble of turning off the power and hiding in the basement?”

I had no logical response to his line of questioning, I only knew that I felt truly terrified.

I put my brave face on and told Melissa to play in the living room while I scoured the kitchen junk drawer for the flashlight, praying the batteries still worked.  The dim light provided a tiny measure of comfort as I slowly descended the stairs, the beating of my heart surely giving away my strategic position.

I reached the basement and slowly made my way through the maze of dolls, board games, jump ropes, and Lincoln logs until I reached the door to the utility closet.  Waiting for me beyond that door was only the fuse box, I told myself, but still, there could be something more.  The man could be hiding in there, patiently waiting for his prey.  What would happen if I opened the door?  What horrors awaited me?!

I pointed my flashlight, grabbed the door knob and slowly turned the handle.  I had to be brave for my daughter.  I had to fight the evil that lurked inside.

Slowly, slowly, the door creaked open, I peeked inside, and discovered, to my horror……… 

a regular old fuse box.

I flipped a few switches on the fuse box and behold, the power miraculously returned to our home.  Feeling somewhat sheepish, I called Bob to inform him all was well.

So from that point on, we always lock the door to the car and the house, for you never know when an evil criminal will want to hide inside a utility closet waiting for his prey while listening to, what else……….. Chicago’s Greatest Hilts!

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  1. This is what happens when you watch the 6 o'clock evening news. Stick to watch comedies and read the comics on Sunday's paper.