Friends, it’s been quite a night. I’ll start at the very beginning, because, as Julie Andrews sang, it’s a very good place to start.
Yesterday at work I overheard a coworker talking about how two other coworkers were moving in with her as their house had recently been broken into on a few different occasions. Those girls happen to live with a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Sally. No wait, I’ll call her Sidonia Pearl. (Isn’t that a beautiful, exotic name?) So anyway, as soon as I got off work I called Sidonia Pearl to make sure she was ok. She assured me that she was; she was out of town and so had not been at home during the most recent break-in. She filled me in on more of the details; nothing valuable had been stolen, just silly random things like some chicken and a pair of shorts, but the perpetrator obviously had gotten hold of a key as he or she kept coming in through the back door and leaving it unlocked. The police had been notified and suspected someone who lived down the street. The locks had been changed, but I told Sidonia Pearl that she would be spending the night with me that night.
Well, Sidonia Pearl didn’t get back in town until after midnight. She called me when she got to my apartment, and I’ll skip most of the details, but she decided she needed to go back to her place as she had an exam the next morning and all of her things were there and she needed to get a good night’s sleep in her own bed. I accompanied her, as I was not going to let her stay there all alone. We really were not at all frightened, but we did take extra precautions like putting the garbage can in front of the back door and locking ourselves in her bedroom. Exhausted, we crashed in our beds.
Fast forward to 5:30 this morning. The fire alarm starts beeping. We both panic and assume the worst, that some creepster is downstairs fiddling with the alarm in an attempt to get us to rush down there and right into his clutches. We huddled together on the bottom bunk, shaking and pumped with adrenaline. Sidonia Pearl was convinced she heard voices and dialed 911; I began yelling in tongues. A few minutes later, a police car and a fire truck pulled into the driveway. I’m sure the neighbors just love us.
As soon as the cop knocked on the door we booked it downstairs and let him and the two firemen inside. We both explained the entire situation in 43.9 seconds, neither of us pausing to breathe. The men examined the downstairs fire alarm and determined that it needed new batteries. The firemen left, the cop stayed with a smirk on his face as we tried to explain to him that there was, indeed, someone besides the tenants who’d been getting in.
And then he said this gem of a line. Are you ready for this?
“Well, all you need to do is go to Walmart and get yourselves a hunting camera.”
Sidonia Pearl and I looked at each other. Duh! How silly of us. The locks were changed but that obviously mattered but a little if one did not own such an indispensable piece of gear as a hunting camera.
“They cost about $40. Get one with night vision and set it on your windowsill; it has a motion sensor so it’ll take a picture of anyone who tries to break in.”
Only in Tennessee, my peeps. Only in Tennessee.
(He also suggested that we tape a piece of hair on the door frame as he still wasn’t convinced that the thief was not one of the roommates. Perhaps if I’d been wearing something other than blue and orange froggy pajama bottoms we would have been taken more seriously.)