Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How Much Fun She's Having

Let’s just say you’re in the kitchen, slicing tomatoes, feta and basil. Life is fine. It’s Memorial Day. Everyone is expansive. There are brats to barbeque later, a cold beer on the counter and the children aren’t fighting.

This was the Matronly mood on Monday afternoon; she was contentedly cutting crisp fresh food for an evening get together when, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a relatively large man –large as in muscular and tall --- ride his bike up her driveway and into the garage. He also had a shaved head, which did indeed add to the particular aura.

So there’s someone in the garage. Your husband is at the dog park with Satan’s Familiar, who really doesn’t deserve such a treat, but that’s another story. What do you do?

Later, everyone she knows will tell the Matron that you lock the front door and call the police.

Police Officer to the Matron: “Really, next time you see someone break into your garage or house, don’t go and have a conversation.”

But indeed, yours truly walked into the garage for a chat.

Matron: “Uh, what are you doing?”
Big Strong Strange Man: “Just looking through your stuff. I’m into skateboards.”

He managed to pause while opening drawers.

Matron: “It’s better to ring the front door bell and go from there. I think you should leave now.”

Big Strong Strange Man: “Okay – sorry to bother you.”

Now, the Matron was walking away from this scene, completely willing to let it all go. But as she was heading back into the kitchen – the feta, basil, tomatoes—she couldn’t help but notice that the man who left her garage went directly into a neighbor’s open garage, too.

A wee bit of suspicion crept into her liberal bleeding heart.

Police! She called.

Within 15 minutes, the Matron was in the back of a squad car, much to Merrick’s eternal delight, on her way to identify the suspect. She was in the back because of tinted windows, so the person in custody wouldn’t be able to see her.

Hmmm. . . . . .15 minutes ago someone kicks you out of the garage and now you’re under arrest? Guess who made that happen? She thought the whole intrigue element untoward, but there was so much genuine enthusiasm on the part of the police officers that she decided not to be the cultural critic in this situation. Plus, once you’re in the back of a police car, you can’t open the door.

The short end of the story is that the guy in the garage has ‘an extensive criminal history’ and is currently on probation. He’s been crime free for 10 months, and perhaps not coincidentally, he has a 10 month old daughter. The Matron knows all this because the police did a good job and followed up.

Since Big Strong Strange Man didn’t steal anything, he’s out tonight (Matron is typing on Tuesday evening) and no charges are pending. But he did spend Monday night in jail.

He claims he thought there was a garage sale. Which is why he was rifling through drawers and there was no sign in the front yard.

Your dear Matron will spend another night worrying about revenge. The alarm system will be reactivated on Thursday and John is sleeping with a brick and baseball bat by the bed.

Still, she feels guilt. She sort of thought the police would have a conversation and not pummel someone for standing in a garage (or two).

What would you do?

Okay, before you answer that, she’ll tell you that the next time, she won’t saunter into confront a six foot muscular stranger. Or wait – maybe yes, she will. Okay, yes, that last thing will happen.


Cecile said...

Hi !

I suppose there is a slight possibility that he really thought there was a garage sale...

My question is : "What are you all doing with your garage doors open, anyway ?"
Is this common US practice ? I know we have fences in France. ;-)

JFS in IL said...

We had police come to our front door and tell my dad in no uncertain terms to NOT leave the garage door open if he was not in the garage - it was just far too tempting for a thief (and most of the time it is just a waste of police time to respond to calls from folks thus robbed - that your Big Strong Man was apprehended is the exception to the case.)

Suburban Correspondent said...


MJ said...

Fun huh?! Welcome to my world of clients! There's a reason why my phone number is unpublished! It does make you feel unsecure & worried about your family!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

You're lucky he was so agreeable (the tall, muscular man, that is -- although I suppose the police officer was agreeable, too).
Was Merrick jealous that you got to ride in the police car and he didn't?

I'll spend the rest of the day recalling the night I was 9 months pregnant and someone rifling through the car (sitting outside) bumped the garage door opener. It was a long, scary wait for the sheriff's deputy. We were lucky the turning on of a bedroom light signaled the departure of the thief.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Kathy and I am dumb enough to go out and engage Big Muscular Stranger in conversation, too. Maybe you and I should form a club. We could call it, "Dumb and Naive Matrons Who Are, Amazingly, Still Alive and Uninjured."

Michelle said...

Freaky! To play devil's advocate, Memorial day is pretty popular for garage sales. I know around my town, just about every block has a garage sale going on come warm summer weekends. Still, I know I'd be freaking the heck out if someone came round my garage, poking around my stuff.