Saturday, August 1, 2009

We Wuz [Practically] Robbed

My nice plain and simple laptop table arrived yesterday and I am quite happy with it. Its contemporary little self is not a perfect match for my very girly room, with its lace and oak and floral prints. But that’s ok. It is light and unobtrusive and convenient and contributes to tidiness, so it qualifies as a winner.

I sat in the den last night putting it together, chatting with my friend Dan the Computer Genius while he installed the second hard drive in my laptop in as many weeks. Pleasant, quiet company, a sense of accomplishment with the table set-up, relief at the restoration of my laptop, it was the perfect evening for a geek like me. Although I am still cranky about the hard drive. But I am working on that.

Even more sadly geek-like, I was knackered after all that exhausting enjoyment. But I stayed up with my restored laptop on my nice new table. Fell asleep sitting up in bed until an un-Godly crash in the basement woke me up at 3 am. It sounded like someone was breaking in!

I staggered to the kitchen as fast as my spastic legs would allow and shoved a chair under the basement doorknob. Ah, the cleverness of me. Turned on ALL the lights. Shrieked and screeched up the stairs to Mary Kate. Stood there holding the walls with my heart pounding!

She stumbled down from upstairs while I pantingly told her I thought someone had tried to break into the basement. I told her there was a huge crash, as though a window had been broken and something had been knocked over. She steadied me while I backed up onto my bed.

Then she looked at me and actually said “Did you go down and check?”

There is no end to the amusement my children supply me with.

While we were sitting in my room talking, we heard another noise. That was it, we called 911.

A very kind dispatcher kept us on the line while the police were sent. This was Mary Kate and I with the phone, whispering to each other. I’m sure the dispatcher couldn’t hear us, because I believe the technology to hear callers discuss underwear in a whisper has not been developed yet. “Here hold this for a minute, I have to put a bra on.” “Ok, but hurry, I have to put one on too.” “You’ll be fine, just cross you arms over your chest!” “I can’t let a police officer in here when I am not wearing a bra!” “They’re not looking at your chest!” “Oh, not my chest, just yours?!?!” Knock, knock. In unison: “Just a minute!”

An adorable plain clothes cop comes in, asks a few questions, his partner pops through the front door too. I show them my high tech burglary prevention tool, chair-under-the-knob. They refrain from comment, but I could see they were dead impressed. I’ll probably have a job offer next week.

And then, as this young guy turned the knob on a door to the completely unknown and potentially really dangerous, the true seriousness sank in. I had such respect and gratitude for him. For both of them. Mary Kate and I backed up towards the dining room as the basement door opened.

“Plaster.”, the first cop said. “Wow.”, the second cop said. I peered over their shoulders to see that the ceiling over my basement stairs had collapsed. There was an ankle deep layer of 3 inch thick, 80 year old plaster from the back door, down the stairs, and splayed out across the basement floor.

They still checked out the whole basement. I guess in case the plaster thing had simply been a clever burglar ploy. But no one had tried to break in. The ceiling had merely checked out.

Safe from having my laundry stolen. Phew!! But a whole new thing to repair. Sigh.

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