Adventures in Suburbia

At 10am yesterday morning the doorbell rings. "It's UPS," I say. "They'll leave it on the porch." I don't really want to answer the door in my pajamas, but it rings again. At the door is an older man also dressed in his pajamas, and I wonder if he wants to sell me tamales, or offer to cut my grass, or ask for spare change (times being what they are, all of these have already happened).

"Can I use your phone?" he asks. "I'm babysitting for my son a few doors down, and I locked myself out." He story is plausible, and in a pinch, I could take him. I'm still in my flannels.

He makes a few phone calls while I sip my coffee. My brain slowly wakes up and starts putting names and words together.

I have a neighbor that has the same name as this man's son. He has two kids. One of them is an infant.

He said he was babysitting.

He only got answering machines, so I casually inquire if anybody is in the house.

"Oh, just my 10-month-old grand-daughter."

My clothes are on in seconds. I grab my cellphone and house keys (no need to repeat a mistake) and go with the man.

We work at the garage/kitchen door. He gets the hinges the off, but the door won't free itself. He recalls a lecture he heard from the sheriff over twenty years ago where it was explained how a burglar might enter the house with a special tool.

I had a screwdriver.

The baby started crying.

Turns out "special tool" is a euphemism for a screwdriver. We unlatched the door, and he went in to check on the little girl.

I put the door back on its hinges and unlocked it.

There was some minor property damage, and I was technically an accomplice to breaking and entering. But it felt good to be part of a rescue operation. And the baby didn't even know grandpa was gone.

So yes, I will be adding a few special skills to my resumé.



At 2/10/09, 10:04 PM, Blogger jenny said...

he didn't seem worried at all??

At 2/12/09, 10:31 AM, Blogger Crinis said...

No, he didn't. Rather frightening. I have a few explanations. 1) He's seen and done worse, and the kids came out fine. 2) He was very worried but was very good at hiding it. 3) He's a bit befuddled.


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