As our economy continues to unfurl like a evil poisonous flower into the "new economy" of rampant unemployment, packs of wild dogs galumphing through the streets, and the ever more manic "social networking" that may just possibly hook one up with a job some day, BREAK-INS will become a more popular and horrible way of wealth redistribution.
I myself have none of the skills necessary to join in on the break-in phenomenon, except for what I have gleaned from movies and television. I don't think I would be capable of making my way Mission Impossible style through all those invisible red laser lines. If only there were some kind of underground economy version of the Learning Center that offered "Break-In 101."
Our Korean correspondent suffered a break-in just yesterday. She described it as:
"All the drawers and boxes in the apartment were turned upside down when I came home, and there was a serious CSI situation for a while, with the police officers taking shoeprints etc. I just finished cleaning things up. Fortunately I had nothing worth stealing, and didn't lose much. My youngest brother came over to stay here tonight. I can't wait to fall asleep--will update tomorrow."
Hopefully once she has the peace of mind, she can post about it here.
I've suffered two break-ins in my time.
The first was a couple of decades ago in Highland Park.
My girlfriend of the time and me returned to our rented house to discover that everything had (as above) been emptied out onto the floor. All 16 of my CDs had been stolen. They seemed very valuable at the time. They had gone through my non-CD music as well. To my dismay, they had rejected all of it save the Prince stuff. My girlfriend's jewelry was safe. I had thought myself very clever one day when I found a moveable ceiling board and put her jewelry above it. But I never anticipated that it would ever be needed.
The weirdest thing was the discovery of the item that pointed to how they entered the house. All the doors were still locked. Only the tiny bathroom window had been left open. Once I put all my shirts back in the drawers and closet, I discovered that I had acquired a new shirt: a small boy's shirt. He must have climbed through the little window to let the others in. And found a shirt of mine that he had liked better, I suppose. I never figured out which shirt was so alluring.
You would think that I would have learned my lesson: keep all the windows locked.
But who learns lessons?
So some years later, we were living in an apartment on the west side and had lazily slid into the habit of leaving our windows open on hot summer nights.
I woke up one night needing to go to the bathroom. I was naked and I wasn't wearing my glasses. As I entered the hallway, I could see the blurry figure of a male in the living room.
Adrenalin took over and directed me into some primeval and foolish behavior. I rushed toward the figure and literarily ROARED. Yes indeed I made a huge ROAR. Who knew I could ROAR?
Well it must have scared the shit out of the intruder. For instead of stabbing me with the kitchen knifes which were not too far from where he was standing or pulling out a gun and shooting me in the eye, he seemed to instantly leap backwards out the window he had entered. It was an amazing sight, like something out of a heavily CG'd superhero movie.
I kept moving forward driven by an adrenalin wave and looked out the window to see the perp doing a freak-out dash through the parking lot.
The adrenalin was still surging through my now clothed body when the cops arrived. But by then it had turned into feeling very very cold and an inability to stop shaking.
As in the previous incident, there were items left behind. The intruder had made off with my wallet. I was fortunate that he dropped it at the far end of the parking lot, sans money, but still holding IDs, credit cards, etc.
But during his American Panic Attack, he had also left something else behind, something just outside the window -- his SHOES.
I guess one of the things that you learn in Break-In 101 is to enter the sleeping household in your stocking feet. So he had gained my money, but had been forced to go back to the mean streets running like hell in his sock feet. There was some measure of victory in that. And I even felt some pity for him.
I was a little astonished at my own behavior. Couldn't I have just shut and locked the bedroom door and called 911? No, for some reason, my wild untrammeled self felt the need to run at the possibly armed and dangerous intruder and ROAR.
So learn from this. If you're going to fuck with me, wear earplugs.
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