This morning, as I awaited the HVAC guy to come for the annual check-up, someone knocked on my door. It was a young guy in a black sleeveless shirt. I opened the door, and he asked me if I had any scrap metal. I set my face grimly. I did not, and I did not know of anyone who did.
I set my face grimly, because I’m pretty sure the guy was a Debbie Burglar. You know, the kind who knocks on your door, and if you don’t answer, he comes in anyway.
I read this Victor Davis Hanson piece today, and it includes:
Earlier another youth drove in without seeing me mowing the lawn. I ran up; startled he stammered, “Hey, mister, I’m only looking for scrap metal to buy.” (What is it with the national epidemic with good wire or scrap metal?)
I’ll pass on his shoulder to finger sleeve tattoos, the ink drops under the eyes, the shaved head, wife-beater T-shirt, the inked-in but impressive religious icon tattooed on the neck, and the whole nine yards. As I wrote earlier, I immediately noticed brand new hot-water tanks, still in their labeled cardboard containers, in the bed of his truck. They seemed very “metal” to me, but not very “scrap.” Words were exchanged and he backed out.
At least the guy who came to my house had the decency to drive a 20-year-old Ford. But still.
As we work from home, we’re here most of the time. But, damn, I hate having moved away from the city and feeling only as safe as I felt there, where we fell prey to a Debbie Burglar (probably) in our first house and answered the door on others a couple other times.
2 thoughts on “Wherein My Life Mirrors Victor Davis Hanson’s, Sadly”
Wow. That’s scary…the very same line as VDH’s robber.
Yeah, it didn’t help that I read the VDH piece pretty much immediately after.
To recap, since I’ve been in this safe house in the country, I’ve had to:
1) Call 911 because some guy rang my bell at 4:00 on a Saturday morning and took off running across my field when the deputy showed up, probably because he (the some guy) was in a stolen car;
2) Call 911 because my license plate renewal stickers were stolen (probably in KC while I was testing for Jeopardy! but maybe in Springfield picking my kids up from school).
3) Had a Debbie Burglar asking for scrap metal.
4) Got a cold shoulder later from the HVAC guy when I recounted the 4am story for not helping a fellow out.
It’s pretty stark relief, frankly, into recognizing the promised safety of civilization is but a thin veneer. If the some guy had wanted in, I’d have been at a loss.
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