I’ve been getting up at 5:45 a.m. to walk Claire. I used to do that all the time until we had a small rash of armed robberies in our neighborhood at night (very unusual for us). You would think we live in the ‘Hood, but Holy Cross is a pretty sweet place. Problem is the real ‘Hood is just a few blocks away and our city police force is stretched at the moment. So at least for now we make a convenient target. I took a break from walks before daylight.
With dawn coming earlier I figured it would be okay for me to walk Claire in the morning again. Today around 6:00 a.m. as we were heading out our back door I noticed a car driving slowly through our alley. Sadly, the only time cars drive slowly through our alley is when they are up to something so I watched to see what would happen.
Sure enough, the car stopped. A short, scrawny white guy with brown hair and a baseball cap (details are for neighbors reading this) got out and started trying to put his hand through the partially opened window of my neighbor’s car that was parked behind her house.
The guy didn’t see me through our trees, so I walked Claire over to about 20 feet from where he was and yelled in as loud and deep a voice as I could muster, “Hey!!!” (I’m not that creative at 6:00 a.m.).
I think I scared Claire. I know I scared the guy. Surprised, he jerked his hand out of the car window, jumped back and yelled in annoyed voice, “What!”
I suppose the conversational ball was in my court, but I couldn’t come up with a direction for it to go (“Hey stubby, let me try. My reach is longer.” Or “Wait, you’re gonna need a coat hanger for that.”). So Claire and I just gawked at him instead.
He jumped into his blue sedan and backed down the alley in a cloud of dust so I couldn’t get his license plate number.
It occurs to me that this story is actually kind of boring. I need a much better shtick for dealing with petty thieves. I’m definitely going to start carrying my cell phone. And I think I may try to get really bulked up (and not just at my equator) and wear all black and some menacing sunglasses. Any other suggestions for making me look a little tougher?