Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wacky hair / neighbourhood watch

Two exciting events took place today. One was wacky hair day for Spirit Week at Neve’s school. (It was also Colourful Clothing day, but Neve opted out of that, saying she didn't want to stand out. Hmmm...)

Her expression represents the moment accurately
It turned out pretty good but I should mention how happy I was to drop Neve off at school this morning. She likes to be woken up half an hour earlier than is necessary, and today she wanted to be woken up a half hour earlier on top of that. That’s a lot of time to spend together first thing in the morning, especially for a non-morning person like me.

As is always the case, affixing a bottle to a head was tricky. Twist-ties and fishing twine were involved and yet the pop bottle was still a bit wobbly. This made Neve frustrated and irritable. By the time we got to her school, I was ready to kick her out of the van. After dropping Spencer off, I drove by her school again and she was standing at the corner on patrols, beaming. All’s well that ends well. Although I have no idea how she’s going to change into her gym shirt.

The other excitement today was thwarting a break-in. Ever since we were broken into many years ago, I am very attune to suspicious behaviour. I have been known to report suspicious vehicles and take photos of strangers lurking around the back lane. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit disappointed sometimes when it turns out to be nothing. 

Most of my time is spent working on my computer in the study at the back of the house. I often hear neighbours’ doors slamming and people talking and vehicles driving down the back lane. Sometimes when I need a distraction, I get up and look out the garden door windows. This morning, I heard a vehicle stop in the back lane and a door slam. It sounded like it was right by our garage, so I looked out the window and saw a guy in my neighbour’s backyard. There are occasionally guys in my neighbour’s backyard – he does construction and sometimes his workers or his brother come to pick something up, etc. – but there was something suspicious about the way this guy was looking around. So I opened my garden door and stepped out onto the deck. He froze, then turned to me and asked, “Does Jessica live here?” When I said no, he said, “Oh. It must be one street over.” He zipped back to his vehicle, which was parked behind my neighbour’s garage so I couldn’t see it from the deck. I ran to the fence  in my socks and saw him get into a silver Nissan Pathfinder, with a woman in the front seat. There was no license plate on the front of the vehicle, so I stood there and waited. They stared at me as they sat in their vehicle for a bit. Finally they inched forward a bit and rolled down the window. The guy gestures toward his passenger and says, “She thought Jessica lived here but it must be a street over.”

I said, “What’s Jessica’s last name? Maybe I know her.”

He came up with a random last name, and I mulled it over and said, “Nope. I don’t know of anyone by that name who lives around here.”

There was more useless conversation consisting of them unconvincingly repeating “I was sure she lived on this street!” several times. I regret not asking them why they were going to Jessica’s back door if they weren’t even sure it was her house. It was very clear to me that they were up to no good, but it was all a very polite, civilized conversation. When they eventually drove away, I waved to them as I memorized their license plate.

I ran in to call the police non-emergency line before I forgot the license plate number. A police officer called to follow up a little while later. He expressed doubt in my judgment in approaching the guy. What he doesn’t know is that I’ve been waiting all my life for an opportunity to practice my Jillian Michaels kick-boxing and my non-existent martial arts training. It didn’t even enter my mind NOT to approach him. I did pause to think that maybe I should wait to catch him in the act of kicking in the door to prove his criminal intent, but then my neighbour would have to fix his door and that sucks. He owes me one.

The problem is that I think I’m way tougher than I actually am. That will likely be my downfall one day. Just put “Vigilante Neighbour” on my headstone and my pride will eclipse my lack of judgment.

Now I'm jumping up to look out the window at every sound. I'm getting no work done. I hope nothing bad happens out front. I can't be everywhere.


Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel better, my parents caught some guys in the act of robbing their house and my dad CHASED them ON FOOT. It was the beginning of a long weekend, my parents went to Canadian Tire and the perps (I'm bada$$ to use the lingo) were watching houses for people leaving for the weekend.

My parents returned to the house 20 minutes later and their front door was open and all their stereo equipment was on the landing with 1 guy obviously waiting for a vehicle. This was in broad daylight and my parents front door is wide open to the street and they lived on a corner lot so it was actually wide open to view from 2 streets.

So, instead of driving past the house and going to a neighbour's to call the police, my dad pulled into the front drive way and yelled at him. He took off around my parents house to the back lane. My dad got out of the car and CHASED THEM. Uh Dad, they could be armed. Sheesh. The dude jumps my parents' neighbours fence, and so does my dad...who is in his 50's! The dude ENTERS the neighbour's back door (followed by my dad) and runs through the house to exit the front door (followed by my dad). I have no idea if the neighbours saw them do this...for some reason that part of the story I'm forgetting. It turns out the perp was a lot younger and more nimble than my dad so at that point he lost them.

My dad returned to the house to find my mom consoling our little dog whimpering at the back door with some very sore ribs (the back door is concealed from the street and they had kicked it in). We're pretty sure they kicked our dog too. She was the most docile and friendly puppy ever so I'm sure she was trying to lick them to death. They had stolen jewelry, cash, my mini stereo (I was a university student at the time and my stuff was there), and other things they could carry away already. IN 20 MINUTES. To this day my dad sleeps with a baseball bat under his bed now and phone in the bedroom. (They have long since moved from there).

On an interesting side note: that weekend there were a rash of break in's in my parents neighbourhood...like 5 or 7 or something. One of their friends a few blocks over also got broken into as well as their neighbour. The perps were not so smart because they stole our friends music CDs and then realized they were Christian so actually left them in the neighbour's house on the coffee table after moving on to the next break in -- thus linking them to both B&E's. Duh.

I'm not sure if they ever caught the guys. But yo, Dad, you should have just kept driving and called it in. Hind sight: 20/20.


someone said...

Whoa, dudes!! My mom and dad ALSO stopped a break in a few years ago! (SL - they live a few blocks from Ellen). 10:30 am, mom still in bed, dad in the living room, some dude knocks on the front door. Mom looks out her bedroom window, sees one guy on a bike and another at the door. The guy keeps knocking. Mom and dad's little dog is going nuts. Dad gets mad and goes to open the door to tell them to get lost JUST as the guy kicks the door in!! Dad yells and the guy takes off. Door and frame damaged. The cops came but by then it was all over and nothing they could do. Poor Oscar (the dog) was a wreck for weeks after that. Well, mom and dad too really!! And you think River Heights is a "good" neighbourhood!!

Ellen - the last line mad me laugh out loud! Haha!!

xo Sio

someone said...

and PS - I LOVE Neve's wacky hair!! And I also laughed about you dealing with her in the morning. She so reminds me of Carmen who i used to nanny on Bowen. They are the same age. They'd be fabulous friends. haha! xo Sio

L said...

WOW! Those are some dramatic break-in stories! Go Dads! I can only aspire to be like them!