4:00 a.m. sharp: Burglar alarm goes off.
Sumbitch. Someone’s trying to get in the westside Arcadia door.
My pistol’s not loaded, and even if it were, the ammo is so ancient it would probably blow me to Kingdom Come before it did in the burglar.
Dial 911 while re-securing the side door. Can’t see anyone out there. It’s been raining half the night. What kind of idiot goes a-burgling in a rainstorm?
Oh wait: I forgot. The Son-in-Law. Madness knows no weather. He must’ve gone off his meds. Probably one of the 280,000 folks our esteemed legislators are throwing off Arizona’s answer to Medicaid.
Must remember to buy some new ammo and make a few runs on the range for some target practice.
Dispatcher: “Do you see or hear anyone outside?”
Homeowner: “No. But there’s no way this door could move unless someone tried to open it.” Homeowner privately thinks it’s a damn good thing she dropped a stick in the runner of the thing; otherwise the guy would’ve been in the bedroom by now. Dog slept through this episode and didn’t bark even when the alarm went off.
Dispatcher: “Well, we’ll send an officer over. If your alarm goes off again, call us back and we’ll up the priority.”
Homeowner: “Thank you.”
Up the priority? So it’ll be 45 minutes or an hour before a cop shows up here? Gaaaaaaahhhhhhh!
Taking a shillelagh in hand, I sit down to write this by way of passing the time. Nothing like a computer screen to make time fly.
Speaking of upping priorities, I have got to get some new ammo for that gun! Come to think of it, what I’ve gotta get is a shotgun. Maybe I can buy or borrow one of SDXB’s. Shotguns are far more effective against burglars: your aim doesn’t have to be good to do some serious damage. Also, burglars are allergic to the mere sound of a pump action.
Apparently my burglar was allergic to the sound of small plastic battery-operated window alarms, too.
These little contact alarms are great. Small and unobtrusive (especially if you have white window frames), they emit an ear-piercing shriek when a window or door is opened. I bought a passel of them after I realized a) I couldn’t afford to keep paying the burglar alarm company a monthly fee; b) I couldn’t afford the city fines for false alarms, which are frequent and random; c) I highly resented having to pay the city an annual license fee for the damn thing; and d) I was running out of patience with the sleazeball who ran the alarm company. Canceled the service, turned off the system and alarmed each door and window separately. Alarmed the security doors and some of the screen doors, too.
They’re a bit of a pain because you have to remember to set them when you close the door, but after a few times it becomes automatic: when you lock the door or window, you flip the switch to “on.” That is a lot less of a pain than false alarms, dodging around a system every time you come home from the grocery store, hurried calls to the cops and the alarm company to assure them the latest episode is not a real burglar, and dealing with a jerk of a company owner. And they do not do false alarms. The only way to set it off is to open the switch, and the only way you can do that is to move the door or window about an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Rain, wind, thunder, and passing F-16s do not set them off.
A good-sized earthquake might cause one to go off, if it moved the door or window. But I believe the dog and I would’ve noticed an earthquake.
The cops show up. They walk around. They don’t see a burglar. They leave.
Welp. Five hours till I have to show up for choir. Rain has started to pour again. The adrenalin high is beginning to wear off, so now I’m starting to feel hungry. Guess I’ll get some breakfast. Maybe there’ll still be some time to go back to bed…