Thursday, March 25, 2010

People That Take Things That Don't Belong To Them

I'm lucky, in the respect that I've never really been broken in to. I've never come home and found the place a disheveled mess, never found an empty spot where I expected my car to be. This is not to say that I've not had things taken from me, however. Several years ago I left a package on a common mail pick-up post in my apartment building. I found out that it never made it to its destination, and I'm quite confident someone took it thinking it held some sort of great prize. The joke was on them. Inside was fifty grape pixy sticks. A stupid joke that never got fully played out. When I first started teaching I had the ridiculous notion that I could trust my belongings unlocked in my classroom. A kid stole my credit cards. (This was the same kid that a few months later robbed a local bank with a duct-taped thermos, claiming it was a bomb. He demanded cash and car keys from one of the tellers, and was then caught when the car was a stick and he only knew how to get-away in an automatic.) Earlier this year I mailed a friend a birthday present. It never got to him, and again, I feel pretty secure in the idea that it appealed a little too much to a passerby who couldn't resist what wasn't theirs lying at the base of a bank of very tiny apartment mailboxes. All this stuff sucks. What's yours is yours and what isn't, isn't. It just shouldn't be more complicated than that.
Today's incident wins for stupidest, and perhaps most vexing theft. A recent trip to the store ended in bringing home all the ingredients for dinner but the rigatoni. A casual mention of this d'oh moment to the fiance's mom resulted in her saying, "I've got a box and I'll be near you tomorrow. I'll drop it by and leave it on your door." Seriously, who the hell steals a box of pasta? It's not like it was gift-wrapped and it was a surprise what was inside. A simple look into the plastic bag hanging off the doorknob would have revealed that you were getting a box of rigatoni. When I come across the neighborhood vagrant wearing a macaroni necklace or perhaps a vest with Italian-goodness fringes, I'll know I've got my man.

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