So I teased you with this and now it's time to give you the full story. It's funny. Kind of. As in, we can laugh a little bit about it now, but it still kind of bites.
Time: 1:0something a.m.
Place: Casa DBT
Setting: Dark, quiet, and otherwise peaceful. Everyone's asleep.
I sat bolt upright in bed. The dog goes effing BALLISTIC, tearing down the hallway in a Tasmanian-devil* inspired lather, barking as if the very world depends on it, snarling, growling, probably drooling. Hizzoner sits up and scrambles for his glasses. I'm grabbing for my pistol.
Hizzoner heads for the doorway and, drawing himself up to his full height, peers out the windows at the top of the door. In a menacing tone, he says, "What the hell do you want?"
Meanwhile, I've told HSH to stay in her room until I come to get her, close her door, and am half-hidden by the bookcase. We both hear the clear reply from the porch: "Police Department."
Hizzoner immediately turned on the porch light and unlocked the door. I grabbed a still-hysterically barking dog (appearing fairly threatening, yet not a threat except for shedding white hair all over the officer's black uniform), hauled her down the hallway, and put the gun away. (I dunno… I don't think approaching a cop with a gun in my hand is a smart idea. Call me silly.)
My second coherent thought popped up when I got a good look outside. The swamp's currently on fire, and the wind's blowing north. The smoke was so dense that for a split-second, my fear was, "We're being evacuated?"
Realizing that we are a good 10 miles from the swamp itself and that it hasn't spread anywhere NEAR that far took a bit, but eventually sunk in. Especially since the officer continued speaking with Hizzoner on the porch. "There's been a rash of tires being slashed in the neighborhood," he said. "Looks like they got one of your vehicles."
"Shit," Hizzoner muttered. "Which one?"
"The pick-up," the officer replied calmly.
"Goddamnit," Hizzoner said, turning for the front door. He got a pair of shoes on and went outside with the police, grabbing a flashlight on the way. While the two inspected the damage, I checked on HSH – who had unconcernedly gone back to sleep – and Freckles, who really, really wanted to go meet the policeman. I didn't indulge the dog, but closed the bedroom door behind me as I went into the living room.
Hizzoner had, by this time, come back into the house. He was understandably pissed off as he told me what the cop had relayed to him. Apparently, someone had been walking around our fairly placid neighborhood, slashing tires, and managed to get spotted. They called the cops, but by that time, there had been a lot of damage done. And naturally, the idiot(s) got our most expensive vehicle.
"It sucks that they got the truck," I said. "I wish it had been the Cruiser. I needed tires, anyway."
Hizzoner didn't appreciate my stab at humor.
Well, long story short, we invariably calmed down enough to go back to sleep. Got up fairly early – I had to go to the store and Hizzoner wanted to get the spare on and the tire replaced without wasting too much of the day. He called me mid-morning.
"Hey, I've got some news."
Turns out that the police, who had told us that they had a name and address of a person of interest – and figuring that this, as with most vandalism cases, would be marked "closed but active" – had in fact nabbed the perp. Not one of a bunch of teens on a spree of idiocy: one guy. An adult. One of the other affected neighbors had stopped by on his way back from the tire place and filled Hizzoner in on the scuttlebutt. Apparently this piece of shit hit cars up and down the street, around the cul-de-sac at the end, and around a side street. Multiple cars at some houses, and he even got into a boat, trashing it, snapping fishing poles, etc.
If I've read the police blotter and connected the right dots**, the perp is what some on the left might affectionately label a "disaffected youth." I call him a piece of trash with too much time on his hands and not enough brains, who is in serious need of a thorough ass-kicking. And I know quite a few people who'd be more than willing to do it right now.
When I got home Saturday evening, we sat and talked about it some more. Hizzoner sat morosely, thinking about the money we didn't have, but had to dig up to spend on two new truck tires***. "Sweetie," I said, "at least we've learned something from this whole mess."
"What?" he asked, studying the label on his beer bottle.
"Well," I replied, "we know that the dog works!"
He's still not impressed with my sense of humor.