I have learned many things from movies. How to lose a guy in 10 days only to fall in love with the guy I’m trying to lose. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds taught me that fowl are the scariest creatures alive. The Princess Bride taught me how to fight with a sword - the pointy end goes in the other guy.
Movies teach us to glorify war and believe in love. They teach us that the underdog always has a happy ending. Movies did not prepare me for
this. Barricading myself in the house in an effort to protect myself from the Bogeyman. Movies teach that when the Bogeyman shows up you should go toward him. Think of how many times you have watched a movie and screamed at the screen, “Don’t go in there!”
I’m not quite sure why I’ve locked myself in my house when every movie I’ve ever seen has advised otherwise. Actually, I put all the kitchen furniture in the family room because I was mopping the floor. Movies didn’t prepare me for that one either since movie houses are always in pristine condition. I did my best.
But I did like having so much furniture in front of the sliding glass door because the Bogeyman is oh so very real right now. I watched Independence Day. Aliens are one thing to see littering the sky with their spaceships but imagine my reaction to the events of last week. Monday morning I heard a helicopter. That didn’t strike me as weird until I realized it wasn’t moving. For over an hour. Drug bust was what I good naturedly thought of. I grew up in the slummy outskirts of Salt Lake City – Magna and West Valley (aka Meth Valley). My next door neighbors dealt drugs and smoked marijuana often. A drug bust seemed to make sense with the helicopter except that I live in a well to do community that seems like it’s straight out of a 1950’s movie. Think of Pleasantville starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. Still, there can always be trouble in Paradise.
No worries. The helicopter wasn’t for me although it sounded like it was directly over my roof. I opened my garage door to take my kindergartener to school. A police truck pulled out of my next door neighbor’s driveway. Weird. I looked up and saw half my circle swarming with cops and cop cars. As I pulled out of my driveway I saw a cop on a motorcycle on the bike path between my next door neighbor’s house that goes into another neighborhood. What is going on? I drove up the street and saw cop cars in the park and one cop car coming down the street heading to my circle. Holy Moly! Big drug bust. Or something. Something big was going on but I didn’t know what.
When I got back home after going to the store first, the cops were still everywhere. A detective in an unmarked car was across the street from my house. The neighbor who lives in that house said he had a visible badge and gun. The neighbor had told me that they were trying to catch a suspect who had been repeatedly burglarizing homes lately. A friend who lives in the other neighborhood called to say the police went through her house and yard with their big German Shepard dogs looking for the “20 year old man.” Whoa baby! This is serious.
I tried to put it out of my mind as much as possible but Tuesday afternoon two police officers came to my door to tell me my gate was open. When I said I hadn’t opened it they asked if they could check out my backyard. Then they told me to check my upstairs windows to see if I could tell if anyone tried to get in. All the windows were locked so I’m not sure what I would have seen inside that they couldn’t see outside. I was getting more nervous. Wednesday a police car was parked right in front of my house. I should have felt safe but it made me nervous to think that the creep/burglar was still out there. When I left to take my kindergartener to school I saw that the cop’s car was blocking half my driveway. Luckily it was the side opposite of where I was parked. He had moved to the other side of the street by the time I got home.
The weather was nice so I would have loved to send my kids outside to play but no. The Bogeyman was out there. I was just waiting for a phone call from the Bogeyman saying he was inside my house. Then I could try to play the hero! The movies did not prepare me in any other way for this real life adventure. Maybe stacking furniture in front of doors and windows is a good idea.
The pieces of the story started to fall into place a little more when a friend said she got an email from her neighborhood watch person saying the police believe the man lives in the neighborhoods he was burglarizing. He would get in through open windows, including second story windows. That made me feel better. My windows were locked. He also was on foot and typically took jewelry. Nothing to steal here.
Some neighbors said that their backyard was part of the action last week. They knew who he was because they had seen him several times walk through the bike path connecting the two neighborhoods to hand something small to people waiting at the park. They would give him cash and everyone went their separate ways. So I was right to suspect drug bust! My neighbors had told the cops but the response was they wouldn’t do anything unless there was photographic evidence. What? As weird as that police reaction is the story is that he was caught. Hallelujah. Swelling music. Fade to black. We will all live happily ever after. The End.