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Friday, April 11, 2008

Crime-a-phobic! Aren't we all?

So, Mom was supposed to come by this afternoon to drop by my keys. I was happy to share with her that I found a little something (last little tid-bits gathered from the old house) that I knew she would really love. A pic of my Papa! He's in his military uniform (black and white photo, of course) and he was only 15. He lied about his age so they'd let him in the ARMY.

(There is only one original which my uncle has).

So, I found one my Gramm had professionally reproduced and framed! Mom will love it!

Anyhow, on to the CRIME-a-phobic.

So, I called Mom this a.m. to confirm that she was still comin' by this afternoon. Got her voicemail (she only has her cell phone as she is on fixed income due to work related injury that basically broke her body in a million shattered pieces). Hmmmmm. She'll check the caller I.D.

[Later] Hmmm, still haven't heard from Mom. [Dial her again]...the phone finally picks up, there is some shuffling...I can hear her? Someone? Speaking in the background. All the while I can tell the phone is still bein' smothered somewhere. I yell out, "Hello! MOM!!! HeeelllloooooOOOO! MOM! I'm on the phone!!!!" Then it hits me: There's a burglar in her house and she left the phone on so I can hear what's going on and call the cops. Or? She's been carjacked! [Hey, we know this really happens. And, I've seen a lot of crime shows.]

Turns out? She was at her Doctor follow up and couldn't get to the phone. Apparently, she didn't realize she'd accidentally answered it while in the treatment room.

CRIME: So does all of that paranoia imagination make me a "paranoid personality?" No...Okay, maybe a little. But, this is the world we live in. And, I have lived through and experienced things both myself and through friends that are criminal and "unacceptable."

I mean, seriously? How many bank robberies can we have down here in a week? And, I don't mean like the good'ol Western Days. Or, like "Ocean's 11," or what was the movie with Katherine Zeda Jones and Older Hottie Sean Connery? If you're gonna' do a heist? Please do it right. It is embarrassing that like three banks have been robbed around here with fireworks taped to look like a bomb and a plastic water gun. PHEWP!

And convience stores are constantly being hit, clerks being harmed or killed, and all for a case of beer and a carton of cigarettes. I remember this guy in high school. He was in my Honors Algebra class. He was tall, lanky, kinda' dorky but generally nice. One of those guys that tend to get on your nerves but still, basically nice. He was a good kid.

Anyhow. Two years after graduation I'm watching the news. They show a surveillance tape clip of him [this part is graphic] having his throat slit and fighting as he fell to the ground. Two punks who were high were trying to break into the register. They got away with a case of beer and like $20 bucks or something. He didn't survive.

Turns out? He didn't even work the night shifts. He told a coworker that he'd cover for him that night. His Mom was concerned about it. She said on the news that he told her, "I'll be fine Mom." I think about him every time I enter a convenience store. And, every time I drive by the one where it happened.

So, I don't get it. We have the technology to propel people into space. Even, to let them live up there. We have the technology to build mechanical body parts. We can "clone" new body parts.

But, we can't find a way to keep someone from walking in a bank and stealing our money? Just because they are too lazy to get their own?

We can't protect a convience store clerk? It's been sixteen years since that happened to "Carl," I believe his name was Carl. And, nothing has changed. No great improvements.

We are all obsessively doing this?

I don't know what made me want to bloggie about this. I guess it's because, when I couldn't reach my Mom? First thing I start thinking is that something "criminal" happened to her. I have to think about it when loading my kids in and out of the vehicle when out in public places.

I'm approached every so often by one of those scammers in the parking lot. "Um, Ma'am? Please? I'm from out of town and me and my family are stranded here. Do you have any spare cash?" It infuriates me. Trying to victimize me while I have my children with me -- puts me into lioness mode.

Once it was a lady. I told her I couldn't help her. "I don't carry cash" (I really don't). I told her the police could help her. She had an excuse why they couldn't. I told her, she was making me uncomfortable as I had my children with me.

Another time? The last time? I was having a frustrated day. I'm exiting the grocery store and on my way to my vehicle (no kids with me this time) and I see they guy out of the corner of my eye trying his "ploy" on a couple. They brush him off and he comes to me. I was frustrated.

As he started with his, "Um, Ma'am?" I flat out said, "Seriously? I don't have time for this crap!" He apologized and left me along. I felt a little bad for a moment...then, I was over it.

In the heat of the summer I won't start the vehicle until I've loaded all the groceries. Poor kids have to sit in the heat (90 plus degrees). Why? Because, I'm afraid someone will jump in the front seat of the running vehicle while I'm loading the groceries in the back...taking my SUV with my kids in it.

It happens! So, I always try to think ahead and be prepared. Sounds slightly crazy and overly paranoid, I know. But considering all the purse snatchings (with little old ladies still attached to said purses) lately? I would be naive NOT to be always mentally on guard.

So, enough rambling and babbling. Just be safe out there. Remember your "Schwaka-Chacka" stance. Use those eyes in back of your head. Acknowledge those prickly hairs on the back of your neck. BE PREPARED.

On that note! Make it a Happy One!


Jay said...

I was offered a job at a convenience store in Little Rock one time. When I said that I don't like being held up the guy said "Oh no, it's really safe. Besides you will be working behind bullet proof glass."

Yeah, that sounds sooooo safe. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am like you, I get that way a lot!
I could not work anywhere I am by myself.

Newt said...

It' sad on so many levels that the world has come to this. When I cant get a hold of family I jump to the health is bad conclusion, but same idea. You aren't alone. Imaginations run wild. But, that isn't always a bad thing. Keeps us safer and smarter.

Oh, and you can find out what fruit you are here:

Knight said...

If my mom doesn't respond to my call for a full day I start calling other relatives to find her. Only because I'm convinced something happened. It couldn't possibly be that she doesn't feel like talking to me at the moment. Right? I'm also very careful and paranoid about people taking things from my pockets and bags. Or pushing me into the subway tracks. I'm always on guard. Nobody is pulling one over on me. I can't imagine what I would do if I had kids. I wouldn't let them out of the house. Ever.