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Posts Tagged ‘police’

  1. I Had A Visit From A Peeping Tom

    June 2, 2014 by Diane


    Ventriloquists have their dummies. I have my sub-personalities. I engage them, sometimes, to work out issues. When I had a visit from a peeper, I wanted sympathy, maybe some wisdom. What I got were wise-cracks.

    Was this visitor invited? asked my wise-cracking self.

    Of course not. It was a peeping Tom! Or Tammy. It might have been a woman. I never actually saw the person.

    How do you know the peeper was peeping?

    I saw a cell phone. My bathroom window was open a crack, and someone stuck their cell phone in so they could observe me.

    What were you doing?

    Putting on mascara.

    Not very exciting.

    I was half-naked.

    Which half?

    The bottom. No outergarment.

    You weren’t baggy panties, were you?

    Of course I wasn’t wearing…I don’t even own…the point is, someone was taking photos of me with their cell.

    Did you smile?

    No I did not. I screamed some choice words.

    The F word?


    The S word? The H word? The D word?

    No. The P word. “I’m calling the police!” I screamed.

    A heads-up.

    A warning.

    Well…that’s better than hollering, “I’m telling my mother on you!”

    Oh come on. I was in the second grade. I was being hauled off to the principal’s office by that yard duty lady. And for what? Climbing the cyclone fence.

    You were trying to escape.

    It was the second grade!

    You kicked her in the ankle.

    She deserved it. And if I had caught the peeper, I would have kicked him too. Higher up.

    So you called the cops.

    You’re darn right I called the cops. And then I put on some pants.

    Smart thinking.

    And some shoes. Some real shit-kicker shoes.

    Armed for battle.

    And then I waited in the driveway until the cop pulled in. He was an older guy, and when he got out of the car he tried to swagger, but it wasn’t all that impressive. He asked if the peeper was still around, and I said I didn’t think so, and he told me to stay put while he went around behind the cottage to investigate.

    So you followed.

    Darn tootin’. And I spotted an old wire coat hanger in the leaves behind the window—a clue!—but he wasn’t impressed.

    A coat hanger.

    And I said, “I would have heard someone crunching around in these leaves, right?” And he said, “Were you taking a shower?” And he was right…I had been. For a short period of time the peeper might have seen me completely naked when I stepped out of the shower, which is twice as mortifying as seeing me half-naked, and I must have turned crimson just thinking about it because the cop said, “Don’t worry, he didn’t see much.”


    Exactly! No sympathy. Then I followed him inside while he checked out my tiny bathroom, and I could smell the coffee on his breath.

    Any donut crumbs on his uniform?

    I didn’t notice.

    But you noticed the coat hanger.

    ANYway, we reconvened in the driveway. Another police car drove up and a thick Asian guy got out. He didn’t swagger. But he did notice that the front door of my landlady’s house was ajar. “Is that always open?” he asked, and I said “No.” Both cops drew their guns. They nudged the door wide. They crept inside. I few seconds later I heard footsteps pounding down the hall and they reappeared with the construction worker’s helper in tow.

    The who?

    There was this kid doing some remodeling work in the living room. He had dark curly hair and wild eyes and he looked like a ton of adrenaline was jolting through him when they hauled him out.

    Did he have a cell phone?

    You betcha. He shot over to his car to fetch it, and the older cop held it up and asked, “Is this the phone?” and I said, “No. Maybe. I don’t know. It all happened so fast.” He scrolled through it looking for photos, found one of interest and showed it to his partner. They both chuckled.


    Then he said, “There’s none of you,” and tossed the phone back to the kid.

    And you believed him?

    I was assured by my landlady that “nothing ever happens in this neighborhood.” The friendly neighbor two doors down even said so. “The police never even patrol here,” he said, “because nothing ever happens.” If nothing ever happens, wouldn’t a peeping Tom be an occurrence worth noting in the police blotter? But no. When I phoned the officer to see if he had any leads, his greeting was, “oops, you caught me in the shower.” And when I suggested that he feel free to patrol the neighborhood, he said, “Sure. Why don’t you invite me in for coffee.”

    Tell me you didn’t giggle. Or swoon.

    I asked the landlady for a dead-bolt on my door.

    Good girl. 

    The construction worker who installed it said, “Personally, I hope some jackass kicks my door in so I can beat the crap out of him!”

    There’s testosterone for ‘ya.

    Okay, granted, the worst that can come of this is that a half-naked photo of me appears on the front page of Yahoo.

    It would have been funnier if you were wearing baggy panties.

    Maybe. But then I would have had to kill the peeper.

    It was the kid…you know that, right?

    That’s my guess.

    Or the cop.



  2. Top Ten Tips for Burglars Who Bungle and Robbers Who Run

    May 26, 2014 by Diane

    Captured danger prisoner in cartoon style for justice design

    There have been a rash of burglaries in the town where I live. Last week, the police captured the man who was responsible. According to the newspaper, at five-thirty in the morning an alert senior citizen phoned the police about a suspicious-looking character prowling around the neighborhood. Turns out, this suspicious-looking character had just looted a house while the owner snoozed. The police had no trouble tracking down the thief; he was hiding, with the loot, in a port-a-potty.

    How unfortunate.

    Here are my top ten tips for those who thieve:

    1. Don’t hide in a port-a-potty. If arrested, you’ll be forever branded as The Port-a-Potty Prowler.

    2. When hitting multiple homes over several weeks, don’t cart all of the evidence around in your car. Especially if you have a busted taillight. If you get pulled over, you’ll be the one who’s busted.

    3. If your workday begins at five A.M., don’t hit a neighborhood that has a senior citizen. The old fart will be awake.

    4. If you’ve never set foot in the neighborhood where you’re prowling, you’ll look suspicious. Especially if you’re wearing one of those little black Halloween eye masks. Better to rob a house where you look familiar. Like your own.

    5. Don’t sell stolen loot on your front lawn and call it a garage sale.

    6. When robbing a bank, make sure you have a getaway car, not a bicycle.

    7. Ditto for sneakers. I don’t care how fast you run.

    8. After robbing a bank, don’t wait in the lobby for your mother to come pick you up.

    9. When robbing a store, make sure you know the difference between “drive” and “reverse.” Many a robber has backed through a plate glass window trying to escape.

    10. Quit the burglary racket and use your thieving skills to find gainful employment instead. Become a politician. Or a car salesperson. Or a lawyer.

    And here’s a bonus tip:

    11. Send a woman to do the burgling. I’ve never heard of a female burglar. Bank robber, yes. But not a burglar. Either women never get caught, or we just haven’t broken through that particular glass ceiling.


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  3. Scammed

    February 17, 2014 by Diane

    Phone scam

    On Saturday morning the phone rang.

    I was half asleep, or half awake, depending on which end of the day you’re looking at, and since it was morning when the phone rang I’ll say half awake. I lurched for the receiver on the third ring.

    “Hello?” I said.

    I heard a lot of fuzz and a stream of chatter in the background.

    “Hello?” I repeated.

    “Hello? Hello?” came a man’s voice.



    Well, this could have gone on all morning. I figured it was a bad connection, what with the spit of rain we were having in California, or maybe a wrong number, so I hung up and hung around near the phone eyeing the bed and then crawled back in.

    The phone rang.

    I threw back the covers and swung an arm around and picked it up.

    “Hello?” I said.

    More fuzz, more background noise, and then:

    “Hello? I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    The accent was from India, the words clipped, the voice sounded official. I had no doubt the man was calling from Microsoft technical support.

    “Yes?” I said.

    “There is a virus downloading on your computer.”

    “What?!” I sat up.

    “There is a virus downloading on your computer.”

    “I don’t believe you,” I said.

    “Oh, yes, ma’am. You can see with your own eyes.”

    That made sense. I mean, who else’s eyes would I see with?

    “Why are you calling?” I asked, cutting to the chase.

    “You have a virus downloading…”

    “No I don’t.”

    “Yes, ma’am. You can see with your own eyes.”

    I hung up. I was all the way awake now, so I stayed up and started making the bed. I thought about the likelihood that my computer might be downloading a virus at that very moment, when the phone rang.


    “Hello? I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    “You are not,” I insisted.

    “Oh, yes, ma’am. I am. I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    “You’re lying.”

    “No ma’am.”

    I hung up. I refused to believe the calls were anything other than a scam. I got dressed.

    The phone rang. I snatched it up. “Hello?”

    “Hello? I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    This was starting to feel like harassment. This was starting to feel like I was being harassed by a man with an Indian accent in a room full of other men with Indian accents who were pretending to be calling from Microsoft technical support.

    “What do you want?”

    “You have a virus—”

    “Microsoft wouldn’t be calling me,” I said.

    “Yes, yes. I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    “This is a scam!” I yelled into the phone.

    “No, no, you have a virus.”

    “I’m having this call traced,” I said.

    Silence. He fumbled the phone and then mumbled, “Hang up, ma’am.”

    He was telling ME to hang up.

    We both hung up.

    I turned on my computer and stood back, waiting. It loaded the same desktop, the same screen saver. No virus.

    The phone rang.

    “Hello? I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    “You’ve gotta be kidding!”

    I slammed the receiver down.

    I called the police. The non-emergency number. The officer who answered put me on hold long enough so I could work up a good steam, and then he asked me how he could help and I told him I was being harassed by someone claiming to be from Microsoft technical support. I tried to sound cool, but I might have choked on a word or two.

    “Oh, I get those calls too,” he said. “It’s a scam. Don’t give them any information.”

    “That’s what I thought,” I said, puffing out my chest a little. No sucker here. I hung up.

    The phone rang.

    I answered. “Hello?”

    “Hello? I am calling from Microsoft technical support.”

    “This is a scam,” I stated.

    “No, it’s not!” He sounded desperate. “You have a virus—”

    I hesitated before hanging up. It occurred to me that this man might be sincere, that maybe, just maybe, this man had a small family in India, and no means of support, and along came a huckster from America passing out flyers saying that Microsoft was hiring customer service reps to sell a useful product to protect innocent people from vicious malware. Maybe this family man picked up one of the flyers on the street, and hurried to stand in line at some nondescript building, and sat down for an interview, straight-backed, his eyes eager, hands clasped in his lap. Maybe he walked home that afternoon with more bounce in his stride, knowing he could buy food for another month.

    Maybe, just maybe, this man was being scammed too.

    Then again, maybe I was scamming myself by believing this theory.

    I hung up.

    I picked up my keys and headed out the door. The answering machine would listen to his story if he called again.

    So far, he hasn’t.