Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Get-a-Ways

Whenever I hear the sound of a car alarm late at night I know that another thief got away with something. And being more of a self preservationist than someone who loves thy neighbor I always hope that it isn't my car that got hit.

"C'mon, don't cock an eyebrow, when you hear one you're just like me in that regard."

But if you are not there is a house near mine that is for sale and I'd like to see you get it! If you would rather see your property targeted instead of mine I know that we would get along very well.

Most of the get-a-ways on my block seem to happen on the weekends but the thieves who roam the streets at night don't discriminate against week nights, they spread themselves around pretty well and rarely take a lot of time off. These are people who are generally self employed and very loyal ones at that. To themselves.

If the glass left behind in the street from all of the broken car windows in my neighborhood were swept up and placed in the same bag it would take a fork-lift to pick it up and haul it away.

These after hours workers are dedicated to their craft and if you stop and think about it they possess certain skills that not all of us have or would be very good at even with practice. Case in point; At my age I doubt that I would have the speed or endurance to run down alleys and hop tall wooden fences as I made my get-a-way after breaking into some one's car, especially if I had just stolen something that required me to carry a burglary tool in one hand and the items I stole in the other.

Also...I would regard the wherewithal to slide under a vehicle to avoid detection by the search lights of helicopters as a skill and I have nothing but high regard for anyone who is willing to dive into a garbage dumpster and use it it as a hide-out until frustration overcomes the hunters and they give up the hunt. To be willing to crouch among rotting food, yard waste and rats to avoid jail time wouldn't be an easy task to master for me but a good thief can do it.

Something else many of us no longer have as much of as we once might have had that would make this work a little easier would be the strength and endeavor to fight one's way out of physical confrontations should a victim be faster and actually caught one of us trying to get-a-way.

If you have ever been a victim of a crime where someone got away with it you probably lost your valuables or were harmed otherwise by a person who also knows and understands marketing things that didn't belong to them until they took yours. (Another talent.)

For example, no one on my block ever had a factory installed radio ripped from the dash. A good thief takes the time to peer into windows looking for the more expensive after market stuff.

They will also ignore vehicles that have cheap items like newspapers and magazines left lying on the front seat and look for ones that have laptops, cameras, purses and other valuables. I mean why cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage to some one's vehicle unless there is a little profit in it? I mean unless it is for personal reasons.

But even there, a skilled vandal can do it and get-a-way!

A good weekend get-a-way can also be had by these people after breaking into the homes around here. Burglars who smash windows or kick in doors to gain entry into places they have no lawful business being in to steal televisions, jewelry and other expensive items probably revel in their get-a-ways even more than the thieves who break into cars or those who only settle for a few pieces of lawn furniture.

But like I said, I wouldn't be any good at this work. The last time someone broke into my car I chased him for a few blocks and he got away. I wasn't fast enough to catch him. I probably could have run him down twenty years ago and beat him to a pulp with the hammer he dropped when he dashed off but again, at my age I was no match for his speed.

All of this brings me to what I really want to talk about and that is how I manage my own weekend get-a-ways. I go places in my mind. After fifty-five it's easier to do that anyway and it doesn't cost me anything but my time, and since I am retired now all of that belongs to me. It is mine, I own it and I can do what I wish with it.

This weekend, like most others I will spend some of it writing stories that I will eventually share here in my blog. Some of them will eventually fill more pages of more books I plan to have published and almost all of them will relate to people I have known or places and times that have been important to me. A great deal of my work evolves around the area I have called home most of my life. An area that is one of the most popular get-a-ways in the south end of Columbus.

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