Sunday, April 4, 2010

Erm......Sorry officer!

Ever had one of those days when nothing terrible happens but it doesn't quite go according to plan? Yeah well Friday was one o' them.

Despite the fact that I live in a city, I have an early-rising woodpecker right outside my window, actually about 6 feet from my head. I know I should rejoice in one of nature's little creatures, but it starts its carpentry at 6.30am fer cryin' out loud. If I wanted early morning naturey things I'd live in the suburbs or the country.

Dropped the Little Guy off at school and went straight out for a bracing power walk by the lake. (It being warm-ish and sunny.) Remembered to take head-phones for my I-Phone so that I could listen to my newly down-loaded Sade album - which sounds remarkably like the other two, BTW.  Now, I admit I under-utlize most of my tecchie things - computer, phone, home TV etc. so I'm not really au fait with all that the I-phone can do. It did become rather tiresome however when first, I couldn't stop the bloody songs from shuffling, so I got Dusty Springfield instead of old Sade. I mean, I heart Dusty Springfield but my intention had been to check out the newer album. (Are we still calling them albums by the way?)

I took the I-Phone out of my pocket and fiddled around a bit in an effort to get the Sade album back, and suddenly I lost all sound. Grrr. Almost bumped into Nate from the Oprah show (seriously) as I tried to walk and look down at the screen. Ten minutes later I still couldn't get the sound back through the head phones. For some reason, if I pulled the headphones out, I could get the songs (still shuffling) through the teeny phone speaker, and I could hear a crackle when the head phones were plugged back in, but nothing else. I had walked a fair bit by this time, so I turned back in complete frustration and walked home for twenty minutes having a bit of a paddy.

And it was supposed to have been a calm, relaxing but bracing walk.

When I got home I did various things around the house, waiting for a window cleaner to come and give me a quote. I got the impression, from our previous conversation, that he would be ringing on the door bell once he had counted my windows. (I had already counted the windows but for some reason, he wanted to verify the number. I have more of a feeling that he was coming to assess the real estate value in our street and lower or hike his rate accordingly.) Anyway, the consequence of this impending visit meant that I couldn't jump in the shower. Lunch time came and went, and he still hadn't popped by. In fact, he still hadn't popped by when I went to pick up LG at 3.10pm. I had to wait till the big kids came home at 4pm to have a shower.

Guess what? He counted the windows and e-mailed me a quote at 5pm!

And finally, in one of those "you couldn't make this up" moments, I nearly got myself arrested. I was taking some fold-up chairs to a neighbour to borrow, when another neighbour phoned from her skiing trip. Could we pop over to her house, (she would give us the alarm code etc.), find her son's English homework and fax it to them? No problem I thought. My neighbor with the chairs was not so calm, having had various problems with this alarm system in the past. We rehearsed the sequence of numbers to punch in, grabbed a torch/flashlight and took off. After a few attempts we managed to get both locks unlocked at the same time, and shoved the door open, with about twenty seconds to disengage the alarm. Unfortunately they'd all left the house by the back door and the idiot husband had put the chain on the front. Neighbour and I just looked at each other for a few seconds before uttering the only words that are suitable for such occasions..."Oh, shit". Fortunately we had the homeowner neighbour on the phone who proceeded to launch into the most vitriolic tirade against said idiot spouse while we ran around the garden in the dark, begging for more instructions.

Long story short, we got in the back door, and spoke to the nice alarm people who informed us that because the alarm had been going off for so long, the police would be making a visit. Thank god we were inside the house at this point then. Chicago police are armed and tend to be running on adrenalin when they visit "burglarized" houses. So there we were in their little office, faxing high school English homework, when the door bell rang. I answered through the intercom phone thing, "Hello?"

"Chicago police."

"Oh, I'll be right there" I said, as pleasantly as I could, and went out to try to explain everything. To his credit, he did ask me for the name of the homeowners, but seeing as there was a pile of mail on the floor, I could easily have read that before he arrived. The faxing neighbour came out and we let the twelve year old cop talk on the phone to the homeowner neighbour, who quite frankly, could have been the third accomplice. He seemed bored and slightly amused by the whole thing, and since this is apparently the third time this week that someone has inadvertantly set off their alarm, my neighbours will be getting a bill from Chicago's finest for wasting their time.

OK, so I wasn't really in danger of being arrested. I look far too upstanding for that, but still....who needs this on a Fridany night?



  1. What a day! Glad t all wroked out.
    I do wish i could find a window cleaner - that's one of the things I miss.

  2. Chicago =) I actually had previously lived in Chicago before coming to Beijing- and it always baffled me why my friends would use their garage/back-door as their main door to get into their house.

    Glad you didn't get arrested; but definitely an amusing story to blog about =)

  3. What a ridiculous thing to ask though... English homework! Surely could have waited until they got home.

  4. LOL I'm exhausted just reading this post! Glad you didn't end up in jail, kinda sad you didn't bump into that Nate. Love him!

  5. Loved your burglary story! Like something out of a movie. These alarm systems are a mixed blessing.

    We have a neighborhood woodpecker tyrant as well, pecked and broke 2 car rear view mirrors, one on a rental car. The insurance covered it under their "vandalism" category.

    This guy has been banging away at our bedroom window too, flying in off a tree nearby. We had to cover part of the tree with a plastic garbage bag so he couldn't get to the part from which he could see his reflection in our window and then attack himself.

  6. At least you're not getting a bill from the Chicago police. By the way I'm back to blogging on my old blog.

  7. Oh my not a very good day then. At least it is over.


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