Saturday, December 31, 2011

How I survived the Y2K disaster

In 1999, was I the only kid who had a bathroom filled with 430 pounds of dried beans and powdered milk? Did any one else have a flour grinder in their laundry room? Or was it just me?

Unless you are 12 years old, you probably remember that little thing called the New Millennium, or Y2K. If you are a pre-teen reading my blog, I'll give you a history lesson. Y2K stood for the year 2000, and it basically freaked the jelly beans out of at least half the American population, because they thought that computers would stop running and our whole life would collapse.

You'd wake up on January 1st, 2000, ready to heat some Pop Tarts, except your toaster would be broken since it ran off of computer chips that did not recognize the year 2000. Or maybe you'd be shopping at Target, go to leave (after paying in cash only because the card readers would be non-functional), and find out the automatic doors had locked you in. Because they'd be thinking its 1900, not the year 2000, and in 1900 they did not have automatic doors, so they'd stay shut until you manually opened them. But you would probably be stuck in Target for at least five hours until help came. I can think of worse places to be trapped in.

My family didn't have to worry about food production plants going beserk and shutting down and us starving, because my mother fully prepared for the worst case scenario. In June of 1999, my mom started stock piling. This meant buying in bulk from a local co-op, which was founded on the belief that people would turn into savages as soon as 2000 hit and computer chips stopped working. My mom bought dried beans, wheat, a flour grinder, dried fruit, and more emergency supplies than the states in the tornado belt have combined. We stored a large portion of it in the second bathroom. What, your loo doesn't also double as a pantry?

I had just started going to public school that year, which basically means I started feeling embarrassed around mothers wearing denim jumpers. My new worldly friends were very intrigued with my family's stockpile. They'd come back from the bathroom asking about the tower of 25 white buckets that were taking up space in the corner opposite the sink.

"Oh, that's just our five year supply of food and supplies in case the world goes to shambles this coming January."

About half my friends had no idea that civilization would end at the beginning of the new year. Their families continued buying microwaveable dinners and frozen waffles instead of purchasing wheat and firewood for a non-electric stove. I could basically picture it. In January of 2000, I'd be sitting at home in a living room lit by kerosene lamps, while they'd be sitting at home in the dark. I'd be eating hot oatmeal which was cooked over the wood stove, while they'd be at home going hungry because their fridge and appliances stopped working. I was very concerned for their well being. I mean, at the very least their mom should go buy some canned peaches or something.

When December 31st, 1999 came, my family was prepared. We had the bathtub filled up with water. We had candles. We had firewood. We had learned how to grind flour. Despite the fact that I spent the evening with my parents in the living room watching the ball drop, it was very exciting. I was secretly hoping that there would be a disaster. Because then when I was forty or whatever, I could tell the kids "I lived through the Y2K disaster (shudder). Let me tell you about it..." Or maybe I could write a book about how my family survived the new millennium and helped save desperate people who were not well prepared.

You can imagine my disappointment at 12:01am on January 1st, 2000 when the toaster still worked. It only took about three days for me to realize the world was going to be fine. That, and I'd be eating beans and powdered milk for dinner every night through my high school years.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I blamed it on Santa

It may surprise you to know that as a child, I told a lie. One particular December, I claimed that an overweight man in a red coat broke into our house at night and left garbage in the living room. This was uncharacteristic of my angelic nature. While some kids can stretch the truth like a rubber band, I was the guilt-filled child who would blurt out exactly what I did wrong. So my sort of lying involved withholding information and asking questions that would deflect away from myself.

Here's what happened: I was probably eight or nine years old, and Christmas morning came at 5:23 am, shortly after the pattering of hooves and the jingling of bells woke me up. I knew I was absolutely not allowed to wake my parents up before 6am, so I laid lie lay, oh forget it stretched out on my bed and tried to contain the excitement that was bundled up in my legs that were covered with fleece footie pajamas.

Forget this, I thought and quietly snuck out of my bed. Jessamy lay layed laid lied bahhh  slept peacefully in the bed next to me. I padded out into the living room and surveyed the gifts under the Christmas tree. I wasn't going to commit a sin on Jesus' birthday and unwrap my presents when no one was around, because how in the world would I cover that one? Get some newspaper, tape the box back up, and act like nothing was unusual? No. So what I did was go for my stocking. I took it down off the mantle (this was when I actually lived at a place that had a brick mantle) and started pulling out all the goodies. Some of it was loose, but many items were wrapped in white tissue paper.

Like a mummy escaping from the grave, that white wrap got pulled off instantly. I enjoyed looking at all my loot for about five seconds before I started to get nervous that I would be discovered and I shoved all the stuff back into the sock. I didn't have time to wrap the items back up in tissue paper, so what I did was hang my stocking full of stuff back up on the mantle, and I placed the rumpled sheets of tissue paper on top of the side table, next to a messy stack of newspapers. Then I went back to bed to dream of Sugar Plums dancing in my head.

When I was finally allowed to get out of bed and wake the parentals, I did so cautiously. Within minutes I was sitting in a pile of wrapping paper, smiling with glee at all of the American Girl doll clothes the elves had sewn and Santa had delivered.

Then my mother's eyes turned to the pile of tissue paper on the table. "Where did that come from?" She asked. Oh shit, I thought. Actually, that is a lie. I did not think Oh shit. In truth, I did not ever think Oh shit until I was at least 19 years old and became a frantic college student with too many deadlines. I started to swear a lot in my mind the year I had to drive over the Marion Street Bridge every morning. Just another example of how the life of a teacher corrupted my good person. Glad that's over. But back to the story...

"Hmmm" I pondered. Then I came up with something very plausible. I obviously wasn't going to blame my sister because she would deny it all, but wasn't there an old man who came to my house that very night? Hadn't he come and left things for us? And don't you think he might have been in a mad hurry to get to all of those houses, so perhaps he left a few scattered bits of last minute wrapping around?

"Maybe Santa left it," I suggested. I did not confess to breaking into my stocking before 6 am. The horror of telling the truth. After I tried to pin the blame on the bearded guy, my mother said nothing. After all, how was she to know what Santa had been up to that night? Her silence convinced me that she believed the story.

Just so you know, I confessed all of this to my mother earlier this month. The truth will always come out, even if it is years later. She chuckled about it and told me she didn't remember the incident at all. Have you ever tried to blame something on Santa?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Decoy Pickle: A Secret Christmas Plan

On Christmas morning, my sister and I wake up and rush to the tree to look for a glass pickle. Weird, I know right? This is how it works: my mom hides a green pickle ornament on the tree on Christmas day, and then she releases Jess and I from our racehorse chutes to go find it. If you find the pickle ornament, then you get an extra present, referred to as "the pickle present."

Only this actually caused some tears and fighting in the past, so the pickle present is actually a family gift (like a movie or board game for everyone), but the winner gets to unwrap the present. Jess and I mostly like the satisfaction of winning. She has found that stupid pickle for at least two years in a row now, and it is quite a let down for me and my 20/20 vision. Jess has contacts/glasses, so how she manages to spot that hidden ornament is beyond me. But I've got a secret plan this year.

I can write about all my secret plans concerning my sister on this blog, because she never reads it. So this is what I am going to do: I am going to go to the dollar tree and buy a decoy pickle ornament (I saw them there last week). Then what I will do is sneak over to the tree on Christmas Eve and place the decoy pickle in a more noticeable location. My hope is that in the morning Jess will spot the fake ornament first and get excited about winning, and this will buy me buy me some more time looking for the actual pickle. She'll be doing her victory dance until she realizes that I am still frantically searching the branches and that what she is holding in her hands is some cheap, plastic imitation of the real thing. Sucker.

 If you are wondering why in the world my mother decided to start this tradition, it's because she was in a shop in her German-themed hometown looking at ornaments and found the pickle hanging there with the explanation attached. Apparently this whole pickle thing is a German tradition. The pickle is supposed to bring good luck and was the last ornament placed on the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning the first child to find the pickle was rewarded with an extra little gift left by St. Nicholas. This German tradition encouraged the children to appreciate all the ornaments on the Christmas tree, rather than hurrying to see what St. Nick had left for them. This tradition encourages my sister and I to shuffle through all the branches in a mad hurry, not caring about any ornament unless it's green. We do plenty of ornament appreciation while we unpack them one by one and hang them on the tree.

Travis, my sister's husband, sits this tradition out. He is totally allowed to participate but chooses not to, probably because he doesn't want to get in the way of my and Jessy's elbows. I admit, the first year he spent Christmas with us, I was worried. I thought he and Jess would tag team me and find the pickle and both gloat over it. But Travis knows to stay outta my way when it comes to hunting for hidden objects. But this decoy pickle idea I have, I think it's going to work. I'll let you know what happens.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Agreeing on what lies to tell your children

The month of December poses an important question to all new parents: what lies should we tell our child? Husbands and wives debate over whether or not they should begin telling the tale of Santa Claus, explaining that an overweight old man in a red suit will be coming down the chimney at night time, but don't worry about it, he's not going to rob us or kidnap you, he's here to leave you presents. Unless of course, you've been a bad kid, in which case Santa WILL kidnap you, fly you to the North Pole, give you a pair of plastic elf ears to wear, and force you to assemble toys for the good little boys and girls. That'll teach you not to flip off your 4th grade teacher when she is trying to teach you earth science.

Don't get me wrong. I adore Santa. My mother fully had to sit me down at age 11 and a half and explain how everything really worked. We had this talk during the summer, because she wanted to give me six months to get over it. But like Britney from Glee, I still believe in Santa (a theory of mine which I have researched and written about). So yes, when I have kids, they will fully be told the story of Santa Claus. But the real story, the one about how other countries have gnomes who live under the floor boards and kind babushkas who bring them presents.

But then you think, how far will you take this? Are you going to push the Easter Bunny? Explain that a rabbit lays plastic eggs for you to find? That they are filled with jelly beans? Because I mean, a large portion of American teens already don't understand that milk comes from cows, not from a carton, and that cows have to have babies first in order to give milk, they don't just splurt it out because you're about to eat an Oreo. Why don't we go ahead and tell children that rabbits bring easter eggs, so that way when the kids hit 5th grade and are learning about the animal kingdom, they can keep thinking that a rabbit belongs to class aves or class reptilia because it lays eggs.

Or maybe your beef is with the tooth fairy. Nothing says whimsical magic like a little creature breaking into your house while you're asleep to collect your teeth for a necklace or some other tribal-like piece of jewelry. Why don't we just leave vials of blood as well, so the fairy can have complete DNA and identification records of us? Is that little pixie working for the Human Genome Project? Or maybe the FBI?

 The problem with choosing lies to tell your offspring is that you have to count on teachers, other parents, and teenagers to endorse your lie. Because you should fight tooth and nail for what you believe in, and if some kid with a grinchy dad tells your seven year old son that Santa doesn't exist, you need to be able to pull out the maps and star charts and cultural traditions to back up the probability that Santa can indeed hit all the houses in one night.

Personally, I am thinking of developing my own little fantasy character or yearly tradition. Like maybe I'll invent a birthday stork named Saint Ork (abbreviated of course to St. Ork), who brings you an extra present on your birthday. Each kid has their own birthday stork, and it's the same one that delivered the child to the mother in the hospital. So once a year the stork returns to see how the child is doing, and to see if the parents are still fit to have custody of the child. If the kid has really crappy parents, then Saint Ork will let you crawl into a fuzzy blanket and he will carry you off to a different mommy and daddy. All of the workers at DHS work for St. Ork. Every year your extra present will be wrapped in a blanket and be sitting outside on your doorstep. This bird is not here to sneak into your house or steal your molars. He understands the laws about breaking and entering and robbery. And if you want to special request a certain gift, what you do is write a letter and put it outside in the bird feeder for pick up. This makes total sense. I am going to write a children's book on this. Anyone want be my illustrator? Who's with me? What parents are going to agree on telling this lie?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

She will endure hot wax and a rash for the Lord, a church Christmas tradition

If you were ever a little girl growing up in church during Christmas time, there is a chance that you were chosen to wear an itchy red polyester dress and walk down the aisle with a fiery white torch to light the advent candle. Today in church I sat back and reminisced as one of the fourth grade girls brought forth that little flickering light to front of the sanctuary. It took her about five seconds for each step. One might think that three minutes is too long to take to travel from the back of the room to the front of the room, but if you've ever been a candle lighter, you know that it's not.

Here's how it works: an elementary age girl is chosen to light the wreath for the week. I don't know why it's a girl, but that's all I've ever seen. It's probably because they look better with curled hair and dresses than boys do. The joy of Christmas just walks right with them, as they tread forward in their black Mary Jane shoes that might have a centimeter of a heel.

All little girls want to get chosen to light the advent candle, even the shy ones. When you get picked, it's an honor. Getting selected for advent lighting is just a few years away from scoring the role of Mary in the nativity play. You spend the whole next week trying on your Christmas dress and standing in front of the mirror.

When the day finally arrives, your mother curls or braids your hair, you put on that lovely crimson dress that is actually a little bit itchy around the neck, but you endure it. You are willing to suffer a polyester-blend induced rash if it means you get to carry the candle down the aisle.

A little bit before your duty arises, an adult will light your candle. Your eyes take in the magnificent glow and something like bells jingle in your stomach. But then the pastor or whomever talking about the meaning of advent takes too long. He goes off on a long explanation, leaving you in the back with a candle that's already been burning for five minutes. Five minutes time means the wax is now hot and ready to drip down that flimsy paper base and onto your little fingers.

There are two great fears of candle lighters, one being getting burned by dripping hot wax, and the second being that your candle will go out before you complete your task. The reason little girls walk so slowly down the aisle is because their eyes are pinpointing that hot blob of wax that is threatening to slide off the candle and onto their hand. Girls have to walk slowly so that the speed of their travel does not cause their taffeta skirt to create a gush of wind and extinguish the flame they are carrying. Between these two fears, most girls would probably rather get burned with a drop of hot wax than suffer the embarrassment of having a prematurely extinguished candle at the time they get to the front. Because that basically means God has chosen to snuff out your light, since you are unfit to carry it.*

Yes, lighting the candles of the advent wreath is a really big deal to little girls, and the responsibilities are monumental. After your duty is done, you have to be sure to blow out your lighting candle in a very safe and non smokey way, so that the babies sitting in the fourth row won't suffer from smoke inhalation.

When that little girl from today made it to my children's church room ten minutes later, I made sure to complement her on her dress and the excellence in which she executed the lighting of the candles. She needed to know I recognized its difficulty and admired her duty.

Readers, have any of you been little girls (or boys!) who have had the privilege of lighting the advent wreath at church? How was your experience? Do you have burn marks on your hands?

*I hope you don't think I am serious. If the candle goes out, it does not mean God thinks you are unfit to light the wreath. I may have thought this as a child, but it is absolutely not true, and I have yet to ever see a candle go out prior to advent lighting. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

how I lapnabbed my sister's computer

Oh my word. So it has been one week since my computer busted and living without my music and writing files is like living without thumbs. Right now I am sitting at my house on one of the bar stools, typing on my sister's broken laptop, which I convinced her to let me nab since she won't be waking up until one pm tomorrow. You may wonder how I can use a broken laptop. Well, it's just the screen that's cracked, which means there is this giant black splotch that looks like a bug hit your windshield and the line leads all the way down the screen, kind of like trickling blood. So if I make any spelling errors, it's because there is a portion of the screen that I can't actually see.

I asked my sister how she broke her lap top screen. "Did you use it as a booster seat when you went to Burger King?" I asked. Jessamy explained that "Travis and I were wrestling and Travis kneed it." To which you probably think "They were wrestling?" One might not ask any more questions regarding this alleged activity, but I actually believe that when she says they were wrestling, they were actually punching each other. This isn't a domestic assault case, but I know for a fact that my sister likes to put Travis in a head lock and Travis likes to pin her arms behind her back. I'm just thankful Jess has Travis to assault now, instead of me, because I had to endure a lot of head bashing as a child.

Today I convinced Travis to help me acquire a Christmas tree during his lunch break. If I didn't have a brother, I'd probably be hot glue gunning a tree together out of the pine branches that fell into my backyard. Right now it is all set up with skittle colored twinkling lights and ornaments dating back to 1985. I am very pleased at my decision to select a Christmas tree during the daylight, instead of at 9:30 at night in the back of a Muchas Gracias parking lot like I did last year. My tree from 2010 was so crooked that I had to prop it up with a stick on one side, and it fell over about every two days. This year's tree is as straight as a bean pole. It doesn't have any gaping holes either, unlike the mouth of an eleven year old waking up from a tooth extraction in the dentist's chair. 

Okay peace out. I'm gonna go to a coffee house to see my friends and listen to the talent of some lovely musicians.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

still using the library computer

This is my fourth day at the library this week. I do not yet know the status of my computer, and whether or not the data on my hard drive is retrievable or not. I am too afraid to call my cousin and check because I don't want him to tell me it's a lost cause.

This whole not having a computer thing has lowered my dependency on Facebook and Pinterest. I also have 331 items in Google reader, but can't read them all in the short amount of time my library card gives me access to. So instead I've been reading actual books and magazines in the evenings.

I went to Best Buy yesterday to check out computers but no overzealouse salesmen rushed over to me, probably because 1) It's Christmas time and they are super busy selling gadgets, and 2) I was wearing my fingerless gloves that apparently make me look like a hobo.

In other news, Before School Bible Club has been going really well. I just finished teaching the second week of it. I think we gained 8 kids since the first day. I've got two really adorable kids (a first grader and a kindergartner) who I let in since they have older siblings in the club. The kids have been rocking out the memory verses and the games that we play to memorize them, and they are totally on point with the story re-tell and questions. My only problem is this whole getting to school by 7:45 thing. I haven't had to wake up this early since June. Last night I decided my new bedtime is 10:15.

Azarious has been making progress with learning to read and now he is fluently reading kindergarten level books. He finally got the "igh" and "ar" sounds down. I'm hoping to move up to the first grade books very soon. He's got all his phonics sounds down, and has learned 300 of the first 600 sight words. Plus his handwriting is improving quite a bit.

My rabbit Roo moved into the bathroom the other day because it is literally freezing outside. His water bottle had turned to ice, and I felt like a neglectful parent so I brought him inside to sleep on the rug. I had to lock him in the bathroom because that is the one place that has a minimal amount of surfaces to chew on. I've since moved him into an indoor cage in the spare room. The spare room might just become his room, though it is has also served as a crime lab.

I am taking a huge risk writing this but the guy next to me is really struggling with his e-mails. I've heard "You piece of junk," and "Oh come on," and "Piece of crap" muttered under his breath about six times now. In case you're wonder, he's using Yahoo. I had to surreptitiously peek over to see what it was he struggled so much with. But enough about him.

I have to go back home and then head over to my new place of employment to fill out paperwork. Yeah, a JOB. With an actual paycheck involved. But don't get too excited. The ins and outs of it are longer than I care to type right now, but basically it is part time work (which is great, so I can keep teaching Bible Club and Azarious in the mornings) and on flexible set amount of weeks terms. That was my decision. I was offered the job but had to say no due to about four different reasons. They wanted me so badly they called a few hours later with a different offer. So I said yes. I'll explain the whole situation later and tell you what the job entails. Point is, I will be receiving a paycheck for some dollars.

Kay. Bye.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cute smiley old men

I completely adore seeing cute old men at the grocery store. I was behind one in line last Friday, while waiting to purchase my yogurt, tortillas, hummus and bananas. The man had white, woolly hair tucked under his baseball cap. We're talking the hair was woolly and felted in the way that your favorite doll's hair becomes loved and worn over the years. He had on a plaid flannel shirt and old man blue jeans. What I loved most about this man was the wrinkles and lines on his face. His wrinkles were smile wrinkles. The lines seemed to lift up his face, and I could tell the wrinkles around his eyes were caused from the crinkling when he laughed.

That's the thing about getting old and wrinkly. They show evidence of what your face does most often. Frowny faces are rather unpleasant and make your face droop. But you already know that. I stood patiently behind this man (I named him Jim) as he counted out his cash and coins to purchase his groceries. I watched his face waiting for what I knew would come. The cashier gave him his change and receipt, and said have a good day. Then what  I was expecting happened. The old man smiled a smile that said "I have lived a good life and I am happy." It was the type of smile that makes you feel warm like you just ate a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. It was the kind of grin I'd like framed and put on the mantle (if I had a mantle), so that I can remember to live a life full of smiles.

Because I want to become that old lady with silver hair that has lines under her cheeks showing proof of her joy, even if I am buying prune juice and mashed bananas with a social security check.

your time is almost up

Oh my gosh I have to type fast because I am at the library and only have 7 minutes remaining. I spent most of my allotted 15 minutes checking my e-mail and replying to people. My computer is currently at the hospital because its hard drive is quite ill. This is absolutely terrible and I hope I didn't lose a large chunk of my writing work. Because you know, I am a genius and didn't save a hard copy recently. It's mostly terrible because I have a zillion things to blog about and only five minutes left to do so. So crap. Just wanted to let you know that I have things to tell you and want to talk to your face as you stare into your computer screen reading these words, but unfortunately I cannot. Oooh, it looks like maybe one of the other computers opened up where I can get longer than 15 minutes. Snap. A balding man in a flannel shirt just snagged one. Gotta run.

Update: I got a computer to use for 45 minutes. I wonder if the people around me are reading my old man post that I just finished. Also, I find that people in libraries talk to themselves while they are using the computer, and this is somewhat distracting. But some people need to talk to themselves in order to process,  so whatever. I'll just bring headphones next time.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stop, Drop, and Hide Under a Blanket

If someone is coming up your driveway, the obvious action that you need to take is to hide from them. My sister and I did this all the time growing up. I was reminded of these antics last Saturday night when I was at Jessy's house watching Robots on TV. Jess was working at her desk making dog collars and every time a commercial came on, Travis would change the channel back to football. We heard a car door shut outside.

"Somebody's here." Jess said. "Quick, hide!"

I laughed and we continued to joke about when we were children left home alone in our country house. Sometimes I think Travis has no idea who he married. He sure learns a lot about his wife's quirks when I'm around.

Jessamy and I grew up in the boondocks. Our private road was a half mile long and made of gravel, which made for bumpy bicycle rides. Our house sat tucked safely on the other side of the hill, nestled among mighty oak and fir trees.

People didn't drive to our house often. If an unfamiliar person made his way to our house, it was either someone who was A) lost or B) there to rob or murder us. My mother would leave us for an hour or so when she had to go to town and buy groceries or whatever and Jess and I would be in the living room playing Legos or building model horse barns out of cardboard boxes when we would spot a car driving down to the house. "Quick, someone's coming!" One of us would yell.

We would then make sure the door was locked, flip off all the lights, and go hide. Most of the time we would hide in my parents' bedroom and spy out their window, because there was a giant bush in the way and it prevented us from being spotted from the kidnappers.

[You better believe when my sister and I finally attended public school, we were experts at the armed intruder drills. We dropped to the floor out of the line of sight of the window and spoke not a word.]

We sat breathlessly listening for the knock at the door. It would come, and we would wait, wondering if the person was going to start picking the lock in order to get in and steal my mother's Cherished Teddies collection. When we heard the car start up again and leave, we breathed a sigh of relief but waited an extra minute before emerging. You know, in case it was a fake-out.

It may be interesting for you to know that I still do this at my house, even though I am a grown woman. I will be sitting at my desk (which is near the front window) typing an e-mail to an associate, when I will see someone coming down the lane. I might immediately drop to the floor and army crawl behind the couch since I don't want to be spotted. Or maybe I won't have enough time to get out of sight from the window, so what I'll do is lay on the floor and throw a blanket over me real quick. Because a long green lump isn't suspicious at all.

I don't really know why I still do this. Habit, I guess. Or maybe I just want the element of surprise. When the FedEx guy drops off my package, I want to be able to pop out from under the window and yell "Ha! I can sign for that!" Or maybe when someone is breaking into my window, I want to throw the blanket back, reveal my face, and terrify the intruder.

Basically, I blame my repeated viewings of Home Alone. I've never heated up my door knob, put pokey things under the window, or tar and nailed the steps coming up from the basement, but I fully have a protocol, should the need ever arise. I am not going to post it here, because for all I know there is a stalker who reads my blog everyday in hopes that I will reveal the location of my home and the hours in which I am alone.

I'm telling you right now, it's probably not worth your time to kidnap or rob me. My computer is a desktop from 2004, I own a very limited DVD collection, and the nicest thing I have are my couches which weigh as much as a baby elephant, so getting away with them wouldn't be easy. If you were to want them, you'd have to at least bring a U-haul because there's no way they're fitting in a pick up truck. And good luck trying to back that U-haul out of the driveway--you'll be sandwiched. But I wouldn't put it past a thief to ram through my wooden fence, mow over the neighbor's garden, and make a break for it in the opposite direction.

You don't want to kidnap me because I'd ask you for an interview on your life of crime, so that I could blog about it. Plus, I'd want to get my phone and Tweet about it as it was happening. My update would probably be something like "In the trunk of a car blindfolded, but don't worry, even though I can't see I can still text via voice commands on my smart phone." Only wait, I don't actually have a smart phone (another reason it's not worth it to rob me).
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