Stolen Goods

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There seems to be an ongoing debate regarding the age at which one officially becomes classified as “elderly.” If you ask a ten year old, the number is thirty. If you ask a sixty year old, it’s eighty-four. If you ask our thief (notice how we’ve assumed personal ownership), the transformation occurs when your first AARP membership application comes in the mail.

Evidently, he had been staking out our mailbox for some time, anxiously awaiting the moment our elderliness would arrive. By the time Connie made the short walk from the mailbox to the front door, things were already starting to disappear. Before the ink was dry on the application, we were down one flashlight, a fly swatter, two caramel apples, and my favorite Calvin & Hobbes cartoon book. It was a good thing AARP included a postage paid return envelope because the stamps were gone too.

From that point forward it’s been one continuous crime spree. Rarely a day goes by without something being stolen. His items of choice are key chains and reading glasses, but on a slow day he’ll settle for a cup of coffee, my favorite ink pen, or one shoe.

Because of his fondness for footwear, and the fact that he doesn’t discriminate between my shoes and Connie’s, we’ve come to the conclusion that our bandit is a one-legged cross dresser with a foot fetish. By now, he’s collected enough of the aforementioned items to open a lock and key shop, his own optical center, and shoe store for amputees.

I’d like to say he never takes anything of real value, but the sparkle of diamonds and glitter of gold lose their luster when you’re stranded on a toilet and the half-roll of paper that was resting within arm’s reach gets stolen the second you glance out the window. Such thievery causes one to stop and reevaluate your priorities.

Over the years, as my hair has grown a more flattering shade of silver, I’ve become so used to our thief’s antics that I expect things to be missing when I look for them. There is one exception—tools. On several occasions, when Connie has a project scheduled for me, I have left tools in plain sight (his favorite place) to make them easy to pilfer, but he refuses to steal them. Either he, Connie, and Buster are in cahoots (bribed with pie and milk bones, I suspect), or he is even more opposed to work than I am.

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  1. Huh. I’d always blamed the trash fairies for stealing my things. Russell, this was a delightful story!

  2. Hah! They’ve been to our house, too! Great story!

  3. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

    March 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Dear Russell,

    I’d laugh but I’m pretty certain the same burglar makes his way from your neck of the woods to ours. Tragic that someone can’t do something about this problem. I’d install hidden cameras but I’m sure the crook would take those, too.



  4. It started with socks in our house. I thought it was a defective dryer. Two would go in, but only one would come out. Now all sorts of things that should be sets are missing pieces. And he’s clever. He steals things as we use them, too. Eye glasses that we take off just to rub our noses, pens we put down to take a sip of water, remote controls in the middle of TV shows. You’ve touched on a big problem, Russell. When you find the solution, write to me. If my computer isn’t missing, I’d love to read about it.

  5. You guys are lucky. So far he hasn’t gotten your toliet paper–but believe me, it happens!

  6. I think it is clearly Buster behind the whole thing, probably in collusion with Connie. It could not be a young man such as yourself! I’d have Buster tailed (so to speak.)

  7. I have the opposite problem, Russell. Someone with terrible taste in clothes sneaks into my closet periodically and puts garments there. How can this be? But if you realize that you’re missing the lime green leisure suit you wore on your honeymoon with Connie, contact me. I’ll look for it over here.

    P.S. I love the shoe store for amputees!

  8. Oh, thank goodness, Russell. It’s a THIEF that’s been taking all the things that before your article, I thought I’d simply misplaced. Thanks so much for making my day!

  9. Hahaha! Hey, teenagers are victims too. My teenagers can’t find something in their room, the first words out of their mouth is “someone stole it!!” Wow, really? Maybe the item is under the five piles of clothes on the floor, or under their bed hiding between dirty dishes and empty soda cans? LOL….. Great story Russell.

  10. Thank you so much for a great story. It made my day!

  11. I really enjoyed this well-written humor piece. To think this crook would have the gall to break into a house a second time to return the stolen boots. What an evil genius. I shouldn’t draw attention to the fact that I wear size nine boots and can’t recall how I acquired mine.

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