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Thursday, April 10, 2008

You know how you spend much of your life trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up? What you’re truly meant to do? What your calling in life is? Well, for the last year or so, I feel as though I’ve been heading in the write direction. (Yeah, sorry, that was intentional. Did you catch that?) Well, a couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try out a different occupation – and, no, I don’t mean as Snack and Chip Advocate or Commercial Sound-bite Professional. I was presented with the chance to try out my skills as a Crime Fighter.

So, as you know, I run three mornings a week, at 6am, with my neighbor, and now therapist, Andrea. (Let’s face it: she listens to me talk for three hours every week, she should be making serious money. And yet, she only gets paid with my admiration and undying love). ‘Twas a Monday morning and I set out, as always, at 5:55, to walk up the street towards Andrea’s house. (We meet somewhere in the middle depending on who left their home first). As I rounded the bend in the road, I saw a Dude clad in black hooded sweatshirt trying really, really, REALLY hard to open the driver’s seat of a red sports car parked on the street. The following thoughts rapidly flew through my brain: hmmm, I’m fairly certain that the owner of the car (and resident of that home) is of a different racial persuasion than Hooded Sweatshirt Dude. Hmm, It’s sure taking him a LONG time to get into that car…wait a second, yeah, that’s not his car. Dude is trying to steal that car! Bad Dude! Then I notice that Dude is not alone. Dude has Girlfriend sitting in a running small silver car with the headlights lighting up his work space. Again, lots and lots of quick thoughts run through my head. I tried to remember all of the things those articles in Runner’s World and where-ever-else told me about what to do in this situation. (A situation when you’re by yourself outside and there’s a Bad-seeming Dude).

I quickly crossed to the other side of the road and continued walking up the street staring at him like a lunatic. (I think there was something about looking crazy…maybe). He startled when he saw me and immediately stopped fiddling with the lock. He looked so guilty; it would have been comical (had I not been so busy trying to keep me heart from jumping out of my chest and, of course, maintaining bladder control).

“GOOD MORNING!” I yelled in a very loud and extremely cheery way, all the while staring him down with eyes that said, ‘yeah, I see you Dude. I knows what you doin.’ (It helps to talk like a thug in your head).

“Uh, uh, hi,” Dude stutters. “How…how’s it going?” Trying to act so cool, huh, Dude? I’m on to you. I’m so on to you, and your little Girlfriend who’s too scared to even look at me. Or maybe she’s just too busy glaring at you: See, Dude, I TOLD you we shouldn’t have waited until 6am to try to steal a car!

I strutted by with an air of complete machoness. I totally took in his appearance, her appearance, the car she was in and the house’s address. I was so on top of things. I kept walking feigning nonchalance. Once I got past them a little bit, I saw Andrea a few houses up the street, walking towards me. I continued my nonchalance in a subtle yet Olympic Athlete speed, speed-walk. As I neared Andrea, I reached for my cell phone (that I keep in the pocket of my nerdy-and-yet-oh-so-Safety-First! Reflective vest). It wasn’t there. Of course! The day that I commence my career as a suburban neighborhood Crime Fighting Mommy Machine, I don’t have the most important safety device of all – a phone. [I do, however, carry a very loud whistle that came with some of my instruments for music class. I’m not sure how or when I’ll put the whistle to use. I told Andrea about in the context of, “Never fear – should you be attacked by a vicious canine, I will save the day by blowing my whistle.” Andrea’s response was something like, “Um, yeah. Then ALL the dogs in the neighborhood will come running. GREAT idea.”].

When I got close enough for Andrea to hear me, I said, “Turn around. Turn around. Walk back towards your house. Turn around. We need to call the police.” Andrea shot a nervous look at me. “No, no. It’s OK. Let’s just get to your driveway. I think someone’s trying to steal a car.” At this point, I hear Dude and Girlfriend take off in their car – as in NOT the stolen one because I totally BUSTED them.

So, Andrea dials 9-1-1 and is relaying all of my details to the operator when she realizes things would be a heck of a lot easier if she just handed the phone to me. She’d gotten all of the basics out of the way, so the first thing that the operator asks me is, “And what was the license plate of their car?” Um. Oops. Damn. There goes my crime fighting career down the crapper. I was SO proud of myself for getting all the other details – I could still tell you what they looked like…and the house number. (As if they’re just going to sit there in front of the house waiting for the police to show up).

Better luck next time.

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