The “Just So Happened” Night

Tonight I “just so happened” to stop working on the computer to walk through the lounge on my way to the kitchen. I just so happened to have the urge to pull back the curtain to look outside to make sure the boogie man isn’t lurking in our bushes.

Lo, and behold. Tonight he was lurking. The boogie man made an appearance wearing capri pants and powder blue sweatshirt.

I just so happened to see a male figure walk in front of the van parked in front of the garage. My first thought was, “Oh, someone is coming to visit,” which would have worked if it weren’t nearly midnight.

I see this guy and slowly realize that indeed, I DO NOT KNOW THIS MAN. Then I see him motion to someone/someones in the bushes as if to say, ‘come here.’ And then the old adrenaline kicks in. Without much thought, I fling open the front door and march myself outside IN MY OHIO STATE PAJAMAS to inquire in as polite manner as possible, what this man thought he was doing.

I run back inside for my cell phone to call Bing (my neighbor) and neighborhood watch. Just so you know, the neighborhood watch is all business. They are the special forces of public safety. DO.NOT.MESS.

Bing just so happened to have gone to bed but realized she forgot her phone so she went back to the lounge to get it at the very moment I called.

Bing called in the reinforcements of neighborhood watch on her 24-hour surveillance walkie/talkie made privy only to members. A very tough looking guy named Andre just so happened to be monitoring our road. He just so happened to have already seen suspicious activity, namely two guys sitting in a car on the dark road. He just so happened to spot the car again at the exact moment he heard the call on the radio.

Neighborhood watch camera crew were able to identify the guy and alert police. Within five to 10 minutes, neighborhood watch stopped the getaway car, had three guys handcuffed and face down on the pavement in front of Scooter’s Pizza.

NHW want a statement from me so I jump into Andre’s car, which is a VW Chico with sirens on the roof. He wears a bullet proof vest with a retractable baton. There is a Guy Fawkes mask in the seat next to me. I’m laughing so hard to myself right now about all of this but Andre is all business and built like a rugby player. He’s not laughing but I find this hilarious because…really? Of course, it would happen to us.

Andre stops on the main road where a crowd has gathered. I walk up to four guys sprawled on the pavement and try to decide if these were the guys I saw in front of the house. AS THEY ARE WATCHING ME IDENTIFY THEM!

People are gawking, walking past carrying steaming bacon and cheese pizzas as I’m staring at criminals and wondering if they will remember where I live once they make bail.

The steering column is sitting in the passenger seat and they jammed a screwdriver into the ignition so we can no longer fit a key into it. I asked the investigator on duty if he could command the guy to back and fix the van. I mean, he’s just sitting in jail right now anyway. He said no. So now we can’t drive our van until it’s fixed.

The story ends with the police department saying they will send someone to take fingerprints so please don’t touch the van. We wait 3 weeks. No one comes so we get the van fixed. The end.

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