Recently, I was invited to speak at Career Day at my high school. I accepted the invitation immediately. The years I spent at Our Lady of Mercy High School were the best years of my life. So, I was more than happy to return and attempt to inspire today’s juniors and seniors.
It was a fantastic experience, and a good time was had by all. I had the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and teachers and made a few new friends along the way. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.
So, riding this “I Made a Difference” high, I jumped into my vehicle and headed back to “Honest to Goodness Indiana.” For those of you who haven’t heard, that’s the new tourism slogan for Indiana. Many residents thought it was a joke. Nope. The joke’s on Indiana. Seems to me, there should be a verb somewhere. You know, calling people to action. But what do I know? Anyway…
After driving ten hours from Western New York to Central Indiana, I arrived home exhausted. Unloading the vehicle took another twenty minutes, partially thanks to my parents. When they heard I was having a garage sale, I ended up with several overflowing bags of unwanted stuff.
I managed to heave my suitcase up the stairs. And that’s when I heard the noises. Scratching sounds. Weird echoing noises. Super sleuth that I am, I ended up in the laundry room. Thrashing sounds emanated from the dryer. Oh dear Lord. It’s 8:30 P.M., and there’s something in my dryer.
The sounds were unnerving. Picture me standing there, hand over my mouth, staring at the dryer. That’s when I did a bad thing. I actually turned on the dryer. There was no way I was opening the dryer.
Turning the dryer on made things worse. Whatever it was, I succeeded in pissing it off. Royally. I turned the dryer off. I didn’t want to burn it to death. That would have been nasty to clean up. Yuck. The noises got louder. I couldn’t take it and ran down the stairs.
Okay, I might have been overreacting and freaking out a bit. I admit it. What to do? I called a nearby friend. I got absolutely no assistance whatsoever, not even a suggestion on who to call. Wonderful.
That’s when I called in the cavalry—two former military guys who I’ll call Christopher and Dan, because those are their names. ETA – 45 mikes. For you non-military people, that means 45 minutes.
In the meantime, Mom called me from Texas. You’ve got to love her timing. She’s visiting her best friend for two weeks. As I’m telling her about the creature, she laughs, remembering her own rodent/dryer story. Glad I was able to amuse her.
Then I heard water running. Not the sound you hear when a toilet is leveling itself out. It was lots of water. Outside water.
I opened the front door and looked out. Mind you, it’s 9:00 P.M. and dark. The yard light was out. (Mental note to replace the bulb.) I saw cars parked on the side of my yard. I heard voices. I put on my shoes and shut the door behind me.
Mom yelled, “Don’t go out there! You don’t know who they are. They could be crazy people!”
At this point, I didn’t really freaking care. I was tired. I was already dealing with a home invasion. And now, somebody was using my water.
I ignored Mom and marched across the lawn. I shouted, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
I startled the two teenage boys. “Um, we needed to wash off our cars. We drove in something smelly. We’re sorry. We didn’t think anyone was home.”
Note they weren’t sorry for using my water. They were sorry they got caught.
“Water costs money. Stop right now!”
The one kid turned off the water and made a half-assed attempt to coil up the hose. Then they took off running to their cars and drove away.
These boys had balls. The hose wasn’t even hooked up to the spigot. So, they dragged the hose to the spigot, hooked it up and used it. I wondered if they had been doing this the entire time I was gone.
Anyway, I calmed Mom down just before the cavalry arrived. I hung up with her when they pulled in. She figured I was safe with the guys there, just in case those kids came back.
Trust me, those kids aren’t coming back. I instilled the fear of God in them with my tone of voice. And they weren’t belligerent, they ran. They’re not coming back.
I told the guys about the stupid kids. That’s when the interrogation began. What did the kids look like? How old were they? How tall? What color, make and models were the cars? Etc.
Did I mention that it was dark and there were no lights? Both kids were shirtless, had dark hair, no clue on eye color, about 16 or 17 years old, my height. Black cars, newer, good condition, no clue on make or model, too far away to see in the dark. And no, I didn’t get the license plate numbers. I just wanted them gone. Sorry. I was a lousy witness.
Time to get back to the original challenge. Christopher and Dan did not disappoint. They came armed with thick gloves, black garbage bags and a hunting knife that would have made Dexter Morgan proud. (For those of you unfamiliar with cable television’s Dexter, he’s a serial killer who murders other killers. He employs an impressive array of cutlery to get the job done.)
They mounted the stairs. I stayed in the foyer. If whatever it was got past them, I wasn’t going to be in its path.
The mission didn’t take long. The mystery invader fled the scene of the crime before they arrived. They did recover a bird’s nest from inside my dryer vent hose. They cleared it out and reconnected it. Since it was so late, they couldn’t replace the missing piece. So, they’d be back the next day to finish the job. I thanked them, and they were on their way. I turned the dryer on so the stupid bird wouldn’t come back that night.
Bright and early the next morning, the unwanted bird returned. It was attempting to rebuild. I turned the dryer back on. A temporary, but effective, solution.
The guys returned with the replacement parts later in the day. Of course, the ladder I had in the garage wasn’t tall enough to reach the second story. Time for Plan B. So, they removed the laundry room window and screen.
Dan climbed out and balanced precariously on the narrow roof line to remove the old assembly and install the new one. And with the help of some duct tape, courtesy of Christopher, they achieved success! Great teamwork!
Christopher then walked the perimeter of the house to inspect for any other suspicious damage or issues. He did find some and fixed every single one of them. I can not thank Christopher or Dan enough for helping me out in my time of need. Thank you, guys!
Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal