June 28, 2010

Late Breaking News

June 27, 2010

My enthusiasm for watching Wimbledon (more like my latest convenient excuse for not writing) waned to almost zero after the “heroics,” if that’s what you call them, between Isner and Mahout. Unless you’ve been in the woods camping with your cell phone turned off or out of satellite range in the middle of the ocean, you must surely have heard about the match that would never end but finally limped to its conclusion three days after it started at 70-68 in the last set. Two things occur to me:

  1.  John Isner should learn to return serve better.
  2. The powers-that-be at the All-England Tennis Club need to change the rules about not completing the fifth set with a tie breaker.
Nuff said.

Without Wimbledon to distract me from my worries about not writing, I’ve turned my attention to weightier matters, namely an article that appeared in the police beat section of one of our neighborhood newspapers.

Someone called the cops to report a break-in. Okay. Straightforward enough. After that, things start getting weird.
  • The perp gained access through the dog door. I’m thinking Great Dane, not Chihuahua.
  • He or she proceeded to rearrange the homeowner’s pastries. (Not at all certain what happened, mixing cupcakes with tarts, scrambling usually indistinguishable sugar cookies and Snickerdoodles or vanilla and lemon cakes both with chocolate frosting.)
  • Then he/she made a grilled cheese sandwich and did NOT clean up after her/himself.
  • He/she piled clothes in the fire pit and set a match to them.
  • Finally—ta da, he/she dropped a glazed donut down the laundry chute.
There’s certainly more going on here than random vandalism. A grudge to be settled, perhaps. A lover’s quarrel. The breaker obviously knew how to yank the breakee’s chain. The breakee must have been furious at discovering everything in disarray and probably thought to him/herself, “I know exactly who’s responsible, and no one gives me the finger like that and gets away with it.”

So he/she called the police, who arrived with sirens blaring and guns drawn, only to find too many cookies jammed together in one plate and dirty underwear glued together with sugary dough. Not what they signed up for at the police academy.

This story reminds me of a more serious crime that happened not far from my house several years ago.

A local exotic dancer was murdered by his ex-lover very early on a Thursday morning, and the suspect was reported to be a man in his twenties wearing a black cape and brandishing a Samurai sword.

TWO people matching that description were arrested. At 3AM on a work day. Here in Clintonville, where only the cars on the streets have changed in the last 50 years, where the nice older homes are owned by people who work at the university or downtown and are quietly raising their families.

I was more than a bit creeped out. Even the birds aren’t supposed to be up at that hour, let alone two people who might have gored someone to death.

What’s the message here? 1) There’s much more drama playing itself out in the world than any one person can possibly imagine. 2) Appearances can be deceiving. 3) News can break anywhere--like down the block--and anytime--like 3AM--, and it usually does.

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