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Entries in damage (1)

Sunday
Feb092014

Girls and Property Damage  

My son and I were removing a pile of snow from his driveway after one of our recent snowstorms.  With a newborn in the house, it seemed his priorities had shifted to the little girl inside the house, and the snow piled up quickly outside.

As we shoveled, my son commented, “I’m using reflectors on the driveway near the house, and not out by the road.  I’m concerned they’ll end up over on the train tracks with people doing sword fights.”

This made me smile for a couple reasons.

One reason is fiberglass reflectors are pretty inexpensive, and can even be homemade with wood to keep costs down.  If one “walks” or gets plowed away…no worries.  They are expendable.

The second reason is a fond memory of having two teen girls in the house and two boys.  One sunny weekend morning I went out to the backyard to enjoy the day, only to discover property damage.  My first clue was the pool was low on water, and water is a precious, pricey commodity in my town.  The pool hoses had been cut, letting precious balanced/clear/chlorinated water spew all over the yard.  It was almost enough to drive a guy to drink (especially since booze is nearly cheaper than town water.)

The other reason is plants had been pulled out of the ground.  Then, I noticed my rarely used (due to time) idyllic summer hammock was on the ground, a victim of cut support ties.

My reaction was full-on irritation.  While waiting for the police to arrive, my mind raced as I went about repairs. 

“We need to install more motion lights, security cameras, get a barking dog…maybe a German Shepherd…no, bigger, a Newfoundland…something intimidating.”

When two police officers arrived I was ready for the beginnings of an investigation.  Where is the crime scenes investigation unit? Can we look for fingerprints?  Capture footprints before the sun dries the lawn?  While I am sure my town had more important crimes, at this moment my backyard was all that mattered.

The police patiently reviewed and noted the damages.  After five minutes on the case they then looked at each other briefly, and never spoke.  One looked at me and asked, “Do you have teenage girls in the house?”

My mind again raced.  TEENAGE GIRLS?  What does this have to do with my yard?  Where’s the SWAT team?

“Can we speak to them, please?” the police patiently asked.

Waking up teenagers is never a good idea on a weekend.  Teens have the ability to stay up 24 hours a day for the week, then sleep until 3 on the weekend.  3PM that is.

They were NOT happy, and were characteristically vocal about their sleep being interrupted.  “We’ve had some damage in the yard, and the police need to talk to you about it,” did quickly temper their reaction.

Two sleepy girls sheepishly answered all the questions the police had for them.  “Did either of you know about this?  Did you break up with someone who might have done this?  Is someone trying to catch your eye?

The girls were off back off to bed, when the police explained the sudden recent increase in crime in my backyard.

“This is rather typical of a boy trying to get their interest.  Once we are involved, it generally will stop.  If not, please let us know.”

Wow.  That’s why I didn’t date much in high school.  I didn’t go to my interests’ yards and pull out their plants.

Fast forward to now, and the police were right.  Eventually the scofflaw let himself be known to the girls.  Ironically, this reprobate is a school teacher shaping young minds. 

So son, you can hide your driveway snow reflectors in the back yard, and when your daughter is old enough you stand the chance they’ll disappear in the hand of a potential suitor.  If me, I’d put them out to help the plow guy avoid tearing up your lawn…the plow will do more damage than the cost of the reflector.