The Curious Incident of the Hammock in the Night-Time

On Sunday afternoon, a policeman came over to our house and all the lights were flashing on his car when he parked in the driveway. It's kind of awesome how policemen still make house calls; it makes you feel very important, like you have many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany. And it's not even like calling a plumber or an electrician to come out and see you, because you don't even have to pay! You just phone the police department up, say "I need a policeman!" and they send you one! You can sit around in your sweatpants and drink tea and wait for the policeman to arrive, and when he arrives, you can ask him to help you for free, and he has to help you BECAUSE IT'S HIS JOB. How civilized is that? God Bless America. Your health insurance system may be royally screwed, but damnit, I can still get a free policeman at two o'clock on a Sunday.

Of course, the flipside of having a policeman come to your house is that he's only really there because something bad has happened to you and you need to bring in the law to deal with it. (AND YET, it does rather rankle the prissy neighbors when you have a cop car parked in your driveway with all the lights flashing, like you're a highly sought-after criminal wanted on charges of terrible debauchery, so you sort of almost break even.) This particular policeman was at our house over the weekend NOT because the Charleston Municipal Government have finally discovered my pirated Malaysian copy of Just Like Heaven, but because we seem to be having a little problem with the hooligans. In particular, the hooligans who steal stuff from our house.

Not specifically our house, really, more like our hallway. And also our garden. On Saturday morning, Sean noticed that his bike was missing from the front foyer, where we keep them along with the bikes belonging to Lovely Neighbor Stacy, Thespian Libby, and Naked Girl Magnet Greg. We are very active apartment-dwellers, you see, and we all have bikes, though actually I don't think I've ever seen Libby, Greg, or Stacy on a bike, and the last time Sean and I rode ours was to the Jack Johnson concert in September, and that was only because we knew trying to park alongside three thousand stoned College of Charleston students was going to be like entering hell itself. But still! Even though we don't ride these bikes much, we still have them. And we still keep them (pretty much) locked up in our front hallway, and we're still going to notice if someone takes one of them and then has the gall to put a really crappy old bike in its place, AS IF THAT'S A FAIR TRADE. And yet! The thieves didn't stop there! Obviously concerned that they hadn't yet caused us enough distress, they returned the following night, snuck into the garden, and STOLE MY HAMMOCK.

It's not even hammock weather! And isn't a hammock possibly the most un-rock-'n-roll thing you can steal? Can you imagine them emptying their sacks of loot at the end of the night---"dude, look at this! I got a Powerbook, a DVD player, a digital camera, an iPod...." "Oh, dude, that's awesome, but look! I got this sweet HAMMOCK." I mean, what's that all about? Did we have an Amish thief? What kind of person steals a hammock? (I asked this very same question of my friend Andrew, about what kind of person steals a hammock, and guess what he said? "A very lazy person.")

So what with the hammock stealing and the bicycle stealing, we decided it was time to ask the policeman to come over and investigate. He took the bicycle stealing very seriously, and wrote lots of notes down in his little pad and asked for a description and whether or not Sean had the serial number, but he actually CHUCKLED when I asked him if he could trace the hammock. Maybe even GUFFAWED. He was pretty certain he wasn't going to be able to uncover either the bike or the hammock, but he did put our house under Police Watch for a week, which is kind of like being in our very own episode of Law & Order. Even so, I'm totally locking up the picnic table. There's a very organized thief out there who's already stocking up for summer.

1
Adele
Jan 19, 2006

One of the perks of living half a planet away from friends and family (in NZ) is that I get to read your blog before anyone else. Shame I can't think of a witty comment.

(Being here first must count for something though.)

2
MetroDad
Jan 19, 2006

It takes a true lowlife to steal someone else's hammock. Good idea to lock up the picnic table. I'd also probably secure the garden gnomes, the croquet set and the slip 'n slide.

3
Nancy
Jan 19, 2006

Hide your citronella candles and your pink flamingos -- or they'll be next!

4
Emily
Jan 19, 2006

I would never have been able to call in law enforcement. I'm nonconfrontational in the worst way possible, and that means I won't even call someone ELSE to do the confronting for me. Even if its free!

I'm sorry about your hammock, I know I would be horrified if I lost mine to someone who couldn't possibly love it like I do. We bought ours in Mexico on our honeymoon from a swindler, but it was 100% worth it because we got to see the hammock-maker's prize possession: a Mexican Kama Sutra calendar. I am not making this up.

5
Meg
Jan 19, 2006

Ha! Someone once stole the grille brush from our barbeque. Not the barbeque. Not the tongs. Not the patio lanterns. The grille brush. To clean the grille. Worth about 10 dollars.

Desperation? Cheapskatism? A weird brush fetish? We still don't know. But we bought a new one and it remains.

6
ap
Jan 19, 2006

Oh I HEAR you. This year we've had our shovel stolen, our recycle boxes stolen, our patio table umbrella snapped off, a ceramic rooster smashed and our car broken into. Sometimes living in a big city sucks.

7
Nothing But Bonfires
Jan 19, 2006

Damnit, AP, I was just thinking about moving to Canada. But not if they have garden thieves too.

8
jes
Jan 19, 2006

perhaps he was going somewhere? like riding to the forest on his new bike, and then setting up his new hammock? did he steal a tarp? because if so, he could totally hook it up OVER the hammock, and it could be a shelter. almost like a summer home, except it's January.

9
mom on a wire
Jan 19, 2006

This one time? (At band camp?) I was having bookclub at my house? And somebody smashed one of my guests' side-mirrors with a pumpkin. A PUMPKIN, I tell you. These hooligans, they have a sense of humor.

10
CharlestonGirl
Jan 19, 2006

I love your site!

The hammock thief should be flogged! People will steal anything though. At work this year we had these small trees from Michael's. Someone stole 8 ornaments.....8....2 of each color we had. Yeah, that was odd.

Again, Love your site!

11
Peg
Jan 19, 2006

Sean just does not seem to have good luck with bicycles. That is the second (?) one that has been stolen. So sorry about your hammock.

12
Peg
Jan 19, 2006

Love your site.

13
Susan
Jan 20, 2006

I once had my bicycle stolen as well, from the patio behind our townhouse. The gate was locked, which meant that the thief had to hoist the bike over the six-foot wall to actually make off with it.

The best part, though, was that the bike had been irreparably damaged in a car incident (it fell of the rack, which is better than my being hit, but a little embarassing to admit, and after it fell off, one of us--maybe me, maybe not--backed over it). So here's this thief, scaling the wall to get INTO our garden and scrambling back over the wall with my bike--which couldn't be ridden.

Ahh, karma.

14
Gallaudet
Jan 20, 2006

Dear Holly's Employer,

I have diagnosed Holly over the internet with several horrifying and contagious diseases, including Visceral Leischmaniasis, Henoch-Schonlein Purpera, and Von Willebrand's Disease. Her only hope is to stay home tomorrow and watch TLC ALL DAY LONG. If you do not cooperate with her plan of care, I cannot answer for the consequences. Please, help this young woman live to face a brighter day--or at least live until Monday so she can report on The Bachelor.

Yours Sincerely,

Nurse Practitioner Iowadrift

PS Sorry, everybody reading the comments. This is just about as random as it looks, too.

15
s
Jan 20, 2006

Andrew cracks me up. A LAZY PERSON?
OF COURSE.
BA HAHAHAHAH

16
superfantastic
Jan 20, 2006

I may have to cross Charleston off my list of places to consider moving. I just don't think I can live in a city where hammock theft is not taken seriously by the authorities.

17
Irony Queen
Jan 20, 2006

Wow, hammock theft? The nerve!

18
Susie
Jan 20, 2006

This week on Law & Order (italisize where necessary)
"The bastards got us again"
"Not the bike stealers?"
"'Fraid so, Horowitz..." Horowitz slams a fist down on the filing cabinet
"Dammit Williams! This is the hardest part of my job!"
"I know Horowitz, I know"
"What did they take this time?" Williams bites his lip in hesitation
"A hammock"
"Those poor people..."

19
Sinking Stone
Jan 20, 2006

They probobly stole the hammock because they needed to hide the bicycle under it....or maybe they're going to convert the hammock into a pleasure swing for the bedroom. But you're in a college town, so I imagine your hammock will be used in a frat-boy prank involving an excessive amount of alcohol, some livestock and a winch.

20
Elizabeth
Jan 20, 2006

This post cracked me up, and has the best title I've seen in a long time. Plus, the comments are hilarious! I can't even think of something clever to say, lest I look like an idiot compared to everyone else. So I'll just say this:

Hammock from LL Bean...$100.00
Trek Mountain Bike...$250.00
Free Policeman on Sunday...Priceless

I'm a dork, I know.

21
DM
Jan 21, 2006

I am sick so I cannot come up with anything witty to say. Other than SACANA (which is Portuguese for rat bastard and one of my favorite words ever)!