Friday, June 8, 2007

She's Over Sixty So She Must Be Dead

I think I've mentioned a particular problem I've been having with the busybodies in my village. I talked about it months ago in an earlier entry. It starts with the fact that I'm over sixty and live alone. Therefore I am subjected to a suburban version of a strip search -- the wellness check.

Here's how it works. Cops arrive at your home and start pounding on the door. This usually occurs because some asshole neighbor has decided that something's wrong based on the fact that the birdfeeder fell on the ground and I haven't bothered to pick it up. Instead of picking it up and helping me out, they call the cops or the village to send invading hoards.

For example, I left my hose on one night and pumped water into one of my window wells.  It was filling up and getting ready to send water into the basement. My neighbors heard it when they came home from a party. Instead of just moving the hose -- or, here's a clever idea -- TURNING OFF THE WATER, they enlisted the aid of some cops who were driving by. The police started pounding on my door to get my attention. "Wellness check!!"

To their credit my neighbors called me first. But I was on the computer. The phone picks up right away, which should have been a clue that I was using Edison's handy device. But no, they just assumed that since I am over sixty, I must be dead.

I was dumb maybe for leaving the water on. But not dead.

There's another assumption people make. Those of us over sixty are in bed at nine o'clock and we are computer illiterate. You can't have one without the other. So it never occurred to them that I might be up and working or surfing the World Wide Web.

Luckily, I got out of the house via the back door just moments before my front door was taken out because I'm over sixty and I must be dead.

To sum up, in that instance, the cops were about to breach my privacy just because the window well had water in it.

It's becoming a regular event for me. If I'm out of town and I forget to stop the mail, they want to break in because "she's over sixty so she must be dead."  If I leave my garbage can on the parkway a minute past its six hour time limit, "she's over sixty, so she must be dead."

Fast forward to a few days ago.

I was sitting in my car in my driveway after a haircut, mani and pedi. I was getting ready to go on an errand, but first, I was putting on makeup, since I wanted to look nice when I went to White Hen Pantry to get a bag of baked Cheetos.

A car pulled up in front of my house and some weight challenged woman from the village got out and walked to my front door.  I backed the car out and asked her what the deal was. She says a concerned neighbor asked for a wellness check because my dry cleaning had been hanging on the door for a long time.

Really?  A wellness check because of my dry cleaning. A concerned neighbor called. Oh bullshit. Keep in mind that the house on my immediate right is empty. The house behind me is brand new and not occupied. The two houses across the street from me are new and unoccupied.  The house on my left, however, has people who see me all the time. And they can't even see the dry cleaning hanging on my door. Same with the house next to them.

I was beginning to think that the village just wanted me to take my dry cleaning inside and needed an excuse. I was told that leaving my dry cleaning on the door makes my house look uninhabited. I've said that for years -- don't leave your clothes around, people will think the place is uninhabited.

After my chat with the woman from the village, proving I wasn't dead, I left to do my errand. I came back twenty minutes later and I could see there was a cop backing out of my driveway. He was gone by the time I drove in. So he never knew that I had seen him.

After watching several seasons of CSI Miami, I can spot criminal behavior. I got out of my car and immediately noticed that my garbage can lid was open. And there was a pair of fresh blue plastic gloves at the bottom of the can. 

Then I went inside and discovered that my bed covers had been thrown on the floor. I may not make my bed very often, but I don't throw my covers on the floor -- it's too far down to pick them up.

Holy cow -- the cop had been inside my house. The dry cleaning had been hanging up for so long that this brave law enforcement officer had taken it upon himself to put on a brand new pair of blue latex gloves, enter my home through the unlocked back door and prove to the world that when a woman over sixty leaves her dry cleaning out for a long time, SHE MUST BE DEAD. What a hero.

I called the village lady to complain. I asked her why she didn't tell the police that I was alive and well. She claimed she didn't have her cell phone with her. Bullshit. I called the police dispatcher and bitched at him about a cop entering my house without doing any of the following:

Calling to say I should check in with them or they were coming to check on me.
Checking with neighbors to find out if they'd seen me.
Checking with the lady from the village to see if she'd made contact.
While I'm at it, twenty lashes with a wet noodle for her, since she should have called them immediately.

The cop did leave a message on my voicemail. He asked me to contact him about my dry cleaning.

He probably thought I wouldn't notice that he'd been in my house.

Today I left messages with the village lady and her boss, the cop who entered my house, the community service officer, and a sergeant.

No one has called me back. 

That's probably because I'm over sixty and I must be dead.


mosie1944 said...

I've thought a few times lately that you must be dead, since you go quite a long time without posting.  But I didn't call the cops.  

screaminremo303 said...

All of which points out the most obvious: If she's dead, what's the rush? If someone is dead inside you don't need gloves. You need a jar of Vick's and a flyswatter.

I like it when I get to wander around someone's house because they left a door unlocked and set off their alarm when they left. I get to look in their closets, under their beds, and inside their pantry, all in the quest for the invisible burglar who set off the alarm. I never knew so many people liked blueberry Pop Tarts.

I do remember a woman who was actually burglarized while she was at work, a fact she discovered as she started to go inside the house. She got out and called us to clear the house. Not only did the creeps steal her blind, they took the time to rummage around her bedroom and gather all her vibrators and toys, leaving them in a nice neat pile of about two dozen in the middle of the bed.

She probably couldn't figure out why it took seven Cops to take her report.

ksquester said...

Gosh, I don't understand why the neighbors just don't knock on your door and see for themselves. I've done that to many a neighbor who leaves their garage door up at night or their water sprinkler has flooded their yard. I knock on their door until they answer............always at night. (couldn't turn the water off) Everybody has a pattern, shouldn't the villiage idiot figure yours out or at least pretend.  Geeze, you give me so much to look forward to. Anne

thisismary said...

City folk!  Now 'round here if we suspect someone is dead, folk don't call the law, they just walk around the house peering in windows.  Of course there are those that do that even if it isn't likely that anyone is dead.  Never know.

BTW - How long DID you leave your dry-cleaing out?

salemslot9 said...

hope they're not just trying
to get you to move, Mrs. L :(

psychfun said...

I say walk away in your best nightie & let them find you with your toys or with a lovely young guy! Give them something to talk about ha! I don't think they will come in again. Of course if you are there alone you can say to the cop, "Hey I didn't know you guys have 2nd jobs as escorts." Hmm that might get you in trouble...ok maybe a massage therapist! :-)

mombzbe said...

Um, why was your dry cleaning out?  Do they deliver or something?  Look on the bright side....

At least the villagers aren't grabbing torches and pitchforks.

ladeeoftheworld said...

I understand.  My personal dilemma is "She's over 50 and someone may have killed her."

I told my adult son he had better quit breaking in or one day he will see activity that will traumatize him for life.

dafyddhevans said...

God are they anoying.  That's why I live in the city.  Sort of.

You could start calling your neighbor everyday at, say, 600a, when you're getting up and give them an "I'm alive today, please don't call the police" update.  Maybe, a special update every once in a while.  "I'm in the toilet now, having a dump.  It's a big one!"  Or, perhaps from the dermotologist, "I'm having a mole looked at right now!"

Or, more seriously, you could (1) call the nosey neighbors to tell them that you appreciate their concern but it's getting anoying, and if they persist on calling the police, you may have to file a complaint against them for harassment; and (2) call the cops, tell them you're a lazy slob (which I am and am quite proud of), that you are an advertising exec and are frequently out of town, and your neighbors are crazy busy-bodies who are more interested in prying into your personal life than your actual health and should be ignored; and would appreciate it if they would call your cell phone before you send someone over.  You also do not appreciate them breaking into your house and rummaging around without a warrant.  You'd like to know the officer's name.  You're represented by an attorney who will be contacting them shortly about that episode.

If you like, I can then fuck with both groups.



lanurseprn said...

You are so funny! I doubt my neighbors pay that much attention to each other to be concerned at all LOL!

easuess said...

Hey at least you're alive and aware of the wellness checks. Beats the alternative, imho.

swibirun said...

Oh......I hadn't been by this week.....I'd heard you were dead.

You should take advantage fo this and have some fun with them.  For example, get a out of date pork butt from the butcher and hide it in your yard so it starts to smell in a few days.  In the mean time.....lay low;)  


gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
Just leave a note on your front door with my phone number on it.  When they call I'll let them know in no uncertain terms that you are, indeed, alive and well.  For proof I'll direct them to this journal.  In them meantime, please accept this small donation to start your legal fund for the anti-harassement law suit.

onemoretina said...

I'm still stuck on the fact that they actually notice, and check on people where you live.  Here in L.A., the fumes would have to be leaking through the windows before anybody would call the cops to come and investigate.  Tina

dafyddhevans said...

I've not seen a post in several days or received any email.  This must be the virtual equivalent of dry cleaning hanging on the door an hour too long.  Plus, she is over sixty, she must be dead.