Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Clever Thieves

You may have gathered from my last post that I was in the process of reevaluating my priorities and the amount of time I spend writing these inane entries. That might merit consideration. In truth, however, I was about to leave the country, and didn't want to advertise our absence from home too broadly. After all, there are clever thieves about, waiting for us to go to New Zealand so they can break in and steal the $3.75 that remains after financing such a trip.

Sally, Megan, Erin and I joined Evan in Wellington on November 28th and had a fabulous experience. Given my oft expressed opinion that the worst times make the best stories, any attempt to relate the details of this vacation would likely constitute boring narrative, so I'll spare you the travelogue. Yes, New Zealand is beautiful, Kiwi's are pleasant and laid back, and the five Bredewegs were able to coexist without serious altercations coloring the experience. It was a great trip.

Coming home, however, was a slightly different story. First of all there was the longest Friday -- we began our homeward journey waiting for the airport shuttle in Wellington at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and finally opened the front door in Spokane at 7:30 p.m., still Friday, 27 hours of lived experience later. It actually felt like it was all one day...one very long day.

Our luggage all arrived in a timely manner, I didn't get a ticket for my erratic driving (adjusting to being back on the right side of the road), and the house and animals were in great form, especially given our three week absence. I told you it was boring.

Given that we hadn't eaten for a while and had no food in the house, it was decided that we'd order a pizza, a decision that led to my trying to find the checkbooks and credit cards that we'd not taken with us on the trip. Given my concerns about clever thieves, I had stashed those items in a secure place where no thief, regardless of degree of cleverness, would be able to find them. Indeed, my hiding place proved to be so effective that I had absolutely no clue where to look.

My search began calmly as I checked the usual locations. Within minutes I realized that there was a problem. The checkbooks and credit cards were not to be found. As I ransacked the office and various other rooms, I engaged the services of the rest of the family in my quest. Their initial level of amusement faded when they realized that I would not allow them to sit down and enjoy their pizza until I found the stash.

It was at this point that I began to speculate about how clever our thieves had been. They had seemingly managed to break into the house without leaving any evidence of their presence, finding something that I myself could not put my hands on, and left without a trace. Clever indeed!

I got on the computer and checked the balances of our credit cards, but there was no unexpected activity. I did a credit report, but found that no one had attempted to open new accounts under our name. Our clever thieves were so clever that they had not even used what they had stolen. That way we were unlikely to suspect that the items were even missing.

Given the clear signals of normalcy, my loving family members came to the conclusion that no one had broken in , and that I had simply hidden the items too well while my mind was focused on leaving for New Zealand. Thankfully they were proven correct, as the secret cache was discovered before I had the chance to call the police or put stop orders on all of our financial accounts.

Having learned my lesson, I've decided that the next time we travel I will place these things in a safety deposit box. I just can't take the kind of excitement that our (eventually fruitful) search generated. Even though it all turned out to be a false alarm, I won't tell you where our stuff was hidden. After all, people might be monitoring this blog for just such a disclosure. Clever thieves!

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