Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

March 20, 2013

Our ambivalence

Greensburg — I sat across the desk from a detective, who opened a pad of paper to take notes.  

“How can I help you, sir?”

“I’d like your help getting somebody out of my house.”

“So, this is a domestic dispute?”

“No,” I said. “Breaking and entering, home invasion, I’m not sure what you call it.”  

The detective sat upright. “The perp is there right now?”

“Oh, yeah. And has been for several days.”

The detective looked puzzled. “He broke in and just stayed there?”

“Yeah. We didn’t invite him. In fact, we lock all the doors at night, but one morning he just kind of showed up.”

“This isn’t some relative of yours or a family friend?”

“Never seen him before,” I said, and I handed the policeman some details about who it was.

“This guy – he’s from the poor side of town. Why is he in your house?”

“I have no idea.”

“So why didn’t you call us sooner?”

“I did. Nobody came.”

“What does he do at your house?”

“Oh, he helps a bit with the gardening and occasionally fixes us lunch.”

“Wait a minute. He breaks in and helps out around the house?”

“My wife’s secretly glad he’s doing our landscaping. Hard worker.”

“So what’s the problem?” The detective put down the pad of paper.

“He wasn’t invited. He never asked. Now he’s eating our food, taking showers, the whole bit. Yesterday, he asked me to pay for his schooling.”

“Well, sir, be reasonable. You do have more money than he does, right?”

“That’s not the point. Look, I have an adopted daughter to think about.”

“So you’ve let other unfamiliar people come live with you?”

“That’s different. We went through channels and followed the law. Our daughter belongs to us.”

“So, you’re a family that adopts strangers. Sounds like something to celebrate. Good for you, sir.”

“Isn’t it a crime what this guy did?”

“Technically, yeah. He broke the law. But seriously, he’s helping you out, and you have extra money to afford this.”

“Are you serious? How is my wealth even relevant? And…and…and what if his buddies decide to show up as well one day?”

“That sounds nice, reuniting them. Good for you.”

“No, I mean: they can’t all live with me.”

“Tell you what,” said the detective. “You figure out some way to give this guy a pathway to adoption, and maybe later we’ll build you a nice fence to keep others out. Unless of course they’re his friends.”

“It’s our house. We don’t want him there. It costs me extra to take care of him. If you won’t arrest him, will you at least come throw him out of my house and tell him to stay away?”

“I’m sorry, sir. We’re under budget here,” he replied. “And if you’re nice to him, he may do your lawn for cheap. Besides, you’re a house of adoptees.” The detective started fiddling with his desktop computer.

“Does that mean my family has to take just anyone who sneaks in under cover of darkness?”

“I’m sorry. Were you saying something?” He looked up from his computer. “I was learning how to operate drones from my desktop. Look at my monitor: I can see your house! Pretty cool, huh. Isn’t that your mail there on the table in the window? It has your name on it.”

“I don’t believe this,” I muttered as I stood to go.

“Maybe if I zoom in over by the kitchen I can see what you’re going to have for supper….”

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Thanks, Max

    Max Dickson has given the historical society a gift that many will enjoy for years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lee H. Hamilon: Government As Innovator? You Bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: There are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • How to deal with nuisance wild animals Most people enjoy watching wildlife and sometimes even interacting with critters on occasion. One of my favorite activities is keeping the bird feeder well supplied and seeing Hoosier song birds up close and personal. Sometimes there are situations w

    April 17, 2014

  • Self deposit box: Wolfsie takes a selfie of his check I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 17, 2014

  • Alice Woodhull: Back on the job Well, this is Alice, and I am back on the job. It has been two months since I got my new shoulder, and so far it is working like it should. I have had a couple weeks of therapy, plus doing a lot with it on my own, and I'm hoping it will soon be as g

    April 16, 2014

  • Linda Hamer Kennett: The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 16, 2014

  • Dr. Michael Layne: Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-11 is the Gospel passage that will be heard in many churches this Palm Sunday. Today, I want us to look at the last two verses: 10When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, "Who can this be?" 11The crowd a

    April 12, 2014

  • Jenni Hanna: Exploring the mystery of the bitcoin I've heard of a lot of synonyms for currency, but "bitcoins" was a new one to me. Although bitcoins (BTCs) have been around since 2009, they are something I've just recently learned about and am really struggling to understand. Bitcoins cannot be hel

    April 11, 2014

  • nws-gb041014-Spaulding headshot Jack Spaulding: A time not to adopt Springtime brings a host of new life into the outdoors. The fields, forest, and the nests and dens are full of new life and cute and cuddly baby critters as nature carries on procreation. Nature knows how to take care for her own, but unfortunately,

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've

    April 10, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.