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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How I am More Irresponsible Than a Petty Thief

When I asked everyone about a month ago which of three stories you wanted me to write about, your response was overwhelmingly in favor of “The Three People in the Universe that Hate Me and Why”. (By the way, guys, rude.) And I am going to write that one. I promise. But first, I have to tell you about a situation that happened last month in which I proved to be more irresponsible and aggravating than a petty thief.

First, let me preface this by saying that I am responsibly irresponsible. I went to school. I got good grades. I have a career (in a dying industry, but quit focusing on that! Stop being so negative!). I am a relatively morally and ethically sound person that makes generally good decisions.

Fig. 1.1
Yes. I think listening to MC Hammer is a good decision. This is why I said generally good decisions.

But ultimately, I am not an overly responsible person.

Here are some examples:

• I don’t check my mailbox. Ever. On the rare occasions that I do check my mail box, there is usually an angrily scrawled note from a postal worker about how they had to take my mail back to the post office because the box was so full. They give me some terrible deadline to pick it up (only 11 days! Who has the time?!) and then threaten to send it all back. There are usually three or four of these in my mailbox at a time. Whose mailbox is that full? So full that the postal worker has to take out all of the mail they presumably put into the box? But here’s my argument. It’s really far away from my apartment. And no, I’m not going to go pick up my mail. I have no desire to go to the post office where a picture of my overflowing mailbox is probably posted on the wall with bullet holes and blood and knife-stab wounds in it. In this vision, my name is under the mailbox and there are people snarling at it like the moment they figured out who the villain was in The Happening.

Fig. 1.2

No thank you. You can keep my mail. In that same vein:

• I do not know where the post office is. I do not want to talk about it.
• For roughly three months, my refrigerator has contained two bottles of margarita mix, one half-consumed 24 pack of Lone Star (that I didn’t even purchase), one bag of flour that got wet and can’t be used, two bottles of Blue Moon, a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20, some Yellow Tail wine that most people would cook with but I fully intend to drink, a container that I think had potato soup in it at one time, and, for some inexplicable reason, a bottle of bleu cheese dressing that expired in 2009, which insinuates that not only have I had the expired dressing for two years, but I moved the expired dressing from one apartment to the other.
• I’m supporting Britney Spears’ comeback.

Fig. 1.3
Supporting Britney Spears: Wildly irresponsible

You get the idea. Now that you know the truth, I’m going to tell you about how a thief broke into my car and how it caused them more aggravation than me.

Near my apartment, there is a bridge that an awesome bat colony lives under. Did I say “bridge that an awesome bat colony lives under”? I’m sorry. I mean “bridge that a totally awesome bat colony lives under”. They fly out about dusk every night to eat mosquitoes and scare crybabies and turn into Freemasons or whatever.

Fig. 1.4
Remember-Freemasons are not vampires. And they probably aren’t bats either.

Because my brother hadn’t seen this mass exodus before, we went down to the bridge to look. I parked my car across the street, in a lot that has signs that say something to the effect of “I hate you, you’re stupid, don’t park here or I will literally skin you alive and sell all of your organs on the black market. And then we’ll tow your car”. So I took my chances. Of course, I was nervous, so I kept glancing back over to see if there were pygmies with knives driving tow trucks ready to skin me alive and tow my car away. There weren’t. After about fifteen minutes, there was, however, an enormous diesel truck parked next to mine. My internal dialog went something like this:

Oh! Another truck! They’re probably watching the bats too. It’s so weird they parked right next to me! There are so many other parking spaces…I guess they think NEITHER of us will get towed that way. They’re probably really sweet. I wonder who it is! Maybe they’re standing right next to me! (Then I smiled at the person standing right next to me.)

The theme of incurable optimism keeps reoccurring throughout this blog. You can find it here and here. This situation is no different. As it turns out, the person who owned the enormous diesel truck was not standing next to me.

After the bats were finished being awesome, my brother and I walked back to the car. On the way there, I looked up and saw the enormous diesel truck. I then looked down for precisely half of one second to make sure I didn’t trip over the curb, fall into the street and get brutally crushed to death by oncoming traffic. When I looked back up, the enormous diesel truck was gone.

Man! They left fast!

Where have we seen this kind of naïveté before?
Fig. 1.5

Fig. 1.6

Fig. 1.7
And here.

That’s right. In Buddy the Elf, who loves Christmas and whose father is a Christmas elf, Navin Johnson, who was raised a poor, black child, and George Bush, who I am convinced thought he was playing the part of a lovable rascal for nearly a decade. We see this kind of sweet, child-like naïveté when the world is about to be a douchebag and rob people blind of their innocent nature. Which is exactly what was about to happen to me.

My brother walked to the driver’s side door and looked at me with an expression that, I think, is similar to one Al Gore would make if you told him that you didn’t know what “the internets” were.

Fig. 1.8
“Bitch! I INVENTED the internets!”

(On a slightly more hilarious side note, if you Google image “confused mad Al Gore” you not only get a confused, angry Al Gore, but Al Gore’s head photoshopped onto a showering woman’s body, a monkey with his tail tied in a knot, a zombie, and the Three Stooges. Just throwing this out there.)

The entire driver’s side window was shattered. There was glass everywhere. And my purse, which was under the passenger side seat, was gone. An extra slap in the face, my iPod, which is FULL of excellent artists like Huey Lewis and Paula Abdul, was sitting on the center console where I left it.

I immediately changed my mind about the person who owned the enormous diesel truck.

How COULD he?!

You know that feeling you get when you can’t find your keys? And you know you had them, and you know they were in your hand, but you put them down somewhere to play one very fast level of Super Mario 3 and now they’re probably in the refrigerator or the dog’s kennel? And if you don’t find them fast, you’ll NEVER get to the Super Troopers quote-along in time, and you’ll miss out on the syrup chug and maybe they’ll also be out of fake mustaches? That’s exactly how I felt as I tried to run through what was in my purse and what I lost. And this is what I came up with:

• One packet of instant Quaker Oatmeal-Peach
• One expired driver’s license that also had the incorrect address on it (yes. this is the license I was using.)
• One very tiny screwdriver, possibly either to use on glasses or for a mouse to use for making sardine cans into very tiny beds
• One Power Ranger action figure-Rocky
• One small bag of ear plugs
• One melted MAC lipstick
• One menthol Chapstick, capless and full of dirt and, for some reason, a sticker burr
• One spark plug gapper
• Three pens, two broken and one out of ink
• Business cards for my makeup artist work, most of them crinkled, others with gum in them
• One empty roll of Bubble Tape
• One gas station receipt, which revealed that I once (more than once, but this only documented one time) put an entire $4.34 in my tank before I got bored and decided that was enough to get me to work
• One pencil, unsharpened
• One camera, filled with pictures I took of myself, and pictures of my foot. I don’t have time to explain.
• One debit card, half eaten by my dog, connected to an account with precisely $17.12 in it
• My purse, which is an ADORABLE corduroy leopard print purse that came from Old Navy and cost $3.50.

But here’s the thing. Who sees a PT Cruiser convertible and thinks to themselves, “jackpot”?

So I called the police and then called my bank and told them to cancel the card. And that’s when the lady that answered laid this on me. They had already tried to use the card, for $170 at a Chevron, and it was declined. Do you know what that means? They tried to make ME pay for $170 in gas for their enormous diesel truck and they had to pay for it themselves because I am so irresponsible. And the best thing they got out of my purse was a packet of instant oatmeal. (And my purse, which I was most upset about, because it was leopard print AND corduroy, clearly making it a fashion one-two punch).

I got the window fixed, which was an irritating $110, (which, if you’re a scientist, you’ve figured out is still less than the $170 they had to pay in gas) and just lamented the loss of my very cute purse that even a homeless person could afford to purchase.

And here is where things get amazing. About a week later, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t know.

It was a woman. Who found my purse. On the street.

And here is where things get really amazing.

The only thing missing was my camera.

So here’s what I imagined the thieves’ day went like after they stole my purse (I don’t know why I envision that there are two, working in tandem to steal my purse from my very unsecured car, but it is what it is):

Scene 1: Driving away
Horrible person 1*, on the way to the gas station: This purse has oatmeal in it. And a power ranger.
Horrible person 2**: I have a shard of glass in my hand.

*From here on out, Horrible Person 1 will be called Marcel, and **Horrible Person 2 will be called Jeff. Because in my head, that's what their names are. Mostly because I don't trust people named Marcel or Jeff.

Scene 2: At the gas station
Gas station attendant: That’s $170, please.
Marcel: Here’s my girlfriend’s card. She’s in the car. Her name is…Jennifer?
Gas station attendant: This card has been declined.
Marcel, who has just given gas station attendant his card: God damnit.
Gas station attendant: I’ve lost my pen, do you have one to sign the receipt?
Marcel, who tries to use any writing utensil in my purse: God. Damnit.

Scene 3: Leaving the gas station
Marcel: This woman needs to get her life together! I need some gum!
Jeff: There was some Bubble Tape in her purse.
::Marcel opens the empty Bubble Tape::
Marcel: GOD DAMN IT!!!!!

::Marcel grabs my camera out of my purse, throws the purse out of the window in a fit of rage. A nice lady picks it up, finds business cards that don’t have gum in them, and calls me.

Fig. 1.9
Not a Dramatization.

Scene 4: Later that night, in the thieves lair, which I imagine is very lair-like where there are drug dealers and marauders wearing eye patches and lots of other stolen items like bicycles, the original Mona Lisa, the CD’s that were stolen out of my car when I was 18 and King Tut’s treasure.
Marcel, crying hysterically, talking to his girlfriend: …And then, all she had in her purse was some disgusting lipstick, some oatmeal, an action figure, business cards with already chewed gum in them, an expired license with a bad address —and we know it’s a bad address because we went to the apartment on her license to beat the shit out of her, but the only person home was an old man who didn’t know her—a credit card with nothing on it, an empty roll of Bubble Tape and a camera. And all that’s on this camera is some chubby chick and pictures of her foot. (sobbing—like that kind of sobbing where he’s just sucking in air and making weird honking sounds)…Her iPod was seven years old and all she had on it was some John Stamos song and New Kids on the Block and Huey Lewis (one final choking sob)...And Jeff cut his hand, and I’m pretty sure it’s infected… (aaaaand scene. fade to black with Marcel, who is inconsolable, with his head in his girlfriend's lap.)

And that is how irresponsible I am. More irresponsible than a petty thief.

And I got my purse back. I think we all know what the lesson here is.

Fig. 1.10
Fashion 1-2 punch. With a pen for size reference.


  1. 1. Best part of this blog: "I wonder who it is! Maybe they’re standing right next to me! (Then I smiled at the person standing right next to me."; 2. I would like to write a guest blog arguing why rooting for Britney actually demonstrates how responsible you are; 3. Huey Lewis; 4. The lair I pictured was through a mouse hole in the wall with unscrewed sardine can beds.

  2. I of course, had to look up the pictures of Al Gore.... because that's what I do. Read about other people's lives and then look up images on google.

    Go me! :-/


  3. I´m one of those people who tried it at homeOctober 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Hi there!

    I just wanted to tell you: best bloody blog I ever came across. You so deserve to have your own book published!
    Lots of love and have a wonderful day,