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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04


2003-08-21 ... 3:51 p.m.

THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN STOLEN FROM ME

1. A roll of quarters.

2. Cigarettes.

3. A Smiths tape.

College. I suspected the same person of all three of these petty thefts but I never confronted her because I am chickenshit like that, and because the whole thing made me kind of sad.

4. Several bikes.

5. My youth and innocence (just kidding).

6. My wallet, credit cards, checkbook, Filofax.

7. A concrete garden statue of Saint Francis.

This was a weird wedding gift that LT and I received, and in our second Hyde Park Chicago apartment we kept it out on the front porch. Although we lived on the first floor we thought nothing of this, because (a) even the first-floor porch was about seven feet off the ground and (b) the statue was really freaking heavy and really, who would bother? Somebody bothered. The next morning, LT walked a few blocks in each direction, figuring the pranksters' prank would wear thin once they realized that the prank involved lugging around a garden statue of Saint Francis that weighed about fifty pounds, but no dice. Hope you are having fun, Frankie, wherever you are.

8. A pair of sparkly barrettes.

Fourth grade. Joanna Kerly, I still hate your guts.

THINGS THAT I HAVE STOLEN

1. The youth and innocence of many young men (sort of just kidding).

2. An old-fashioned fire alarm.

From the rubble-strewn site of a grade school that was being torn down, during some late-night adventures in urban exploration and excavation. It still has a place of honor in my living room.

3. A bag of cement.

Drunk at the time, not sure why I picked it up, but unlike the Saint Francis thieves I quickly realized my error and abandoned it about eleven steps away.

4. A traffic cone.

Actually, several traffic cones. My friends and I once had a fake religious cult of geometric solids, and Cone was our highest deity. We needed them for the altar.

5. The bike of a campus security guard.

One night at college, sleep-deprived and goofy, I was leaving the library with a friend when we noticed a security guard's bike right in front of the library steps. He dared me to take it for a joy ride and, shocking even myself, I took him up on that dare. I rode it to a tree about 200 yards away, within sight of the library steps, and kickstanded it there, continuing on foot to the computer lab to type up my paper.

Who ratted? We shall never know. But about an hour later I had the "oh shit" feeling, as a heavy hand lands on my shoulder and I look up to see Richard, a fireplug-esque fascist security guard who took his job way too seriously.* He is purple with rage and it seems his little stormtrooper heart is about to infarct. He tells me to come with him and takes my ID.

*(As opposed to the other security guards at my school, whose usual mode of keeping the peace involved waving aside clouds of bong smoke as they came in the dorm and asked you to please turn down the music, thanks a lot ladies and gentlemen, you have a good night now.)

Outside, Richard got up all close to my face, which was not pleasant because of the nose hair and the coffee-breath, and yelled, "MY BICYCLE, WHICH IS A CAMPUS VEHICLE, WAS MOVED, AND I KNOW IT WAS YOU SO DON'T LIE TO ME!"

Although I am a little freaked out by this whole getting-busted thing, I have to stifle laughter at the description of his bike as a "campus vehicle." He is pausing for a really long time and I don't know exactly what is required of me, so I just say, "Okay."

"OKAY WHAT?"

"Uh, okay, I won't lie to you. I moved it."

Richard gets even closer to my face, and, invoking the classic authority-figure Rule Of Three Choices, tells me I have three choices. "ONE, I can call the cops right now and have you arrested for THEFT." (Dramatic pause.) "TWO, I can call the Dean of Students right now and have you hauled before Judicial Board for THEFT." (Another dramatic pause. He hands me back my ID.) "Or THREE, you can promise to never, EVER, do anything like this again." I chose three.

6. A street sign.

This was from some ritzy Chicago suburb and I don't remember where right now. In high school I knew a guy named Iggy, honest-to-god and for-real short for Ignatius. He was older, living hand-to-mouth in some skateboarder flophouse, and he was good-looking and the punkest thing in our social circle. He drummed for a local basement band and me and my small group of girlfriends all had slight cases of Crush. One freezing winter night we were driving around bored in typical teenager fashion, in an unfamiliar suburban neighborhood, and saw a street sign that said IGGY AVE. Plans were hatched to steal this, and thanks to Laurel having a full toolbox in the trunk of her car, we had the means. Using the headlights for illumination and balancing precariously on the hood of the car (why me? The shortest and least mechanically inclined?), I was unscrewing Iggy Avenue from its posts when I heard Tina, our lookout, hiss, "The cops!" I handed the sign off and tried to jump down and hit the ground running, but I skidded on a huge patch of ice and in fact skidded all the way down a small wooded hill off the side of the road, futilely trying to grab on to saplings and such and coming to a stop in some rich personís backyard. I could hear my friends distantly saying "Where's Mimi?" since from their perspective they had turned their backs for a second and I had completely disappeared from view. I scrambled back up and guess what, it wasn't the cops at all. Iggy liked the sign very much, but none of us ever slept with or dated him. I think he was one of those sadly asexual skaterpunks.

7. An out-of-print book of Surrealist poetry, from the library.

I felt really bad about this, so I ended up just spending the money to photocopy my favorites and I gave the book back. Which I could have done in the first place, by checking it out, thus sparing myself a lot of guilt and psychodrama. Duh.

8. A green cardigan sweater with a small cigarette hole in the sleeve.

Not really properly "stolen." A boy loaned it to me and never asked for it back, and anyway I had fallen in love with its coziness and old-man styling and was not about to offer. After six months I thought, "mine now."

---mimi smartypants will do her best to respect your property.

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