Sunday, June 08, 2008

Who says life in the 'burbs is dull?

I went to bed later than usual last Thursday night - around 11:45pm - because I wanted to finish the book I was reading. It was hot and a bit stuffy in the bedroom and Hubby was hogging the bed. I had an involuntary muscle twitch in my eyelid and I could almost hear my Mom's voice saying, "You shouldn't be reading so late, it's what gives you eye strain."
I tossed and turned. My pillow felt too flat. A car drove past slowly, as they do outside our place. It's a cul-de-sac and there's not much space to turn or maneouvre. I didn't recognise the sound of it and almost went to peek out the window, but then decided against it.
Instead, I retrieved a second pillow from the floor and tried to find a good sleeping pose.
Was that a noise I heard, or my over-active imagination?
I breathed slowly, quietly, cursing the constant ringing I seem to have in my ears these days. How could I hear anything over that racket?
There it was again. I didn't imagine it, and I knew what it was - the chain my neighbour uses to secure his motorcycle outside his house.
I launched myself off the bed, scaring the bejezez outta my sleeping husband, and dashed to the window. Through the slats in the blinds I could see three men in hooded tops outside, two of them bent over the padlock on my neighbour's motorcycle with a bolt-cutter almost as long as I am tall, and the third having a go at the ignition with a screwdriver.

Well as you know we've had three motorcycles stolen in the last year or so, and I was not going to let them get away with this! Flinging the window open I started yelling at them,
"What the hell do you think you're doing down there. Get away!" My voice was not that of a shrill woman, but deep and enraged. If I had had a gun I would have shot them on the spot. I was still yelling when a dazed and confused husband appeared at my side to see what his mad wife was on about; he took in the situation and started yelling too. This woke up the neighbour, who we could see looking through the blinds at his front door to where the thieves were, only a few feet away from him.
I started to head downstairs, then realised I should put some clothes on so dashed back to the room to grab my bathrobe, chucking Hubby's at him at the same time. I thundered downstairs, causing my stepson to come and see what the commotion was. He was still awake, fiddling on the computer and listening to music on his MP3 player. He didn't have a clue what was going on, nor why I was growling about calling the police. I grabbed the phone and shouted, "What's the number for the police?!"
It's funny how one forgets the simple things in an intense situation like that.

The intruders had, by this stage, started backing away from the bike. Two of them ran for a car I could see parked outside, a couple of houses away, but the third guy - the one with the bolt-cutters - was hanging around still. He threw the big lock they'd cut off the bike at our window, and charged a my neighbour's door to intimidate him into staying inside. I switched on every light I could find inside while Hubby looked for his "Hit Stick" - a pick-axe handle that normally lives by the front door but which had been moved in a fit of cleaning at some stage. All I could think of was that there was someone threatening our home, and I had a 17-year old daughter sleeping upstairs. I swear, I wanted to get out there and rip their heads off; only, I couldn't find my house keys to get the door open. I was still on the phone to the police when the third guy charged our front door, ramming the bolt-cutters into the glass pane. They were trying to scare us but I would not back down, looking hard at them so they knew I knew what they looked like. I was also cursing because I couldn't find my keys to open the front door... never mind that Hubby's were right there, LOL! Like I said, when you're that charged up it seems the mind doesn't think laterally very well - I went into Mommy Bear mode in a big way and was moving on pure instinct. Thought did not enter into the equation at all.

I'm pleased to report that the double-glazed windows are really tough, so the blow just glanced off it. Just as hubby got the front door open to go after them, they got the car started - obviously by hot-wiring it - and I watched as they tore off down the street and around the corner. It was too dim for me to see the license plate but I told the cops on the phone what kind of car it was.

By this time it wasn't just myself and Hubby outside; Two more neighbours had seen what was going on (no doubt alerted by my bellowing!) and there we were, all milling around and wanting to beat the living crap out of these bastards. We rallied around the neighbour whose bike had been the target until the cops arrived a few minutes later, and we saw a second patrol car pass by, on their way to try and find the thugs in the getaway car.
They took statements and I transformed from raging madwoman back into Terri, wishing I was wearing more than a fluffy white bathrobe in the presence of what were, after all, rather nice-looking men in uniform.
I can be SUCH a girl, sometimes!

I don't know if they found the guys; probably not. But I suspect they won't come back in a hurry. They picked the wrong neighbourhood this time and for all their bluster, they were quite eager to get the hell out of Dodge!

Mind you, if I hadn't stayed up late reading "Without Remorse" they may well have gotten away with it.
So thank you, Tom Clancy :-)


laurie said...

WOW. remind me to never get on your bad side.

and did you not call the cops FIRST???

Terri said...

Laurie - hehe, yeah I think I come across as a quiet, reserved, even 'prissy' woman; I guess because I'm quite shy. But I do have a rather hot temper and a serious loathing of bullies.
As for calling the cops first... they said the same thing, "Next time call us first so we can try get there in time to catch them." Trouble is, instinct is to stop them doing what they were doing. I reckon if we'd waited they may well have gotten away with the bike, which would've REALLY p*ssed me off.

Ben O. said...

Way to go, Terri!

Ben O.

Mom in South Africa said...

(Tongue in cheek) How can you live in such a dangerous place - those bolt cutters could have done some serious damage?

Terri said...

Ben - Thanks. I'm thinking of changing my name to "Watchdog Terri"

Mom - LOL! It seems a bit ironic, doesn't it? And yes, I'm sure they could have but fortunately they didn't. I tell you what, five angry neighbours could've done some serious damage too, storming around in their sleep-attire as they were.

LiVEwiRe said...

Geez girl, you crack me up! You are like a one-woman SWAT team! I'm glad you're safe along with the others and the bike. Something tells me that you could have had them all hog-tied in the front yard before the police arrived had you just found your keys sooner. ;)

Anonymous said...

LOL Things like this happen when you let crime hardened Saffas lose in foreign lands. Only Saffas can make criminals quake in their boots!

Excellent, Terri!

Jax said...

Brilliant T!

Glad to hear that you frightened the scary men away :-)

angel said...

sheesh... the things we do when we're high on adrenaline!

i am glad you didn't get out while they were still there, and i am very glad they didn't get in or get away with the bike!

Rose said...

Wow Terri, you are one brave lass - it's amazing what we are capable of when we get angry, Hell hath no fury!

Glad everything worked out, one things for sure had it been in SA you may still be waiting for the cops to show.

Dawn said...

OK - this ranks as the most butch thing any one of my girlfriends have done in a long time. Good for you - especially glad though that you weren't hurt in any way. I trust your neighbors were seriously grateful. Long time no visit, but you are often in my thoughts. Hope all is good and that you have a happy summer. xoxo

Terri said...

LiVEwiRe - Hm. I think I'm more like a dog chasing a car. What the hell do I do with it once I catch it?!

Katt - hehehe, too true! You can definitely spot the Saffas over here as those running after the bad guys instead of running away from them :-)

Jax - Hell yes. The sight of me sans makeup in my fluffy bathrobe is enough to frighten anyone.

Angel - Yep, the bike was saved. Yay me!

Rose - There's a fine line between bravery and stupidity sometimes... but yes, I was very impressed with how quickly the cops arrived.

Dawn - Aw, I love it when you call me butch ;-) LOL! The neighbours were very grateful - we got a nice bottle of wine from them in thanks the next day. In fact, in getting to know our neighbours better through this little incident, we've become friends. Turns out we have a lot more in common with them than bikes, so it's all good, all round.
I'll visit you soon again (well, Terri-soon not normal-soon, since my private internet time is severly limited these days!)

BazL said...

I'm new to this, but I would like to say "talk to me once you live in SA - we had police toss a live junkie in our front yard right in front of us the other day - ho hum, another day in the burbs" BazL

Terri said...

bazl - You must be new to this... I grew up in SA. Stories like this are a big part of why we left. Welcome to blogland :)

Terri said...

BAZL - HOW THICK AM I??? I just went to check out your link, LOL! Of course you know I grew up in SA... we grew up in the same house :-D Again, welcome to Blogland!