I was drinking coffee this morning, minding my own business and slowly coming to the conclusion that it’s really waking up, not breaking up, that’s hard to do, when I heard a noise. I went to investigate, and both kittens cannoned into me en route. It soon became clear why they were running so fast: they were fleeing the scene of the crime.

They had torn the shade of the floor lamp in the living room in two. The bottom half pooled sadly on the floor, and the top half hung there dejectedly.

While inspecting the damage and wondering if I could get a new shade, or would have to invest in a whole new lamp, I noticed a guy going through my recycling. Not only was he investigating the contents of the recycling cart with the thoroughness of J. Edgar Hoover perusing JFK’s file, he was tossing the rejects on my driveway.

Stealing my recycling is one thing, but making a mess for me to clean up while doing it is something else. You know how I feel about cleaning up my own untidiness; cleaning up someone else’s is unconscionable.

I went outside and yelled at him to leave. He just stared at me. I made a shooing gesture and repeated my order to vacate the premises. He retreated a few feet, then stopped and stared again, inspiring an encore from me. He finally shuffled off to the corner, where he met up with a fellow thief/mess-maker, and pointed at me before they went to see if there were easier pickings somewhere else.

A few hours later, a woman appeared at my door and said she was there to provide elder services. I do have a birthday coming up next month, but I’m not that old. Not yet. I explained to her that I was the oldest person here and she must have the wrong address.

Maybe the recycling guy called her on me, like kids playing a prank on their neighbors by sending them lots of pizza.

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