One of the delightful things about my job is that I get to spend a good deal of time staying with (read: mooching off of) family and friends while I travel in their respective areas. This week I’m with Mom and Dad, but Dad’s on a week long business trip of his own, so Mom and I had a girls’ week.

A new addition to my parents’ household was a security system. I’ve only had limited experience with such technology (although if you live in my neighborhood and/or intend to rob my home, I’ve got a top of the line security system protecting it, so stay out), so I’m learning how to use it, bit by bit.

Of course, the salespeople will tell you that you could leave the front door unlocked and your possessions would be perfectly safe while your security system is armed. But does anyone really believe that? My mother’s confidence was shaken this afternoon when she came home to find the garage door unlocked (yes, for the record, it was me who left this door unlocked…). 

She probably would have thought nothing of it if she hadn’t heard an unusual noise upon entering the house proper. When she went to call me, she noticed that the readout on the phone said “Line In Use”.

(If this is sounding like a bad horror film, don’t you worry. Hold tight because it starts to get more interesting, I promise.)

Well, of course this freaked her out so she ran outside (thank goodness she didn’t make the classic mistake of running upstairs instead – I come from a smart lady indeed) and got me on the phone, told me all of this, got me sufficiently scared, then went next door to see if the neighbor and her husband were at home, so perhaps he could just check things out for her since Dad was away.

Turns out the husband was gone, but the neighbor and her terrifying chihuahua Lily were around, so the three of them searched the house, finding no one.

You might think this is the end of the story, but from my perspective it was just beginning. When I got home (three hours later), Mom informed me that she and the neighbor forgot to search the basement. Terrific.

And that “terrific” isn’t as sarcastic as you might imagine. Really, I’m thinking of fulfilling a secret fancy I’ve always dreamed of doing. Me, a butcher knife, and possible mortal peril.

Mom carried her cell phone and the alarm system “panic button” and I carried my big ol’ kitchen knife down to the basement. I don’t think either of us really believed there was anyone down there, but it sure was fun, wielding my knife. It occurred to me that I ought to announce to the robber that I was carrying a deadly weapon and wasn’t afraid to use it. “I have a knife!” I said. “I am not scared of you,” I lied.

“Well, I have a gun!” Mom said.

Like I said, I come from a really smart lady. Maybe I’ll grow into a smart lady, too. We’ll just have to wait and see about that one 🙂