I was recently reminded of this story and it is such a classic, I felt I needed to share:
During the summer between my Junior and Senior years in college, I worked part time as the Secretary for the small church that my family attended. My parents were also the janitors there. One morning, my mother and I went in together to work. I went directly to the office and she went downstairs to start cleaning. Awhile later, my mom came upstairs to use the phone. As I was working, I overheard her conversation with one of our trustees. She was calling to let him know that there was a broken window in one of the Sunday School classrooms (she said that it must have been pretty windy last night) that needed to be repaired. She also happened to mention that our Pastor must have been in a hurry searching for something because all of the drawers in the Sunday School office were open and the chair was tipped over. Even using my best imaginative skills, I could not and still cannot envision Pastor Chris knocking anything over, hurry or not. The idea was ludicrous! As soon as she hung up the phone, I decided to go out on a limb..."Mom, do you think that it is possible we might have been robbed?"
She looked at me incredulously. That thought had never crossed her mind. No, she replied. She was sure we weren't robbed. I asked if anything else seemed out of place and she casually mentioned that when we had first arrived, she did check the parking lot door and found it ajar, but she just assumed that the last person leaving the day before hadn't latched it correctly. Oh my. So, I called the Pastor, who instructed me to call the police. The hardest part of the whole situation was having to explain to the Police Detective that we really were robbed, but there wasn't any evidence because my mother had cleaned everything up!!! I am not kidding, before she made that first phone call, she had righted everything in the Sunday School office, swept up the broken glass and debris and made everything all neat and tidy!
The police came and tried to dust for fingerprints on light switches, but they didn't really get anything. We discovered that we were missing some change from the Sunday School office, a gumball machine from the Youth Room and a VCR that was on a cart with a television from another Sunday School room. It was decided that the robbers (probably teenagers due to the size of the window that they came in) were probably still inside when my mom and I arrived and left quickly out the parking lot door when hearing us. The church Treasurer had been in 1/2 hour before we were and was absolutely positive he had secured the Parking Lot door.
I then became a bit fearful about going in to work each morning by myself so my dad started dropping me off on his way to work and making a quick scan of the building. About a week after the incident, he came up from checking the downstairs and sheepishly asked me if I knew if anyone had borrowed the large TV that had been on the cart with the stolen VCR. We went down together and found another broken window. Nuts, foiled again. Then, my protective father told me he had to get to work so I should lock myself in the office and call the police. I was not thrilled with this plan and probably had a bit of a panic attack that morning, but obviously we all survived. I think that I had found a butter knife and a letter opener in the desk that I was going to wield if need be. The best part of the whole story, however, was when I called the police. They were aware of the first robbery and the Detective responded, "I have to ask...has your mother been there yet this morning?" When I assured him she had not, he replied "Good, we may get something this time!" How funny is that.
Epilogue: The police did get a shoe print from the table under the broken window, but the culprits were never caught and our things never recovered. Oh well.
Italian Sausage Stew
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