Sunday, July 4, 2010

Minneapolis: Pettiness Yet Abounds

Location: East Harriet, Minneapolis, MN, USA
You see three plants here. Three potted plants, three pots with plants therein.

There used to be four. Rebecca was growing some herbs, delighting in arranging them on the front walk not three steps beyond our front door, watering them, making sure they got sun. She had two basil plants.

We walked out this morning to discover someone had helped themselves to the second basil plant. Not merely clipped off a couple leaves or even trimmed the entire plant: one of our neighbors saw fit to steal the plant, the pot it sat in, and the plate beneath the pot. Someone in our neighborhood believed they deserved it and we did not, believed they had right to take someone else's property.

Unfortunately, this isn't exactly the kind of thing police prefer to be bothered by. No witnesses, no break-in, no foot/finger prints, and the sum loss is one plant and one flower pot. Still, it broke Rebecca's heart to think that she couldn't have something as simple as a potted plant without locking it down or constructing some kind of cage to protect it from the neighbors. The guy who stole my cell phone? That makes sense, that's expensive electronics. The tenant who kept stealing my book shipments? He was just betting that there might be something worthy in a large box. And, ha ha, not only did he get stuck with stupid, useless books but two copies of each.

But whose life is so wretched and pathetic that they need to steal a potted plant? What undereducated, loveless bastard child of a crack-whore and deadbeat dad thinks some kind of balance has been restored by shitting on someone else's happiness?

We didn't let that sour our day. We were driving out to CONvergence, my former social highlight of the year. This was Rebecca's first sci-fi convention and she was looking forward to the phenomenon. We drove out to her sister's house in Linden Hills and had her brother-in-law drive us down to the convention. There just is no parking available at all at the Sheraton or Sofitel parking lots, where the convention takes place. None. It's that popular: every space is full for four days.

He drove us down there, we spent the day seeing the sights and mingling with friends, then caught a taxi back to Linden Hills. We noticed a viscous substance streaked across the driver-side windows, and when we got home we discovered that someone had splattered a raw egg over the side of our car.

Again, not real police-worthy material. Rebecca promptly researched online how to scrub egg protein off a vehicle, and it seems that we caught it not very long after it happened, so the egg was still fresh and a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water effectively lifted it off without any damage to the exterior.

One of our neighbors yelled at us: she thought we were breaking into the car, as we were hunched at the side with a couple of flashlights (she didn't see our wash rags). We explained that we'd been vandalized but we appreciated her vigilance. It occurred to me later that we've been living a house away from her for nearly three years and she had no damned clue who we were.

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