Nancy Drew's -The Mystery of the Scooter Thief
The very day after our great and wondrous adventure to Flaming Geyser (dramatic music) the girls and I had an adventure of another sort.
It was a beautiful afternoon, and the girls had summoned the neighborhood gang of kids - Grace, Kennedy, Maddie and Jackson - to the tree climbing and scooter racing that they seem to save for sunny Sundays.
The scooter racing had died down and the tree climbing had just begun. Maya had deposited her scooter on our front yard and was 1/2 a block away at the red maple tree with the group. I was inside folding laundry (again? still?) when I happened to peer outside toward the sidewalk.
Two gangly 14-year-oldish boys were on the sidewalk, one on a bike and one walking. I got a strange feeling from them and watched them longer than I normally would. The boy that was afoot looked directly in the window at me, meeting my eyes, and then at the scooter at the edge of the lawn.
I started moving toward the door, but all at once he reversed his direction back to the scooter, snatched it, and started down the sidewalk at a dead run.
I will truthfully tell you right now that....well, I lost my ever-loving mind.
I crashed through the door yelling such profane things that I can't even remember the proper order in which to quote them. I know I used the f-bomb as an adjective, adverb, noun and verb while interspersing it with threats of the police and bodily damage interspersed at regular intervals.
I ran inside, dialed the police, made my statement and then...
And then I told the girls to get in the car because, "Dammit! We're going to get your scooter back!"
Now, it is a slippery slope when you are driving a vehicle around town in an absolute rage. One should never, ever do this. I had grandiose visions of finding the hooligans gallivanting down the street and....
Maybe I would pull up in front of them, bumping my car over the curb and onto the sidewalk, scaring them so thoroughly with my aggression as to cause them absolute terror.
Maybe I would follow them carefully and quietly until I found out where they lived and then accost them in front of their parents.
Maybe I would just run the little thieving bastards over with my car.
Oh my God I was mad. I don't know what pushed me to such extremes. It was a $50 scooter - three years old, no less. But it was also a scooter that I would be called upon to replace. It was a scooter that had been taken right from under my child's nose. Right in the front yard of the place that is her home and should be safe from these things.
Eventually the boiling in my brain settled down enough to realize that the police officer summoned by my call might be coming to my house - or already there for that matter. I maneuvered myself, my children, and the potential killing machine of my vehicle towards home.
When I returned home, my heart still beating furiously and my adrenal glands aching, John (the girl's Dad) called. He, not knowing that it would put him in imminent peril, had the audacity to lecture Maya about leaving her scooter on the lawn.
The phone call was interrupted by me, threats were forcibly made -something to the effect of, "If you dare make her feel bad because she was playing on her own damn street in front of her own damn house and some little bastards decided to take something that was not theirs....I....I will..." And then I hung up. Because, honestly, I didn't know what I would do - but I did know that it would be something very, very bad.
The police officer showed herself a few minutes later.
Much to my consternation I had very little input on the descriptions of the perpetrators. They were white, skinny, young... one was on a bike, one is now on a purple sparkly scooter....
Hair? Hmmm... not sure.
Clothing? A red t-shirt? A grey sweatshirt? Jeans? Shorts? I had no idea.
Sophie came to the rescue.
She piped up in her seven-year-old wisdom, "The one on the bike, he had black hair and a red shirt. His bike had three wheels. Like the kind you see old people riding? It had a dining room chair tied to the back of it. The other boy had a black t-shirt on with jeans. He had brownish blondish hair."
And if it wasn't enough that her description was so good - something that I definitely should have noticed - I mean, a three wheeled bike with a dining room chair strapped to the back? Anyway, she then proceeded to use my words against me, innocently enough, when she also mentioned (picture her with eyes about as big as saucers when she says this), "Oh! And my Mom screamed at them and called them "f-word boys'."
I am sure that she thought that this might be helpful to the officer. Fucking boys are obviously different that normal boys and could very likely be picked out of a crowd quickly.
The officer, with hardly a smirk on her face, dutifully noted this new evidence in her notebook and left soon thereafter.
The adventure came to an end the next morning. In a way one could say that it is a happy ending. But I am not totally convinced. John, on his way to our house for a visit with the girls noticed the scooter thrown onto the lawn of a house a few blocks from us.
How the hell did he get to end up the hero?
I swear, I just can't win.