A felony was committed in our garage last Sunday night. This is a moral tale, and I encourage those of you reading this to share it with any youths in your spheres that you feel may be heading for lives of lawlessness. This is a tale of the id conquering the ego. This is a tale of youth gone terribly wrong. This is a tale of crime not paying.

 My spouse has spent the better part of his adult life choosing pastimes that take him so far off the beaten path that I have often wondered why he doesn’t carry a small machete. He ponders the universe, signs up for lectures about how to thatch a roof, how to make picture frames, how to detail cars, and he is a card carrying member of the “Handyman Club of America.” He has tried his hand at corning his own beef, making beer, and perfecting a family recipe for almond toffee. So his sudden acquisition of three accordions fifteen years ago did not surprise me. His devotion to practice, his formation of an accordion band with thirty members, and his ability to get paying gigs did. 

I have learned to adjust to his passion for the polka. I hear those beer barrels rolling in my sleep. However, I was not prepared for the drama that played out in our driveway at around midnight a week ago. 

After returning from a gig very late (yes, those polka dancing seniors just keep on going), my husband decided to leave his equipment in his car. Too tired to lug instruments, microphones and speakers down into the basement (they are not allowed anywhere within my line of vision), he left them in his car. 

We live in a lovely upscale neighborhood, where people feel carefree and protected. Doors go unlocked. Garages stay open. Apparently, this has become known to the local criminal element, who see our suburb as “The Land of Milk and Honey.” One crook saw his chance and spent Sunday evening trolling our street, helping himself to the contents of our cars.

 He must have thought he hit real pay dirt at our house. I can only assume that he saw the speakers and instrument cases as evidence of a rock band, and we all know how easy it is to fence electric guitars and such. He stripped the car. 

We may be carefree around here, but we aren’t fools! An astute neighbor observed the thief loading up his car and called the police. They responded with alacrity. The robber was nabbed immediately. My husband’s business cards (MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS, NURSING HOMES A SPECIALTY) were all over the place.  The thief must not have considered the disconnect between rock bands and seniors, or else he was just a bit dim. 

In court, he played on the sympathies of the judge by telling him his plight. Poor. Mouths to feed. But he saved his trump card for last. As he was led out of the room in handcuffs, he turned to the judge and said “Sir, you realize that if I had known that it was an accordion in that case, I NEVER WOULD HAVE STOLEN IT!”

When he finished laughing, the judge recommended leniency in sentencing.

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