The greeting depends on the visitor

Some people keep a baseball bat around, under the driver’s seat or as a home-protection device. I keep a sledgehammer by the door. But today I forgot to pick it up before I asked the trespasser why he was coming out of the garage. He had had to open a closed gate and set aside a barricade to be where he was, and he was carrying a good-sized black flashlight. The structure is a modest board-and-batten building with a roof that sustained damage when the utility-contracted tree-butchers climbed around on it during their exercise in mutilation and destruction. It’s capacious enough to have sheltered a Model A at one time but not any vehicle much bigger than that. During our tenure, it’s served as the point of disappearance of several bicycles, all locked up and with no gears and only coaster brakes, yet attractive all the same to the larcenous. The trusty non-power mower or the rusty old Radio Flyer apparently hold no allure for the dishonest.

This guy said he was sent to see about repairs. He wouldn’t give his own name, not even an invented one. When asked who sent him, he thought a minute before coming up with the name “Richard Delgado.” He sure did jump when I opened the door and spoke to him from behind the locked screen door. I was not the first one to leave this morning. People shouldn’t assume that, just because there’s no car in sight, there’s nobody at home.

Maybe this guy could see the sledgehammer, which was in plain view. When I told him he didn’t belong where he was and that I was in the process of calling the police, he picked up his pace, went through the open gate, headed for a small, not-new, rusty-colored orange and perhaps Japanese compact car, and then drove away. I reported this occurrence to 3-1-1 as the sighting of a suspicious person, personal description included, in case anyone reported anything similar only with more detail. There didn’t seem to be a great deal of interest, because I had to request a transaction or case number.

No; we don’t take up the sledgehammer to greet everybody. Certainly not for the affiliates of Third Coast Activist who were distributing peace-promoting yard signs at suppertime the other night (a sign saying FOR PEACE Bring the Troops Home NOW may be requested by sending e-mail to We had a long, interesting, and polite conversation with them through the kitchen window while we worked at the stove. But I did wield the sledgehammer in an upraised arm once to put a big fear on somebody who was preparing to break a window. He took off running and may not have stopped yet.

1 Comment so far

  1. Rantor (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

    After doing some digging in response to people’s requests, I’ve learned that there’s more about those peace signs and how to obtain one at:

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