Did you ever do something that you knew was wrong before you did it but you did it anyway because you really, really wanted to do it? Of course you have. We all have. I just did it again a minute ago. But in my situation I felt like this particular wrong was only half wrong since there was a lot of right about it too. In fact, I actually think the right outweighs the wrong so I probably did more right than wrong and that's pretty much the best we can strive for in this life, right? In fact I am so convinced of the rightness of my actions that I feel comfortable talking about them on the internet which I probably wouldn't do if I truly felt like I had done something wrong because we tend to hide those things. Then again, I guess this is sort of a confession which I wouldn't feel compelled to do if I didn't think that at least part of what I did was wrong. Right? Damn you Jiminy Cricket!
So what did I do that was so wrong but oh so right? I stole some stuff out of my neighbor's backyard. I illegally entered their yard and took things that didn't belong to me but I feel justified in doing so because the house is an abandoned foreclosure, therefore the items left behind were intentionally discarded. Besides, most people would consider the things I took to be trash. So basically I removed some trash from the yard of an abandoned house. I probably should get a medal and not be arrested at all.
So here's the deal: We have 4 backyard neighbors. Most houses usually have 3 but our neighborhood has a lot of cul de sacs which makes for some odd shaped lots. We have one neighbor on the right who Taylor calls "Floppy". Bless his heart. He's a middle aged guy who mows his lawn with no shirt on and let's just say he's got some city miles on him.
Directly behind us is my neighbor who regularly sweeps his roof with a broom and dust pan. We still haven't quite figured out what that's all about. I've seen his roof from my second story window and it's not all that dirty.
To the left/front of us is the Little Yippers. I don't even know what the people who live there look like but they have 4 or 5 dogs in their backyard who weigh less than 5 pounds a piece and bark non-stop. I mean NON-STOP. One day I sat at a hole in the fence with some doggie treats trying to make friends with the little beasts but they just weren't having it. They snarled and growled and tried to eat my hand, not the least bit interested in the treat I was offering. I love animals but those little ingrates pissed me off so I sprayed them with the hose.
Then there's the left/rear neighbor who I just discovered. That's right. We've been living in this house for over a year and I didn't realize that section of fence didn't belong to the left/front neighbor. I didn't even notice the extra house back there. It's peaceful here in oblivion.
I discovered this fourth neighbor while examining the fence line for a good place to hang our squirrel feeder. I don't spend much time outside in my old age because the sun that used to give me cute freckles across the bridge of my nose now gives me age spots on the tops of my hands. I also don't tolerate the heat very well and I have allergies. And apparently I've taken to complaining a lot in my old age.
The abandoned house has a shed in their backyard next to the fence. One of the fence boards behind the shed was sort of swinging freely so I gently moved it out of the way to get a better look into the yard. I was just curious about this mysterious land I had just discovered.
It was a sad mess back there, typical of most foreclosed properties. The grass was long, dead leaves were piled up everywhere and there was some trash scattered here and there. A couple of the trash items that caught my eye were in the form of empty liquor bottles. I don't really go trolling for empty booze bottles but when I happen upon them I do pick them up because there's all kinds of fun crafty stuff you can do with empty bottles. These bottles weren't full sized but they weren't beer bottles either. They were that in-between size.
I told Jayson what I saw and asked him if he would help me go over there to get the bottles. To my surprise, he refused. He said it was illegal to go into their backyard to take stuff and he wasn't in the mood to get arrested. I told him he didn't have to actually go in, I would do everything if he would just go with me to sort of help with the gate or boost me over the fence or whatever it took. I didn't mention that he could also serve as a lookout but I might have been thinking it even though I was certain that what I was planning to do wasn't completely illegal. Maybe just partially at best. Either way Jayson was unwilling to be an accessory. Party pooper. I had this whole scenario built up in my mind where where I'm dressed in black and I'm all sleek and stealthy just like Catwoman. But in reality I would be more like Penguinwoman, waddling over there and complaining because my shoes hurt my bunions.
I spent a few days stewing about my husband's unwillingness to commit a misdemeanor for me. This morning I happened to be in the backyard and was once again lured to the loose fence board which accidentally fell off when I barely yanked it. The bottles were still there but this time I noticed something that looked like pipe or tubing. I wondered if it might be copper. My conscience was okay with me taking empty liquor bottles since most everyone would agree they were trash. But copper tubing isn't trash, in fact it can be pretty darn expensive. It has value. And I wanted it, not for it's value but because it's something I often use in my crafty projects. Could I steal something of value even if I wasn't stealing it because of its value? That put a whole new twist on my 'I'm really just doing them a favor' notion.
I couldn't tell for sure if it was copper tubing or just some random pipe since most of it was buried under a year's worth of dead leaves. There was only one way to find out: I was going in. It was broad daylight and the Little Yippers were barking their fool heads off so it wasn't like I was skulking around trying not to get caught. I was going to commit my crime in full view of anyone who happened to be around at the time just to prove that I wasn't ashamed of what I was doing. However, I wasn't unashamed enough to go around to the front of the house and through the gate. Instead I actually pulled a section of the fence off the post and made a giant swinging door between our two yards. It was easy to do since the nails were rusty. And I had a hammer.
I waded through the overgrowth in the yard thinking that if God wanted to punish me for what I was doing I would get poison ivy at any moment. I'm a magnet for the stuff anyway and would definitely deserve it if I ended up stealing copper tubing. ABANDONED copper tubing. Just so we're clear.
I went for the empty bottles first since they are what started all of this. They were the pint size bottles of green apple Smirnoff Ice. I gathered them up and brought them into the house to soak for a while. And in case you're concerned I did wear rubber gloves but not the wimpy little gloves like doctors wear. I wore the good ones, the big honkin' yellow anti-hepatitis cleaning gloves. The kind you wear if you ever have to clean someone else's toilet.
After I started soaking the bottles I went back to investigate the pipe or tubing I saw. It was not copper tubing, it was several long decorative curtain rods which allowed to me squish Jiminy Cricket under the heel of my bunion-irritating shoe. Some of the rods were actually half buried in the dirt so I had to excavate them before bringing them into our yard. They're not anything special but they're nice and long and if I can get them cleaned off they might be useful. I don't think they have any kind of real value since they're old, dirty, rusty, discarded, and the finial on one of them has deep dents and gouges in it as if it had been used to beat something. Definitely not 'someone' but 'something'. I have no idea what kind of thing would need to be beaten with a curtain rod but I'm sure whatever it is it had it coming.
Now I have to tell Jayson that I took the fence apart to get into the neighbor's yard to steal their empty liquor bottles and possibly a deadly curtain rod finial but he won't even have to come up with bail money because I wore the good yellow cleaning gloves. Oddly enough it won't be the first time he's heard something very similar to that.