Not “Better Late…”
I love everything about Oregon! EVERYTHING…okay, everything except for that one hippie guy who tried to steal our stuff. He sucks.
You might remember I referenced crime in my homecoming post (waaaaaayyyyy back on 9/19). Seems I never actually relayed the story, though. For your reading pleasure, I now present
That Sucky Guy Who Tried to Steal Our Stuff
Once upon a time, I spent a couple of years living in Independence, Missouri—home of President Harry Truman, mecca of the RLDS church, starting point of the Oregon Trail, meth capital of these great United States.
We occupied a renovated 1941 brick bungalow, which was quite possibly the cutest little house ever, all 740 square feet of it. The neighborhood must’ve been just darling during its heyday; manicured lawns with back alleyways and detached garages so as not to distract from the curb appeal. Sixty years later, the alleyways and detached garages remained but pride of home ownership had long since waned. The house that backed opposite our alley was a
n unconfirmed drug house; there was constant foot traffic (they’d park further down the street and walk), which included police SWAT teams. Yet, miraculously, we never had any trouble there.
The two-year stint in Independence—and playing that awesome computer game as schoolkids in the ’80s— inspired us to visit the end of the Oregon Trail while we were in the Beaver State. Our second full day there started with clear blue skies and seasonal temperatures, the perfect Sunday morning for outdoor activities. We packed up the rental car (the one drawback of traversing the state and bunking in a different city each night) and headed to Oregon City for a stop at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center…and a couple of Twilight filming locations.
When we arrived at the site, I noticed an beat-up, rusty hatchback pull in the parking lot. I made eye contact with the driver as he slowly passed; if I had to guess, I’d say he probably hadn’t shaved or taken a shower in several days. The intuitive “he-doesn’t-look-like-he’d-care-too-much-for-history” voice in my head told me to keep an eye on him, and I briefly considered jotting down his license plate number. The “don’t-be-so-judgmental-and-paranoid” voice rationalized that it is Oregon, after all, and he was certainly not the first hippie type we had seen. So we set out to snap some pictures.
Within minutes I began worrying that perhaps we had neglected to lock the car. My unease escalated when I thought I glimpsed the beater pulled in next to our car. He sped away as we rounded a building and came into view.
We returned to find shattered glass all over the ground and a gaping hole in the rear driver’s side window. Shards blanketed the back bench and driver’s seats, as well as the dashboard. And if seeing and feeling the glass weren’t enough, Mr. Sucky also left behind the reeking stench of whatever he had been smoking. Our camera bag had been picked up off the floor, but nothing was missing; it probably helped that the camera was with us rather than in the bag. Had we been a minute later, literally everything we packed with us could have been gone.
Fast forward two and a half months. After the realization that my MacBook could’ve been swiped, we invested in an iPad for traveling. Seems Mr. Sucky’s plan backfired on him—I’m the one who ended up with something new.
Oh, and we finally got the bill for the shattered window. We opted out of rental coverage so we’re responsible for the damages. After all this time, we were starting to think we’d lucked out and slipped through the cracks. Our insurance would cover it, of course, but at $225 it’s hardly worth reporting.
So that’s it, kids, the story of That Sucky Guy Who Tried to Steal Our Stuff. It was a crappy way to spend a day of vacation ( I missed those Twilight spots, darn it!) but turned out far better than it could’ve. And there’s a bonus moral to the story: Always go with your instinct.
Also, buy an iPad.