Wednesday, October 23, 2013

While I was Away

Well, I'm back from CONtraflow and starting to dig out from under everything that has piled up. I much enjoyed the con and got to meet several new folks as well as visit with old friends and acquaintances  Most of my panels were pretty well attended, although the one on self-publishing had only two folks. I'd expected more for that one.  Maybe the tide is turning there.

Unfortunately, I came home to find that someone had smashed up the reflectors we'd put up by our driveway to help us back out in the dark mornings, and then they bashed in our mailbox so that it has a big dent in the top and the lid will no longer shut. It was also leaning rather drunkenly to one side. Our house was the only one so hit in the neighborhood, which bothers me quite a bit.

I spent half an hour of time that I could ill afford getting the mailbox back in some semblance of working order. We see kids in our neighborhood quite often and expect it was one of them that did the damage. We don't know for sure, of course. The reflectors were stolen once before but I walked around the neighborhood until I found them and brought them back. 

Lana and I have always tried to be friendly to the neighboring children, going so far as to give a bicycle to one local kid. But it seems I must constantly be reminded that no good deed goes unpunished.  

Of all crimes, I think I understand vandalism the least. To simply destroy things. Why?

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28 comments:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, that sort of vandalism happens all the time here. Street urchins often scratch cars with a sharp item while passing by on the road but there's no way of nailing them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry about the damage. I don't know why people feel the need to destroy. Jealous because they don't have nice things?

The Wasp said...

That stinks. My dad had to replace a similar reflector every six months or so due to vandals.

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, yeah, nothing much that can be done except fix what they broke. It's a shame.

Alex, possibly, or an excess of just emotional urges.

The Wasp, the reflectors really help me backing out of our long driveway in the morning too.

Cloudia said...

It is called mindless vandalism. Sorry, man. It is upsetting, like child/animal abuse.....Don't take it personal. You were away..... Kids knew it, hence you were the only target.


Aloha

Keith West said...

That bites. Hopefully it won't happen again. If it does, I hope you catch whoever is responsible.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, I don't really get people, but I know you speak the truth.

Keith, indeed. I hope not. I'm gonna drop a hint around that I'm setting up video cameras in hopes of deterring anything else.

Vesper said...

I know the feeling, Charles. A few years ago when we bought a new car, somebody threw paint on it, at least half a gallon I would say. It was oil based and we had to pay to get it cleaned. Then, maybe a few weeks later, somebody threw a brick on the top of the car, which made a dent and broke the sunroof. A neighbor also had his car vandalized that night. Fortunately for us, nothing else happened since, but a few years later another neighbor had his house windows broken...
Makes you wonder about this neighborhood... But it is one of the best in the West Island of Montreal. Ours is a "normal" house, but right behind us there are million dollar houses. At the time, we thought it was the rich spoiled kids who did that...

ivan said...

We used to do things similar to this when we were kids. Seventy years later, I still worry about it.

ivan said...

We used to do things similar to this when we were kids. Seventy years later, I still worry about it.

Riot Kitty said...

Wow, that sucks. I don't get the urge to break stuff either. I'm sorry. Could be some drunk person too.

Ty Johnston said...

Boredom. Getting kicks. The excitement of doing something bad. Showing off to pals. Personally I think it's a mix of those things, though probably more complicated psychologically than what I've said. Been a long time since I was a kid, and I was never much into damaging someone else's property, but I still remember getting up to lots of mischief.

G. B. Miller said...

Can't help you there. I think we all go through it in one form or another and it really does suck when it happens.

We try to play nice in our neighborhood, but we still get hit from time to time. Once, we had someone steal our mailbox right from our front porch.

Charles Gramlich said...

Vesper, I think a lot of kids from all kinds of backgrounds get up to vandalism. It's a release of energy. It's very frustrating for those of us who have to pick up the pieces though.

Ivan, as a kid I often didn't think about the consequences of things I did and I imagine it's the same. When I did something bad like that however, I did always try to make up for it later.

Riot kitty, could be a drunk. We've got 'em around here.

Ty, I couldn't get into too much mischief given that we lived 6 miles out of town. Who knows what I'd have done if I'd lived closer to folks. Probably similar things.

G.B., it's just highly frustrating to have to keep replacing things. Not to mention it grows expensive.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

When parents raise their kids to respect other people's property as if it belonged to the parents, they very rarely vandalize property no matter what their background. When kids are not taught respect and a moral code at home, it often shows up in how they treat what does not belong to them.

Ron Scheer said...

Vandalism is so personal, and the irony is that it's probably so random and thoughtless. About the only vandalism we seem to have control over here is graffiti and tagging on the street. You call the graffiti hotline and it's gone sometimes the same day. Mailboxes are easy targets and we rent a PO Box instead.

Erik Donald France said...

They came from the Village of the Damned, possibly.

Good luck ~ and protective amulets~!

sage said...

Being vandalized is like being sucker punched... but don't blame all the kids, it only takes one bad apple. Glad you had a good conference.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernard, agreed. So few things get explicitly said about this kind of issue today. Maybe that was always the case.

Ron, I know rural mailboxes have long been targets, since I was a kid. I've seen a lot of 'em with bullet holes in them, but that's easier to fix than one that's all bashed in.

Erik, that sounds pretty bad now that you mention it. :)

Sage, I try to avoid generalizing. It's not easy though, but I recognize when I'm doing it.

Richard Prosch said...

Once, when I was six years old, a neighbor boy and me emptied two containers of talcum powder inside another neighbor's camper. When our moms found out, they sat outside in lawn chairs drinking lemonade and smoking cigarettes while my friend and I cleaned it all up by hand. Lesson learned.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I hate the way it makes you seen vulnerable. That both you, your house,your car are just targets of opportunity for troubled minds.

Richard said...

Thats a cryin' shame, man. I think Ty has got it for the why? part of it. Plus this: I really don't think parents instill a strong sense of right and wrong in kids any more, maybe it's too much work, maybe such a thing doesn't seem important. Also there seems to be no fear of punishment. and no respect for the property of others. The kids (assuming it was) who did this would scream bloody murder if something of their was stolen or damaged, but someone else's stuff? They don't care.

David Cranmer said...

Years ago we were the only mailbox hit and the cops told us it was someone we knew. Sure enough, later found out it was a co-worker of my dad's. Careful, Charles.
And I'm wondering if the self-publishing panel limited turn-out was because info is so readily available everywhere else?

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard Prosch, a good lesson learned for sure.

Patti, yes, and you can't be home all the time to watch your place.

Richard, and they'd probably shout how unfair it was if they lost anything of their own too.

David, yes, that worries me about being the only house hit. As far as I know we have no enemies in the area, but who really knows.

jodi said...

Charles-what a crummy ending for your Con! Please don't take the damage personally. Usually it's opportunity that is the reason you were picked for this-sometimes even on a dare. Kids will be kids.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, yes, I'm trying not to take it personally. Hard, though

Travis Cody said...

It's a shame some can't respect the property of others.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, I know. Very very frustrating.