The absurd ways I meet my neighbors are legendary. While I do have some sane methods of getting to know my community, this story is not one of those. Here’s what I did when I came downstairs in the middle of the day and thought someone had broken into my laundry room.
It was a Friday afternoon and the end of a particularly productive work day. I looked forward to the weekend since I had a trip to an adventure course planned for the following day and a new car parked in my driveway to try out for the weekend. As I came down the stairs on my way to pick up my son from preschool, I stopped short. The laundry room door was closed.
Now, I never close my laundry room door. Both the cat’s litter box and dog’s water bowl live in the laundry room so keeping it shut would be disastrous. Seeing it closed struck me as odd, but not too unusual until I came closer. Drilling. A drilling noise was coming from inside the laundry room.
My first thought, since I tend to be a little paranoid, was that some psycho had drilled through the laundry room wall and was trying to break into the house. I’ve heard so many stories of mid-day break-ins. In fact a couple of years ago, my hubby’s co-worker’s wife had been home when an intruder entered. All of these stories popped into my mind when I heard that drilling.
My next slightly saner thought was that my husband had called a contractor to fix a broken tile that was raising from our laundry room floor. Although I thought this was unlikely since I usually handle all service calls, I immediately grabbed the front door keys and ran to the front yard. My heart hammered in my chest. I expected to see a maintenance van and the garage door open.
Nothing. The garage was firmly shut.
“Oh, crap,” I thought. Part of me knew I shouldn’t go back into my house and was ready to call the police while the other half tried to rationalize and knew there must be a reasonable explanation for this.
At that moment, I saw two women walking down the street. I didn’t know them but they looked friendly and I assumed they lived in the neighborhood.
“Hi”, I walked up to them trying to appear as calm as possible, “I’m JoAnn,” They replied hi in return and were very friendly. Then, I dropped my crazy on them. “This may seem odd, but I think that there might be someone in my house.”
“What?” one woman replied, “Like right now?”
“Do you want us to go in with you?”
“Yes. Yes I do”
My hands shook as I keyed open the front door and led them down my hallway to the laundry room. “Hello?” one of the women yelled. No answer.
She started opening doors while I stood back. I wanted to yell,”Stop! No, don’t open that.” Every horror movie sprang to mind as I dreamt up news headlines such as “Three Women murdered in Phoenix Suburb” and “Laundry Room Killer”
She stood outside the laundry room door and knocked. “Hello?” she called. I could no longer hear the drilling. She slowly opened the laundry door and I held my breath.
Suddenly, she jumped back and I screamed. She turned to me and said,
“It’s your robot vacuum.”
What the hell? I looked in and there it was. My robot vacuum, whom I’ve affectionately named Bobo. Bobo had somehow rolled into the laundry room and through his back-and-forth zig-zags had managed to hit the door at the precise angle to close it. The drilling sound I heard was the vacuum stuck in a corner and trying to manuever his way out.
All of us were laughing both over the absurdity of the situation and sheer relief. “Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed sheepishly, “I am so sorry.”
“It’s ok,” both women replied, “we are going to be laughing about this one all day.”
True. I’m still laughing about it weeks later. The moral of the story: I’m glad I didn’t call the police but regardless of how much of a fool I made of myself, I’m also thankful I didn’t go back into the house alone. At least, I provided some much needed comedy to my neighborhood.
Hey, it’s what I’m here for.