So then…his hand shoots up and the neighborhood HOA president calls on him. My husband David stands up at the homeowners meeting and announces: “We’ve been robbed!”
Two gasps and a shudder from the assembled homeowners.
They’re alarmed by this news since we live in a safe neighborhood, behind a guard-gated entry. It’s a newly-constructed neighborhood and so far, crime-free.
“What happened?” asks the HOA president.
“Well, I just wanted to tell the other residents to be cautious because our TIVO DVR machine was stolen right out of our living room,” David explains.
“When did it happen?” asks another HOA board member.
“I’m not sure exactly, but sometime in the last few days. The TIVO machine was right there on top of the big screen TV and now it’s gone. Someone stole it right out of our house,” he says.
“Did they take anything else?” a homeowner asks.
“No, just that. But we called the TIVO headquarters and they said if the thief tries to use it, they can try to trace the phone number on the line and maybe find out who took it. We sometimes leave the garage open so the gardeners can access our sprinkler system controls. I think it might be our gardener’s new assistant.”
“What?” I hiss at him. “Don’t accuse someone!”
“Well, I’m just sayin’ — he appeared around the same time that the TIVO machine disappeared…”
I glare at him. (It seems odd that a robber would come into our living room to steal only the TIVO machine that records TV shows — and nothing else.) But now David’s tossing out potential suspects?
Homeowners murmur nervously amongst themselves, discussing the robbery and the relative safety of our neighborhood.
The president calls everyone to order, cautions them to keep their garage doors closed and to be vigilant for any suspicious activity in the neighborhood.
On Monday, TIVO calls us to say that the current phone number on the TIVO is — OUR PHONE NUMBER! Yikes! It’s like the story when the operator tells the babysitter that the scary “phone calls are coming from INSIDE the house – run, RUN!!”
But David says maybe the thief hasn’t hooked it up yet to his own home, so that’s why it’s still showing our phone number.
Meanwhile, I call George, our AV tech guy, to ask him if we can buy a new TIVO machine and can he hook it up for us. (We’re not very savvy with tech stuff, so George usually sets up all the computers, TVs, stereos, etc.)
He comes over with a new TIVO and asks which TV we want to connect to it. David tells him it’s for the living room TV because a thief stole the old one.
George looks at us funny and says, “Nobody stole your old one. It’s in the garage where I put it the last time I was here.”
“Yeah, last time I was here installing something, I moved the TIVO to the garage and hooked up the remote so it can work from there – this way it doesn’t clutter the top of your big screen TV,” he says proudly.
David says, “But the TIVO doesn’t work. Are you sure?”
George looks around and asks, “Did someone move this desk? The cord to the TIVO must have got unplugged, but look — I just plugged it in — and now — it’s working fine.”
We look at the cord. We look at the desk that David moved a couple weeks ago. We look at the TIVO screen that’s now working. We look at the TIVO machine on a shelf in the garage.
I raise my eyebrow at David.
“So Matlock, did you want to trace that phone number again?” I ask. “Maybe fingerprint the gardener’s assistant, just in case? Anything else you’re missing? Your shoes maybe? Haven’t seen your sunglasses lately? Let’s run some DNA tests!”
He has the good sense to look sheepish.
I waste no time in lifting the veil of suspicion from our assistant gardener and the whole neighborhood in general. I don’t even wait ‘til the next HOA meeting.
I just immediately start telling the story to my neighbors and ask them to spread the word.
In fact, it’s such a funny story, I even tell it to people who don’t live in our neighborhood. I tell my co-workers, my family, party guests, the mailman, anyone who’ll listen.
As you can imagine, this pleases David no end. But I don’t feel bad since I am usually the one who’s jumping to conclusions (Creepy Stalker Dude’s Tye-Dyed Pillow) and making assumptions (Sex in a Pan).
So I’m delighted that for once, he can take the blame for being the bonehead.
For months afterward, party guests ask to see the Infamous Garage-Mounted TIVO Machine. Bwahaha!
— Darcy Perdu
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Illustration for So Then Stories by Innovative Ocean (www.innovativeocean.com)
(Anything gone missing in YOUR house? Any other spouses who jump to conclusions on things? Any funny tales about neighborhood meetings, gardeners, or unexplained occurrences in YOUR house?)