When the two dogs start barking and begin to pace back and forth from window to window, it usually does not require us to get up and see what is bothering them. Invariably, it is a stray dog in our driveway or front yard that sets them off. Once we do get up and look out the windows, they usually calm down, satisfied everything is okay.
Last night featured a couple of those incidents. The first time it was the dog across the street in its own yard. Jasper had been let out to do his duties on that neighbor's front lawn. I have yet to figure out why they don't let him out in their fenced-in back yard.
The second "something's-going-on-out-there-incident" occurred around 10:30 PM. I was watching the Patriots-Raiders Thursday Night edition of Monday Night Football when the dogs began their "let-me-at-'em" dance. At first I just shushed them and said, "Quiet! It's just another dog." But they persisted.
Finally, I did get up and go to the window. The dogs were right. There was a teenager standing against the fence at the end of my driveway. He became more suspicious when I noticed he was glancing up my driveway two or three times.
Grabbing my "attention getter," a 36-ounce baseball bat bearing the name of Harmon Killebrew, I opened the door onto my porch stoop. Before I had a chance to say something he yelled, "Let's go!" He then took off down the street. Three steps at a time I was in the driveway. There was the second one kneeling at my truck. A plastic tube in one hand and a ten-gallon gas can in the other, it was obvious he wasn't looking for a contact lens.
I guess to him the owner of a vehicle from which he was attempting to siphon gas and standing in front of him with a baseball bat, required more attention than his task at hand. Even as he leapt over the fence into the abutting yard carrying his can and tubing, he had the kahunas to yell back at me, "You are a f**king asshole!"
Hmmm, time for a reality check! Let's see if I have got this one straight. He is in my driveway with an accomplice on watch. He is kneeling next to my truck in my driveway next to my house on my street in my neighborhood! He has the gas fill door open and the cap removed from my truck's fill pipe. He was about to insert plastic tubing into my truck's gas tank so that he could siphon my gasoline into his ten-gallon gas can.
Are you with me? I'm a f**king asshole?
I guess my reality check bounced at the door. Unless I have been abducted by aliens and placed in suspended animation for the past decade, I seem to recollect that being the victim of trespassing and the victim of an attempted larceny did not qualify me for being nominated an asshole, let alone being elected one!
Oh, by the way, the dogs were both rewarded with a slice of roast beef and a fresh jerky stick!
Because of the high price of gas being perpetrated upon us, I had read that there has been a growing number of gasoline and diesel fuel thefts from parking lots and private driveways. Well today I had planned to buy a locking gas cap for my truck. That was until I read an article in the morning paper about this same topic. It seems these "pond scums" have an attitude. When they came across locked gas caps, they were not deterred. An apparent tool of the trade, a simple screwdriver, can easily puncture a gas tank. If they can't get the gas, they aren't going to let the vehicle owner have it either.
So now I have scratched the cap lock. I'd rather lose some gasoline than have to replace a gas tank. My next idea was to install a motion sensor to my outdoor lighting, a deterrent if nothing else.
I wonder if I can find a tee-shirt with " I'm A F**king Asshole" emblazoned across the front of it. Perhaps I could also get one for my wife reading: "I'm With F**king Asshole." If someone who tries to steal my gasoline thinks I am one, then perhaps it is something for which I should take pride.
There will be no more bounced reality checks for this guy!