Ce sont des choses qu’arrivent

We left home in the afternoon, foolishly leaving the curtains wide open to announce our absence to all the world, attended a church service an hour outside of Montréal, then drove a lady to her home on the west side of the city. It was after midnight when we returned home. The first hint of trouble was when we drove in our driveway and the motion sensor light did not come on.

Our computer, printer and fax machine were gone, some pieces no doubt carried inside the pillow case that was missing from our bed. The culprit had come in through a basement window at the back, unscrewed the bulb in the light above the outside door and made off with the things that could be quickly sold. The police came, took down all the information, and said “Ce sont des choses qu’arrivent.” (These things happen.)

Not a very encouraging message, but we understood that the likelihood of ever seeing our stolen goods again was about zero. Even if the police could have found the culprit, he would have sold the stolen items almost immediately. If the police could have located the stolen items, we had no way to identify them as ours. We didn’t even have the serial numbers written down anywhere.

A police officer once told us that he and his wife had bought a recliner for his wife’s mother. The store delivered it to the lobby of her apartment building where it promptly disappeared. They checked all the apartments, found the recliner in one of them and the man said “Prove it!” With no eyewitnesses and no way of proving that this was the chair they had bought, their hands were tied.

It is really amazing how many crimes the police are able to solve under such circumstances. We can make their job easier by engraving our name in some inconspicuous location on valuable items and by keeping a list of model and serial numbers. More experienced criminals know this and will remove labels and tags and sand off any identifying marks.

Murphy, whoever he was, spoke the truth when he said “If something can go wrong, it will.” Nothing is completely idiot proof, including our sophisticated electronic devices. My printer would not print this morning. It worked fine yesterday, but something changed overnight. I did all kinds of troubleshooting and found nothing wrong. I finally deleted the printer driver from my computer and reinstalled it. That worked. My best guess is that the anti-virus program renewed the computer firewall and blocked access to the home office network. Reinstalling the program renewed the exception status for the printer.

There is a skunk who wants to make his home under our mobile home and keeps digging his way in under the skirting. There is also a stray cat who thinks he belongs in our home. Every time a new hole appears he crawls under the trailer, squeezes through the opening where the water pipes come up and comes out through the cabinets in our main bathroom. He’s really quite a nice cat, except for this obnoxious drive to find a way in. We already have three house cats. Is there anyone within driving distance who wants a cat?

After fixing the printer problem, I went out and hauled more wheelbarrow loads of gravel to try and make it more difficult to burrow under the skirting. There’s no guarantee it will work, my best hope is that the skunk will get frustrated and go somewhere else. We had this problem last year and tried a skunk trap, didn’t work. I am using an animal repellant, but I’m not sure the skunk or the cat have read the label and understand what it is. Ce sont des choses qu’arrivent.

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