Yesterday I broke into a house.
No, it wasn't mine.
How's that for a triumphant return to the blogosphere? I'm trying to be more regular here (what's the blogging equivalent of Metamucil?), but jeez, the end of the semester. Grading, reading drafts, oh, and there's that pesky paper to be delivered next week... [BTW, if anyone is going to be in Mass. next weekend for a conference, which shall go unnamed here, give me a shout-out! I'm a great conference cocktail partner!]
So, back to the burgling. The ever-hopeful Yogini has been searching, off and on, for a house in Urbania for about a year now. And it's not an easy thing; one can
find a domicile within the Urbania city limits that's affordable on a Askesis U. salary, but one also might be watching violence in front of one's new house every night, or worse, living next to college students. When a new property comes on the market that's in a liveable neighborhood and will not require paying the monthly mortgage with a credit card, it goes FAST
. You have to be the first one in, and the first one to the table with an offer.
Yogini's been through that particular race before; she gets into the house on its second day on the market, and its already got three offers. But yesterday, miraculously, her realtor scheduled the first appointment on a house; coincidentally, it's right across the street from mine. That's awesome for many reasons, not least among them that looking at houses on the market satisfies my homeowner voyeuristic blood-lust. So I walked over with Yogini to meet the realtor, and we stood patiently at the door as she fiddled with the key. Hmmm. "It fits, but it won't turn. Do you mind trying?" We all tried, but agreed that something was stuck. After calls to the other realtor, walking around the property peering into windows, etc., the realtor had to go, but knew Yogini was interested.
"Look," she said. "The seller's realtor told me that we could just get in a window."
"They're locked," said we.
"But these old houses have turning window locks. The other realtor said you can just stick a knife up there and flip it."
"Are you sure we won't get arrested?"
"Yes..." [It occurs to me now that this is a bit of an ambiguous answer.]
So the realtor leaves, Yogini and I get tools from my house, and we proceed to, well, flip the lock and get into the house through the window. [Note to self: change window locks.] It's cute, this house. It's obviously been cleaned out; no one's living there currently. Despite that, the little-old-married-couple aesthetic remains (wallpaper borders in the kitchen, a chuck-wagon iron applique on the fireplace), but its got good bones. This house could work!
Yogini and I are in the basement, poking at the boiler, which looks to be older than the two of us put together, when we hear---holy crap!!!---footsteps upstairs! With visions of a Silence of the Lambs
/Marcellus Wallace-style story in my head, I rush upstairs to meet the person. It's the freaking owner
(who, thankfully, had neither a ball gag in his hand, nor asked us to "put the lotion in the basket. Whew.) His realtor had called saying that we couldn't get in. And now, of course, the door works just fine. AAARGH!!!!
Yogini and I do our best to convince him that we're not grifters. He calls his realtor to tell her that we got in, and she, much to her credit [particularly since she was the one who told us HOW to break into the house!!
] calls Y's realtor who rushes right back over. I think we smoothed it all out, but he did refer to us as "larcenists." Which, technically, I think is untrue. Isn't larceny only applicable if we steal something?
The icing on this cake, of course, is that Yogini put in her offer last night. And the owner had ALREADY RECEIVED an offer. How is that possible? Did they bust in the back door?
Ah, Urbania. Keep your fingers crossed for Y., y'all, because god only knows what we'd have to do next time to get her a house.
Labels: crimes and misdemeanors, TMI, weirdness