Last week, Life in the Boomer Lane hosted a neighbourhood group whose goal is quite simple: dramatically change the world in as short a time as possible. After the meeting was over and most people had gone, LBL noticed a swell-looking laptop that someone had left behind. She asked the group coordinator to put something out on the group email to that effect, and went to bed.
At 10:40 PM, the phone rang. LBL, awakened from a deep sleep, looked at the caller ID and recognized that this was a county number. She didn’t know why anyone from the county would be calling her at such a time, but, since sleep was the top to-do item on her list, she closed her eyes and went back to whatever dream she had been involved in.
At 12:45 AM she awakened and realized that the call from the county must have been important. Perhaps either a felon or escaped zoo animal was lurking in her backyard. Perhaps something else really unsavoury. She called her voice mail.
The voice mail consisted of a sheepish voice announcing that this was the police calling. Someone had called them to tell them that she had left her laptop at LBL’s house. The officer had arrived at LBL’s house, knocked. Getting no answer, he left.
LBL woke up Now Husband who listened to LBL’s account of what had happened and fell back asleep. LBL woke him up again. She asked him if he thought she should call the police at that hour. He agreed, although it wasn’t entirely evident if he had even been listening to her, as his eyes were still closed.
LBL called the police. She apologized for a call in the middle of the night about a laptop and then launched into her story about the voice mail she had gotten. The officer who answered the phone asked the following questions: Did you, indeed, have a meeting at your house this evening? Do you know who this woman is? Was this woman at the meeting? Have you communicated with her? Do you have the laptop in your possession?
These questions constituted two or three more questions than LBL had ever been asked by an officer of the law. Until then, the top contenders had been: Do you know how fast you were going? May I see your license and registration? and Is this your cat? Are you aware that he scratched a woman walking by your house? Is there a possibility he has rabies?
The officer said he would contact the officer who had called and put LBL on hold, allowing him to get to the bottom of the laptop issue and allowing LBL enough time to go over all the details of her life and evaluate whether anything that she ever said or did that might have indicated to someone that she was a member of a terrorist organization.
The officer returned to the phone and explained to LBL that the owner of the left-behind laptop was contacted and said it would be alright to talk to LBL the following day. It was now after 1:30 a.m..
The following morning, the owner called and came over to retrieve her laptop. It was then that LBL heard the full story. When she realized she left the laptop at LBL’s house, the laptop owner came over to LBL’s house, hoping to retrieve it. She knocked on the door, heard nothing, went around to the side door, again knocked and heard nothing. She then tried to look into the doors and windows, before realizing that she was possibly in danger of a neighbour either calling the police or shooting her. That’s when she called the police. A cop arrived, knocked on the door, and, getting no reply, left. She left, as well.
LBL continues to be amazed that the police took such an active interest in a left-behind laptop. She is even more amazed that she and Now Husband slept through all the door knocking and peering into doors. She does have a habit of waking up at night at random hours. She keeps imagining what would have happened had she awakened that night, walked into either the living room or family room and seen someone standing at her vintage, all glass-paned door. She would have gotten so hysterical that it would have taken the entire police force to deal with it.