Monday, February 25, 2008

The joys ......

... of living in a college town. Those of you in An Arbor, Chapel Hill, College Station and other similar venues will probably be able to relate.

I'm watching a tape and knitting at 2:30 am on Sunday morning. (Yes, I keep odd hours on the weekend.) Our drapes are drawn, and the outside lights are out. We live in a small townhouse development that is far enough away from the campus that we don't have oddles of students around. Apparently it doesn't matter. There I was minding my own business, and the doorbell rings. I'm stunned. The doorbell! At first I think, maybe it's the newspaper carrier. (He's a middle aged fellow, with a disabled son. He delivers papers so he can stay home with his kid.) I'm thinking maybe he was delivering the Sunday paper and his car broke down, or he hit someone's vehicle or something. So I go to the back door and turn on the porch light. Nothin'. The bell rings again! Front door! Our door is solid, no way to see who is there, unless I peep out the front window (and turn on the porch light), or open the door, which leaves me very vulnerable.

Now I do have a husband, who is upstairs doing goodness knows what, and who apparently has not heard the bell. I run upstairs and say "Someone is ringing the door bell!" "You're kidding!??" As if to confirm that I'm not crazy or dreaming, the bell rings again, now for the third time. He says, "Don't open the door!" Well, duh! Look out the upstairs window and see who it is....well I can't see the person. Bell rings yet again! So I actually OPEN the upstairs window, it is in the teens by the way, and call out "Can I help you?" It is a young fellow, in his twenties probably. He says "Is Roger "Something" here?" I tell him I'm sorry but he has the wrong unit. "Do you know where he lives?" What? Do I look like directory assistance? I ask if he knows the unit number. Even a few digits would help. No, he doesn't. So, genius, why not just choose a house at random and ring the bell in the middle of the night. Great idea! Pretty much par for the course in a college town. I tell him I cannot help him, and he apologizes profusely "for bothering you", and walks away. He is clearly lost, and he is also shaky--frightened, drunk, drugs, I couldn't tell.

Now, though, I suspect it wasn't quite so random. He probably saw the lights and figured we were awake, however, unless I was in dire straits, I would not just knock on a strange door. I certainly hope it was no more nefarious than idiocy, which is in no small supply here. I wanted to ask why he didn't just call "Roger". But didn't get the chance.

I debated about calling the police, but really didn't want to wait for an officer to come and take a report. It was "THON" weekend and the town was packed with visitors.

Lest you think this is something out of the ordinary (people just randomly coming to the door and asking where "someone" lives), I once answered the back door, on a week night, only to find a young couple in formal wear. It was 11:00 pm, and I was in my jammies. The couple were as shocked to see me as I was to see them. They were looking for a party, and were told the host had a "silver" car parked in front. Our neighbor at the time had a silver car, but I didn't think she was having a party either. They just picked a house.

And to add to the fun, about two months ago, I came home to a "Code Red" message on our answering machine. It was from the local police, alerting the residents in our area that there was an armed and dangerous person being pursued in our area. At first I thought it was one of those robo-calls, and nearly blew it off, but as I listened it because obvious that it was an officer reading from a script. It spooked the hell out of me, I can tell you.

So the fun just never ends.......not even in the wee hours of the morning.


kemtee said...

Calls like that give me the heebies. Sort of like EBS signals. YES, you have my attention.

College towns… the fun never ends! At least it's never boring.

Wonder if he ever found Roger.

pinetrees said...

Tell him to call 1-800-YELLOWPAGES to look up his friend for free.