Home Security à la Bean

February 29, 2012

News flash:  Today is Papa’s penultimate* cancer treatment.  I was with him this morning when he got the results of his scan. 

The cancer is gone! 

Everything was unremarkable—this is good in the medical world—except for his left hip, which will take a while to heal from the cancer damage….  I guess this means more Papa shenanigans to come.

*“Penultimate” is a five-dollar word that means “next to the last.”

This week’s scheduled post:

Bad news on our street travels at the speed of geriatric men walking their dogs.  It’s a short street, so we got the bad news in short order. Rumors of an attempted breaking and entering were confirmed in the days that followed by the home security salesman who began patrolling the neighborhood with a vengeance.

We always relied on Hyacinth for security.  She was never much of a guard dog, but in her prime she wouldn’t let anyone within 40-feet of the house without barking her head off for a doggy treat.  In her old age, Hyacinth has become part of the problem.  She makes enough white noise snoring to enable a platoon of burglars to clean us out.

We don’t have much around Maison Bean that anyone would want to steal except Papa’s big-ass TV and even that is questionable.  There aren’t that many people who turn to a life of crime who have the work ethic required to get that monster out of the garret. But with little Beans around, I wasn’t taking chances.

Since alarm systems aren’t cheap, and since our main attraction was Papa’s idiot box, I added home security to the running list I keep for Papa called Things You Must Do to Prevent an Extreme Rental Increase.  For some reason, the list doesn’t always have its intended effect, so I reminded Papa one morning that he had given me access to his financial accounts in a martini-induced estate planning moment and suggested that it just might be time to tap into our money.

The Bean Scottish-on-the-cheap blood went into high gear instantaneously.

It was Saturday afternoon and Jax and Moose had just gone down for their afternoon siesta, and Hyacinth and I were happily anticipating a nap of our own, but before my head so much as hit the pillow, a cacophony of bells started clanging.  The dogs went ape shit and then Moose started crying and Jax wanted to know what was going on, and any chance I had of a nap was destroyed.

Outside I discovered the source of the disturbance—Papa was attaching sleigh bells to the back gate.

“What the HELL are you doing?” I demanded.

“It’s our backyard security system.  Any numbskull trying to get in at night will ring us awake. Patent pending.”

“So every time someone goes to the garbage can, for a bike ride, to the car or the 14,000 other times that gate is used a day, we get to hear those bells?  Are you out of your &#@! mind?!”

Two days later Sissy and Buzz were over for dinner when Papa corralled us all outside for a big surprise.  We were standing in the dark wondering what he was up to this time when all of a sudden Maison Bean was ablaze with a gazillion little twinkling lights rapidly firing on and off at dizzying speeds.

It was like someone put the wrong kind of mushrooms in my spaghetti, and I was having a bad trip.

Sissy and Buzz just stood there with their mouths wide open, like they’d suddenly turned stupid.  It was the tackiest thing I’d ever seen, and the little Beans blithefully jumped up and down and ran around thinking that Santa was coming.

“What. In. The. Hell. Is. This?”

“Jenny, you gotta think like a burglar.  They’re stupid, but not stupid enough to try and rob someone too sorry to take down their Christmas lights.  People who leave up their lights year around have more issues and less stuff.  Think of the money we’re going to save.”

Whilst Papa groused, Buzz and Sissy, who were only too glad that they go home later, dismantled the lights.

The good news came before Papa got to execute plan C.

It turns out that the attempted B&E was perpetrated on Lisa and Mitch while they were making out in her hand-me-down Buick that was parked in front of her mother’s house. Twelve-year-old Bobby Ingram, who was walking home from trumpet lessons, saw movement in the car and thought that Lisa had left her Yorkie, Hercules, in the car.  (Lisa doesn’t have a reputation for being very bright.)

When Bobby opened Lisa’s car door to let Hercules out, he realized immediately that he had made a mistake and took off.  Fortunately, the interior car light blinded Lisa for just long enough for Bobby to escape.

Papa swears that Bobby must be a distant relative.  He seems to have the Bean curse—he just can’t seem to keep a secret.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Irene February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

SO happy Papa’s cancer is GONE!! It truly must have been the diaper therapy! There’s your millions!

Just make a cassette tape of your dogs barking (hell, add the sleigh bells in there too somehow, the more racket, the better!). Rig it to some sort of motion detector. When the motion detector activates, it sets the cassette into play and the sound of dogs will be heard and detour the burglar! Brilliant!

Jenn February 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Irene: I think it was the stink therapy too!!!

As for the cassette tape/motion detector idea–you are eerily starting to sound like Papa!

Ally February 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I am completely amused by Papa’s way of thinking. However, a nap interrupted by gate bells might have made me a tad grumpy.

YAY FOR NO CANCER! So incredibly happy to hear that! Keep on taking care of yourself, Papa. “Keep Up The Stink” – what do you think, bumper stickers?

Jenn February 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Bumper stickers! Brilliant idea, Ally!

Patricia February 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Wonderful news about your dad’s cancer. I think you ought to let him put the bells on. 🙂

Papa March 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Irene: I talked to Sam, head salesman at Fred’s used trailer emporium. Fred doesn’t know siht about motion detectors. I could go by Radio Shake, but every time I do, Dorine at Max’s Tavern next door invites me in for a FREE drink which ends up costing me more than that damn TV is worth.

So here is plan C: I put the big-ass TV on the front porch with a note saying, “This is all we got. You’ll enjoy it because you’re obviously brain dead already. If you wake up the kids, however, I’ll come out there and shoot you in the ass.”


Pamela March 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

So happy Papa’s cancer is gone that I won’t even chastise him for sleigh bells or Christmas lights! Yay!

Shannon March 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Hooray for unremarkable scans!!!

I’m in the market for a home security system – so not calling Papa for advice.

Paddy March 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

Well those Methodist’s were great. They did the job with a little help form the stink therapy I think. Now to apply for a patent on the bells and lights security system. Oddly though, I seem to remember a simialr system. How much for a patent search? Paddy

Papa March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Paddy, we need to create some empty Jamison bottles to use in the next security system. Our motor rebuilding project on the sailboat would make a good post!

Remember when you had to rush me to the hospital from the marina when Jenny had Jax and Mimi was out of town—my bike looked weird strapped to the top of your Civic?


Kristy K. James April 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

Wow, time sure flies when you’re NOT having fun. I’ve missed a lot of news in the last six weeks! So glad that Papa’s cancer is gone. And too funny about the home security system adventures. Maybe you could get those motion sensor things they put on cars and motorcycles. “Step away from the house. I have a 20-guage shotgun aimed at your head. Step away from the house.” 🙂

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