One Person's Treasure is Another Person's Trash
At the end of a long winters stay in Charleston, South Carolina, a friend had purchased tickets for us to hear the symphony orchestra at the Sottile theater. It made sense to leave my large SUV in the suburb of Mt Pleasant, so that we could park her much smaller vehicle close to the theater. Well, where could I leave it ? The Whole Foods Market seemed like a logical and safe place. After all, those who ate organic products in an effort to sustain themselves and the environment, must be trustworthy, right? Even so, I parked under a large floodlight, leaving the SUV with some trepidation.
What if someone broke into my car? Since I was nearly ready to start home, it was stuffed with all of the treasures I'd brought with me from the North, as well as the ones I had recently purchased. I began to inventory the items starting from back to front.
In the rear was the cat cage which although new, contained a layer of brown edged, somewhat foul smelling newspapers; surely no one would want that. But what about the cat food? There were six bags left out of the fourteen that I started out with. Some might think that bringing so much with me was foolish on my part, but it sure beat Mama kitty leaving a noxious film on our hosts' carpets due to travelers trots.
Moving up to the back seat, I remembered the Belk department store shopping bag containing my new china! Now, there was something valuable. If only I had hidden it in a brown bag! Of course, it wasn't really from Belk but from World Market, you know, the stuff they had at the front of the store because no one else would buy it. Why people wouldn't want to eat off plates with elephants and hyenas on them, I'll never know. Well, it might appeal to some bohemian from the sixties.
Oh, and next to that, cradled in a huge straw bag from the Bahamas, was my collection of shoes: sandals, diamond pointed flats, an occasional comfy wedge, why a good twenty pairs to see me through three whole months of sightseeing. I suppose the thief could find someone who wears a size 9B but due to the fact that the heel of each left shoe was worn down (pronation they call it) the wearer would be hobbling around and quite uncomfortable I'd think.
To the right of the shoes was a blue plastic tote filled to the top with sundresses, shorts and snorkeling equipment. The prime piece in there was a psychedelic shift from the 70's. Every time I put it on, the years just melted away. It was a riot of colors, perfect for the Key West jaunt. You can wear anything you want there, even nothing at all! After hoarding it all those years, how dare a thief take it from me? What if they threw it into a dumpster? Now, that would be the limit!
Tucked into every available space among these items were the bags of souvenirs: beach towels, plastic oranges filled with perfume, pot holders decorated with palm trees, a variety of mugs (all too nice to drink coffee from) and the inevitable shot glasses, one for every man I'd ever known or might want to in my entire life. Why the whole batch put me back eighty-two dollars and forty-six cents. And to think of the hours I had to spend, standing on my feet, waiting for each precious item to be wrapped!
My thoughts turned to a large item on the front seat, placed there in a position of importance. It was a box of music - brought all the way down Route 95 to be shared with whoever was unfortunate enough to be standing near the piano at our little parties. This box represented the accomplishments of my avocation: everything from John Thompson's Beginning Piano to songs from the great musicals; an operatic anthology falling apart at the binding and how about that copy of "En Verdure Clad" from the Creation? Now surely, here was something that any high brow crook would want. How could they be so cruel as to take that from me?
Then, I got to thinking about the intentions of any self respecting, successful criminal. Wouldn't they be seeking something they could sell, I mean 'fence', or at least gloat over at the end of a long night's work? Things like electronics, jewelry, and, basically, anything I didn't have. Can you imagine the thief returning home in the morning and instead of offering their partner a pearl bracelet with diamond clasp or a sterling silver belt buckle, they'd get handed a copy of Schirmer's "56 Songs You Like to Sing"?
With a renewed sense of security, I got out of the car and walked with my friend towards the theater. I hoped no one noticed the smug little grin on my face as I stepped into the lobby. Sometimes, there is justice , after all!