By Jody Fuller
When I was a kid, we never locked the door to our house. In fact, we didn’t even have a key to the door. We had a couple of missing windowpanes, too. We’d go off to Panama City for a few days and leave the door unlocked without ever giving it a second thought.
People would routinely lock their door and put a note on the door stating “the key is under the doormat.” This is more than a Foxworthy line; it really happened. I saw it.
These days, whether it’s the door to my home or the door to my vehicle, I always lock my doors.
I even lock the door to my car when I’m pumping gas and have done so for years. I do so because I often have my wallet, smart phone and Donny and Marie CDs laying on the front seat. Recently, there have been numerous videos posted online of thefts occurring from unsecured vehicles while the driver was pumping gas. We need to be vigilant at all times. Sadly, there are always predators all seeking out unsuspecting victims.
It’s very important to lock your vehicles when you’re at home, too. There are people who walk through neighborhoods each night checking for unlocked cars. They will also come into your home when you’re cutting the grass. I’ve heard of this numerous times. Lock your doors.
Last Wednesday night Emily, my 7-year-old step-daughter, and I lit the candle inside the jack-o’-lantern on the front porch. We then went inside, turned off the light and went our respective ways. She went up to her room, while I proceeded to the screened in porch out back to watch game seven of the World Series. Lucy, my wife, was already back there.
Several minutes later, our army of dogs started barking. Granted it’s not unusual for them to bark, but this was different. There were growls mixed in with the barking, so I decided to walk out to the front porch to check things out. I turned the light on, stepped onto the porch and realized that I was not alone. There was a young man, likely in his early 20s, walking across my porch at eight o’clock at night. He should not have been there.
When I asked what was going on, he replied with nonsensical answers. He wasn’t aggressive but was obviously high on something. Minutes later, he told me that he’d done the cinnamon spice challenge, whatever that is. I firmly believe he’d used some type of other drugs, as well. He was definitely tripping on something.
I was nice and wished him a good night as he walked off. I kept an eye on him and stepped out onto the porch and then onto the walkway. He turned around and came back. I asked what he was doing, and, once again, his answers made no sense. I bluntly told him that he needed to leave or I’d be forced to call the police. He then walked around the side of my house and jumped back onto the porch from the side and walked straight toward my front door, opened the door and put a foot forward to walk inside. Before his foot hit the floor, I told him – well, I can’t say in this article what I told him, but there was no stutter, and that foot didn’t hit the floor.
As he left the porch and walked around the house, I walked towards the road with my phone in hand preparing to call the police. Just as I began to dial, Lucy hit the alarm on her truck and just as she did a police officer was going through the roundabout just up from our house. It was right on time. He saw it and came our way.
This young man had apparently tried to make his way into another home minutes before. Minutes later, there were seven police cars in front of our house. The young man cut through our neighbor’s backyard and fled to the creek. Twenty minutes later, he reappeared with wet pants out on the road in front of our house amongst the police cars. Like I said, he was high on something.
They charged him with public intoxication and hauled him off. We have a year to file charges against him, but I doubt we will. It turns out that he’s a college student and friends with the neighbors across the street. The young man needs some help. There could have been a very different outcome to this night had he made his way into our home. I’ll leave it at that.
I’m not encouraging anyone to be over-protective or paranoid. We should simply be vigilant, and one way to do that is to use common sense and lock your doors.
Now if I can just remember to lock the bathroom door, I’ll be in good shape. I’m still adjusting to this marriage thing.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at www.jodyfuller.com.