March 20, 2007

My Stupid Morning

Yesterday morning, in the interest of posting a marginally coherent entry outlining the basic events of the weekend, I omitted several details about the morning itself. I didn't, at the time, know quite how to convey the events that took place in the early morning hours and, frankly, I was hard-pressed for time. I don't think well before I ingest dangerous, bladder-threatening amounts of coffee. Here's what happened.

When I opened my eyes yesterday morning, I was uncharacteristically ready to go. I was startlingly awake, alert and I was looking forward to getting to work and tackling the day stretched before me. Clearly, I was delusional and deranged but, hell, I was motivated and sometimes you just don't question these things. I jumped out of bed, cleaned myself up, and headed downstairs to get a little breakfast ready. On my way downstairs, I glanced out the window at the neighborhood and noticed frosty cars. I decided to start my car and blast the defroster for a few minutes before heading into the sunrise.

I got my jacket on, found my extra set of keys, opened the front door and that's where the morning hit its first snag. See, the glass storm door was somehow frozen shut. Solidly. Almost immediately and without further consideration, I resorted to physical violence. Quiet physical violence, since Beth and Mia were still upstairs asleep. I pushed, I kicked and I forced, but, alas, I was not able to open the damn door. So I headed downstairs, exited from the basement, climbed the hill beside our house and went out front to start my car.

I slid back down the hill (for there was still snow and ice on our lawn yesterday morning), came back inside, popped a bagel in the toaster and perused a couple pieces of the Sunday Post while I waited. Once the toaster produced its crusty, warm contents, I threw my jacket back on, grabbed my cell phone slung my laptop bag over my shoulder, armed the alarm, ran downstairs and made my way back outside once again.

Our alarm's siren is really loud. I know this because I have some fairly recent first-hand experience. I would have made it out of the house without a hitch...had I not accidentally set the alarm to go off instantly instead of asking it to allow me the standard sixty seconds to get out of Dodge. I didn't. It went off. It was loud. Downstairs at the time, laden with all my shit, sherpa-like, I ran upstairs, jumping one baby gate, stopping to fumble with a second, and turned off the alarm. Then I stood, silently, for several minutes to see if I could detect any noise coming from upstairs. No screaming, no crying. Good. I reset the alarm, correctly this time, and headed out once again.

When I climbed the hill and made it to my car, I noticed I'd made a critical error. I hadn't actually turned on the defroster. My car was running but the windows were still coated with a fine layer of ice. I stowed my stuff, broke out the ice scraper and set to work. Still dark, I felt alone. Until, several minutes later - maybe ten minutes after accidentally setting off the alarm - I took the full force of an intense beam of light directly in the face accompanied by words no one is ever really delighted to hear. "Sir, can I ask you to keep your hands where I can see them?"

For those of you playing Cactus Gets Busted: The Home Game, if you just guessed that the cops were going to enter stage left, you are correct! I quickly shoved the bagel I was still carrying - for some strange reason, even though I'd started to remove the ice from my car - into my jacket pocket and raised my hands a little. Taking the advice of others in admittedly different situations, I walked into the light and almost square into a wall that just happened to be wearing a uniform, a badge and gun and was pointing a flashlight directly at me. A cop. A really big cop.

Me: Uh, funny story...
Cop: We got dispatched because an alarm went off.
Me: Yes. That would have been me.
Cop: You? Go off by accident?
Me: Yes.
Cop: Sir, what's in your pocket?
Me: That's my breakfast, officer.
Cop: Breakfast?
Me: Yeah. A bagel. Blueberry, if you want to be precise.
Cop: What's a bagel doing in your pocket?
Me: It's unclear. But then, I've already been unable to get my front door open and I set off my alarm. And it's only 6:30. Some things you just can't explain.
Cop: So, there's really nothing wrong?
Me: Nothing that going back to bed won't fix. But no, I'm afraid I forgot to hit the button on the alarm to call you guys off.
Cop: Okay. Well, I'm sorry to bother you.
Me: No, I'm sorry to bother you.
Cop: Have a good day. And enjoy your bagel.
Me: You too. And I will if I can get it out of my pocket.

And all that happened before 6:30 on a Monday morning. The rest of the day was actually somewhat anti-climactic. I wonder why.

Posted by Chris at March 20, 2007 7:22 AM

Heh, heh. Sir, is that a bagel in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at March 20, 2007 7:38 AM


(Although, that story would have lent itself well to Tarantino-style storytelling... open with you scraping ice off the car as the cop shows up, and when he asks what's going on, you open with, "Funny story, officer..." and begin your yarn.)

Posted by: SciFi Dad at March 20, 2007 8:01 AM

LOL, wow. I've never heard of a storm door getting frozen shut. You were clearly on a roll.

One comment: Blueberry bagel? Ewww. I just can't get past the color of those things...

Posted by: Nicole at March 20, 2007 8:08 AM

Thank God it wasn't a donut, he probably would have whacked you with the nightstick and took it!

Posted by: Jeff A at March 20, 2007 8:09 AM

I had to fight with my storm door this morning and I was annoyed beyond belief, but at least the cops didn't show up.

The bright side is that you know your security system works and the response time is fairly quick.

Posted by: Maria at March 20, 2007 8:12 AM

May I just repeat. On Mondays, I office from home.

Posted by: DebbieDoesLife at March 20, 2007 8:13 AM

did he ever actually ask for ID? granted, not many robbers, murderers etc would probably stop to clean off a car, but still, for some reason him not asking for some sort of identification is weirding me out. but then, i'm paranoid like that -- occupational hazard.

Posted by: patricia at March 20, 2007 8:29 AM

You mean he didn't ask you for ID? He just assumed you were telling the truth and let you go? Go, now, and feel free to rob your neighbors blind if your cops are that incompetent!

But, hey, bad mornings aside, it makes for a great post! Hope today is better!

Posted by: Alissa at March 20, 2007 8:42 AM

we can't have a home alarm system. The cats are too rambuncious and set it off everytime. I can't tell you the number of times I've come home to find the cops at our door. After a few fines for false alarms we just don't bother with the alarm anymore...

Posted by: suze at March 20, 2007 8:45 AM

Oh my that's funny. I, unfortunately, do this very same thing but at work on the weekends when I'm getting ready in the wee hours for a conference. I'll be in a rush to get the coffee started and will forget to turn off the alarm. Too frequently (ok maybe twice a year) I'll have the campus cops with guns drawn come upon me filling up the ice chest. Very startling at 6 a.m. but nice to know they are checking up on things.

Nice to know they let you keep your blueberry bagel.

Posted by: daisy at March 20, 2007 8:50 AM

I used to work for a MAJOR alarm company sounds AZT but with the HIV+, though I did IT for them and NOT dispatch, but I used to fill in the call centre occasionally and people do that (well not EXACTLY that) all. the. time. And sometimes? The cops or rent-a-cops bill you for it.

Posted by: Pamalamadingdong at March 20, 2007 8:51 AM

Is this a precursor to your desire to know all of our oops we set off the alarm stories :)

Why can I picture your facial expressions, tone and everything when talking with the Cop?

The good things out of this experience: you did not wake a sleeping child and did not wet your pants! Bravo!

Posted by: Steff at March 20, 2007 8:51 AM

yeah...that would be sounds LIKE azt but withOUT the HIV+

nevermind...there goes the wittiness

Posted by: Pamalamadingdong at March 20, 2007 8:52 AM

Hee hee. Okay, maybe not so funny for you, but funny for US, definitely. I love that he just took your word for it. "Why yes, yes this IS a bagel in my pocket, and I totally live here, officer."

Posted by: Fraulein N at March 20, 2007 9:01 AM

Sir! Step away from the bagel!

Posted by: E :) at March 20, 2007 9:08 AM

There's nothing quite like a near-arrest to get the old endorphines going. The fact that you were unfailingly polite is a testament to your gentlemanly nature. I mean, would a car thief take the time to warm up the car and scrape the ice? Clearly the police's powers of observation were lacking.

Posted by: wordgirl at March 20, 2007 9:31 AM

That made me laugh. My parents own an alarm company, and I cannot tell you how many times people set off their alarms because they forgot their keys or something, run back in, and the door is still open then the time delay cuts off.

Good times.

Glad to hear that the cops didn't give you any hastle. =)

Posted by: Secha at March 20, 2007 9:33 AM

I don't know why everyone is so shocked that the officer didn't demand ID. Everyone knows that people who eat blueberry bagels are the most trustworthy people in the world. (Although, I personally prefer to put blueberry cream cheese on a plain bagel)

Posted by: Contrary at March 20, 2007 9:42 AM

Not too shabby for a Monday morning. At least you got caught by a nice cop.

Posted by: Holmes at March 20, 2007 9:55 AM

That's a specularly bad way to start off a day! Especially a Monday. I hope the rest of your week goes more smoothly. And with fewer bagels in your pocket.

Posted by: Lisa at March 20, 2007 9:59 AM

It's a good thing the police didn't take your bagel-in-the-pocket motion as threatening. Because there's nothing that says 'violvent criminal' quite as much as the threat of a warm, toasty, blueberry bagel.

Posted by: Heather at March 20, 2007 10:07 AM

Hahahaha! That's just blogging gold!

Posted by: smoness at March 20, 2007 10:22 AM

One of the best Monday Morning stories ever.
The bagel in your pocket added just the right touch.

Posted by: Jenn at March 20, 2007 10:29 AM


I'm sorry, I know it's wrong to laugh at you, because you had a crappy day yesterday and all. But you have to admit that's hilarious. You should feature yourself on Friday! :p

Posted by: Hope at March 20, 2007 10:30 AM

I'm more of a honey-walnut cream cheese on a cinnamon raison bagel kind of girl, but I'll let you have your blueberry. ;)
If life wasn't such a comedy of errors, no one would have anything to blog about.

Posted by: Traci at March 20, 2007 10:30 AM

LMFAO! That's a great story. At your expense, obviously. But it's a great story.

I can't believe Beth didn't wake up and totally murder you on the spot though. You're lucky!

Posted by: coolchick at March 20, 2007 10:53 AM

I'm surprised your security company didn't call you first to ensure it wasn't just a false alarm, but that they would instead move immediately to dispatching cops to your house at 6:30 am :)

Posted by: Liz at March 20, 2007 11:02 AM

The question is, after all that cop and bagel goodness, were you still feeling ready to go, alert and ready to tackle the day?

And did you ever get the bagel out?

Posted by: Phoenix at March 20, 2007 11:12 AM

That's awesome...

"..I've got bagel, in bagel, I'm gonna use it..."

sorry... that's just what came to mind... :)

Posted by: Sue at March 20, 2007 11:13 AM

Well at least it was only a bagel and you weren't really happy to see him .....

Posted by: Heather at March 20, 2007 11:15 AM

OK, now I'm idiot and how many other people have written that? Oh well.

Posted by: Heather at March 20, 2007 11:16 AM

Oh, my God. I'm not sure if I'm glad he just automatically believed you, or if that's kind of scary. Too funny.

I laughed at the line: "It's unclear." I could just imagine you saying that, with your hands up in the air. I'm thinking you might have used different words than that, but if you didn't, that's hilarious. :)

Posted by: Zandria at March 20, 2007 11:29 AM

i think the line you missed is the one where, as police car drove off into the distance, you did the 'the morning's-now-absurd-enough-to-blog-about-dance' -- the adult equivalent of the much more dastardly, young twenty-something behavior which would *seek out further interaction with* the officer: 'in a movie the character would kiss the cop, and i've never kissed a cop, and probably should so i know what it's like'

Posted by: miah at March 20, 2007 11:32 AM

LOL Just the facts sir! Man! What a morning...and to top it all off you had to eat a linty bagel. I hope the rest of your day was better.

Posted by: Felicia at March 20, 2007 12:01 PM

"Sir, please step away from the vehicle." Now THAT's some funny crap. :)

Bagel in your pocket? That's some big pocket. What else do you have in there?

Posted by: oakley at March 20, 2007 12:38 PM

OMFG. Are you for real? Was that real? Because I can barely see the screen from the tears of laughter. Seriously, the bagel. I'm dying. Thank you for sharing Chris, you are my hero. At least for today ;-)

Posted by: Kate at March 20, 2007 12:39 PM

I am sorry to laugh, but omg rofl that is hilarious. I am glad your day went downhill from there, I shudder to think what would have happened if it had gone even slightly uphill from that!

Posted by: Teenuh at March 20, 2007 1:25 PM

I can't even tell you how many times we've set off our own alarm... last time, the fire detector, because Hubby was steaming a pair of pants and opened the bathroom door... guess my ultra smart alarm only senses heat... so it's blaring, and the dog is freaking out, and I'm trying to explain to the woman on the phone that it's ok... and to NOT send the fire dept cause we have somewhere to go and don't have time to deal with them...

Hope your bagel wasn't too fuzzy...

Posted by: Karen at March 20, 2007 1:26 PM

Only in you could clumsiness be so charming ;-) It sounds rather like something I would do heh.

Posted by: Heather at March 20, 2007 2:34 PM

You know about 28 years ago (shut-up, I know I am old!) a friend was visiting me when I lived on Cape Cod. Said friend wanted to see The Kennedy Compound! Oh joy. It was February, I was 8 weeks pregnant and having terrible morning sickness, but I drove to Hyannis to find the compound. I thought I knew where it was, and I took several turns before I saw a man wave me down. I stopped and rolled down my window and boom, it was a cop and he was pointing a gun right in my face! Did I know I was on The Kennedy Compound? No. He allowed me to turn around and leave. With my life. Nice of him.
This explains why I became a Republican.

Posted by: Maribeth at March 20, 2007 3:17 PM

i'm seriously dying right now. that's a hell of a story...but at least it makes for some good blogging, eh?

Posted by: ali at March 20, 2007 3:42 PM

It's a wonderful story and wouldn't have been nearly as good without the bagel. That was the crowning touch.

I'm a little concerned they didn't ask for i.d. but I suppose common sense prevailed. A car thief would have looked for something easier.

Posted by: ann adams at March 20, 2007 4:35 PM

So how did he know you weren't an intruder? I know, it must have been that intruders in your area haven't resorted to carrying bagels with them, yet. It's only a matter of time.

I still can't believe your girls didn't wake up. Maybe you should check to see if a fire alarm would wake them...

Posted by: Sharri at March 20, 2007 4:38 PM

He was probably hoping it was a donut.

Posted by: Tink at March 20, 2007 4:43 PM

"if I can get it out of my pocket."

I know having people laugh at you isn't the greatest, but darn, man, I feel better now having laughed for the first time today (yes, I know what time it is).

May I be as graceful as you at 6:30 am, armed with only a bagel, when confronted by the police.

Posted by: Opal at March 20, 2007 5:30 PM

Aw, man, came in to make a donut joke, but saw that I'm slow on the draw.

Glad you weren't frisked.

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at March 20, 2007 7:35 PM

Danm. I'm happy to say that my Monday had absolutely NO resemblance to yours. Thankfully. Was Tuesday morning any better?!???

Posted by: ironic1 at March 20, 2007 8:22 PM

Ah, Mondays...that's one hilarious story! I guess the cops figured that no crook in his right mind would be robbing a house at 6:30 on a cold Monday morning.

Posted by: Beth in StL at March 20, 2007 9:37 PM

Wait a minute, what happened to going to Dunkin' Donuts every morning? Let this be a lesson to you -- no more bagels. More donuts.

Posted by: angela at March 20, 2007 9:37 PM

Whoops! Well, at least you know the cops will in fact show up in a timely manner if ever needed (and I hope that never happens)!

Posted by: Colleen at March 20, 2007 10:02 PM

Oh. My. God. I know it probably wasn't much fun for you but it brightened my day a little bit ;)

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at March 20, 2007 10:45 PM

LOL! I'm sorry for you bad start, but that was really funny :D

Posted by: Nadine at March 21, 2007 2:42 PM

Chris Cactus: Smooth

Posted by: Brad at March 21, 2007 2:51 PM

This story brings to mind two thoughts:

A) This is funny as hell. I'm sorry to be laughing at you, but it is.


2) You wrote this on 3/20 and I'm just now seeing it. Where the hell have I been?

(This comment brought to you by the word, 'hell'.)

Posted by: Cartwheels At Midnight at April 4, 2007 6:39 PM

Oh, and also this:

You should get a remote for your alarm. We have one and you can set or turn it off from just outside the door.

Posted by: Cartwheels At Midnight at April 4, 2007 6:40 PM