On Friday, Jude and I were having a quiet afternoon at home.
I had just let Jude buy a new game for his DSi as a reward for letting me drag him around during the last day of his Spring Break to the hardware store, the drug store AND the Target, and he was sitting happily in the corner of the living room playing away.
I decided to use the time to make some progress on my ongoing bedroom redecorating, and spray paint a curtain rod.
So I grabbed some newspaper, the old curtain rod and the spray paint and went out the back door and around to the side of the house. As I was spreading out the newspaper and shaking my little spray paint can, I suddenly realized that a helicopter was hovering above me.
Now, helicopters aren't uncommon in the Greater Los Angeles area. But when I looked up, I realized that it was an LAPD helicopter, and it was hovering really close to the ground. Really close to the ground, and circling around. Really close to the ground and circling around...me, to be specific.
It was when I saw a cop from the helicopter which was circling my home actually pointing at ME that I decided that it might be a good idea to go inside. Quickly.
I ran into the house and went back to the living room, where Jude was still peacefully playing his little game, and locked the front door (which, of course, overly trusting country girl me always forgets to lock), and then peeked out the front window just in time to see a cop throw a young man against my front porch, and cuff him.
"Hmm. There seems to be some kind of bust going on at my house." I thought.
I foolishly tried to wave at the policemen out the window. "Yoohoo! Mr. Policeman! Homeowner here. Hellooo. What's going on?"
I then realized that the entire street in front of our house was filled with police cars. About 12 cops were pouring onto our front yard. They had kicked down the gate to the side of our yard and were hauling more "youths" out and cuffing them.
When I wasn't able to get the cops attention (I guess that they were, you know, kind of occupied), I started walking around peeking out windows. It was at this point that I realized that when I had run into the house, I had stupidly left the back door open. Not just unlocked, but open. Wide open. Hmm. Maybe not a good move. What if a bad guy had run into the house to hide?
I decided to make a search of my home. I realize that this was stupid. But what can I say? Jude was still obliviously playing his new little game. I looked around for some kind of weapon. I grabbed a spray bottle of Folex Carpet Cleaner off the table and began my search. What exactly I was going to do to the bad guys with a spray bottle of Folex Carpet Cleaner I hadn't exactly thought through. But no matter. I had turned into Mama Bear. I crept around like I'd seen people do on "NCIS", opening closets and shower doors, turning corners quickly, my Folex thrust in front of me.
When I was fairly confident that no intruders had invaded the perimeter of my home, I returned to the living room, and finally stepped outside and got the policemen's attention.
Turns out that three gang members had stabbed somebody at the bank on the corner, then taken off running into the neighborhood. They apparently ran through the Colombian restaurant behind our house, scaled the 8' wall and hopped into our yard and were hiding from the police under the side of our house!
How long they had been hiding there, and at what point during their invasion of our yard I had la-dee-dahed outside with my curtain rod, I don't know.
The police then made Jude and I step out on the front porch so they could make a search of our house for perps. I started to tell them that I had already searched the place, but decided they would think I was very, very stupid, and didn't mention it.
Throughout this whole drama, Jude never looked up from his DS game. I swear to God. I said to him "Honey, we need to go on the porch so the police can look around our house." And he said "Yeah, okay." And stayed glued to his new game. Amazing.
The police then spent about a half hour searching our backyard and garage for the knife, which apparently these guys had dropped somewhere.
I realize that I should be more traumatized by this whole episode than I was. But it was just so surreal. Truly, the two things that worried me the most? The house was a huge mess because of all my redecorating, and because I had a massive pile of dirty clothes in the laundry room, and I was so embarrassed that the police saw this. I realize that they must go into many, many, many places that are far dirtier, but still... And the other thing was that I looked just awful. I was wearing one of my "uniforms" and had no make up on. And cops are really pretty cute. Really. If I'd been thinking, I would have put on a little mascara while I was creeping around the house with my Folex.
I was pretty impressed that the LAPD was so on top of things, and really brought these guys down fast. They definitely know their stuff. But I can't decide if I should be heartened that Jude was too obsessed with his new video game to pay any attention to the fact that murderous, knife-wielding gang members had invaded our property, or disturbed that he seemed to think that this was just so ordinary that he felt Super Mario 64 was more interesting.
Oh, and our dog, Fancy? Slept through the whole thing. Until the police came in to search the house, at which time she got up and started to lick them. Sigh...
I guess this is just life in the big city. Right? Oh my...