I might as well have yelled 'You Damned Kids Get Out of My Yard!'

It was last Friday morning, 2:30 a.m. I was finally asleep; the insomnia I have been experiencing secondary to some hellish torment (gallstones? an ovarian cyst? appendicitis?) had relented at about 1:30 a.m. The cats had ceased their gravity experiments. I was awakened by a loud, rhythmic thwacking sound.

I got out of bed, and stumbled into the foyer. I peered out the window and could just make out three figures at the end of the walk. Now that I was more sensible of my surroundings, I could hear that the thwacking was punctuated by creepy, high-pitched giggles. I assessed the situation in its general terms instantaneously, but I was uncertain of the specifics, or the appropriate response. Were the little shits beating the crap out of my trash cans (oops, we left them out after pick-up) or the hoopdie that has been parked in front of our house without moving for the better part of two weeks?

I would like to say there was some sort of internal debate, or that that my actions were determined by some sort of higher mental process. Nope. I thought about calling the cops and requesting that they send two cruisers running silent up the streets which bracket the one I live on...but I couldn't remember where Cameron's cell phone was, so that was out. I kicked open the door (I think, I may have opened it quietly) and yelled at the startled adolescents 'You'd better start hauling ass!' (frankly, I may have uttered it in low but carrying tones; I've reached that golden age where I have consideration for the working stiff sleep needs of my neighbors).

I got a response! The one with the almost man-voice said 'OK, we're hauling ass...' as I was running down my walkway. I chased them to the end of my street and encouraged them to 'Haul ass faster!' before my body reminded me that I'm an overweight, sedentary chain-smoker. They weren't giggling.

I surveyed the damages. It was the mailbox. The rat bastards had DESTROYED it. This is, of course, a felony. I seethed about property crimes while I tried to green-light Morpheus to resume our whateverus interruptus.

Sleep returned with peace of mind when I committed to a plan to thwart future attacks, nip vandalism in the bud. I have to go buy some sacrificial lawn ornaments.

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