Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inner-city Crime

Yep, it happened. Nine days of residence and our car got broken into last night.

Well, we're assuming it was last night, because the car hasn't been used for a few days, what with the convenience of walking, trams just around the corner and the local train station and such. It was only when Love Chunks went to open the door this afternoon that he discovered that it was already unlocked.....

As my brother Rob, a long-time resident of North Melbourne advised us, "Hey, if you have to park out in the street, just assume that your car will be burgled. More than once. Quite often, in fact." We took him at his word and made sure that our car - certainly not a magnet itself for stealing being a dented, thirteen year old magna station wagon festooned with particularly determined spiderwebs outside and ancient pasty crumbs inside - had nothing of value in it.
At least, not to the thief concerned.

All he or she took was our first aid kit ("DRUGS! They wanted DRUGS!" Love Chunks calmly surmised) and LC's pocket knife ("They're MURDERERS!" I thought, but kept it to myself. After all, Sapphire was in the car). Surprisingly, they hadn't bothered to check the coin thingy by the ignition which would have yielded ten bucks in gold coins, or swiped my now rather large and colourful collection of shopping bags (numbering fifteen in seven different colours at last stocktake) or, thank-the-higher-power-I-think-exists-but-in-what-form-or-capacity-I-have-no-idea, the brand new Melways. And who'd have thought that the tape deck would still be intact, whew!

Sapphire noted our sombre expressions as we drove to Highpoint shopping centre. My opening remark, "Hey Love Chunks, your mate Greg reckons Highpoint should be re-named Knifepoint" perhaps wasn't the cleverest way to start our on-road conversation and we three sat in silence for a while.

Then Sapphire chirped: "Hey, at least they didn't take Wizzy, the guy I made out of my lolly wrapper during the drive from Adelaide." She laughed uproariously; clearly very amused at her capacity to lighten the moment which she in fact did extremely well. We can't really stop car thieves, so why worry?




















It was with some degree of smugness that I noted that she'd taken my frequent lectures about us now living in an inner city suburb with haves and have-nots living closely together and anyone with a driveway is automatically classified as a millionare, to heart. Plus, seeing the Verb Cafe owner on Racecourse Road the other day having to shoo away several rather drunk bogans pestering outdoor diners for smokes while we were having lunch was a rather interesting way for Sapph to commence a Q&A session on where Broadmeadows is located and why the proprietor believes that the inebriated smokers should bloody well return there......

As for the car, it does make me wonder whether updating our matronly mitsubishi is worth it right now. Firstly, we always get a park directly in front of our house (thus removing my need to learn how to parallel park) and secondly, we only ever use her for big shopping trips or (future) weekends away. Perhaps we're better off disappointing car thieves and saving up for a decent holiday instead. Love Chunks is seriously contemplating sticking up a placard by the driver's door that says, 'If you think this car is junk, then you know that we don't have anything valuable in it either.'

Hopefully though, this Feng Shui thingy we bought at the Queen Victoria Markets does the trick for our house. The chap there told us it is for Protection and Health, and for seven dollars, I was willing to repress my doubts and give it a burl. He then gave Sapphire a tiny white cat with a tiny jingling bell inside for good luck and happiness. "Put it in your school bag and you'll be fine." He must have picked up on her uncertainty somehow and refused to let me pay for it. At the very least, he's cannily ensured himself some repeat business.




















Feng shui has a much fairer chance of ensuring our immunity to thieves than Milly, the not-so-ferocious dog:

Her idea of savagery is to snap at blowflies so that she can get to Skipper the rabbit's droppings before they do. And we wouldn't have her any other way.

10 comments:

Catherine said...

Hmmm...a not so nice 'welcome to Melbourne' moment for you guys. But you've got the right attitude about it - nothing major was taken, no one was hurt, and you do live in a funky inner suburb where poor and rich mingle so this sort of thing isn't unusual. If nothing else you are opening up Carly's eyes to other sides of life!
That was nice the man gave Carly a good luck charm. Hopefully it will make her first day a little smoother. I should do the same for Angus for Tuesday.

Baino said...

Ah the joys of inner city living. Bit of a culture shock from the peaceful suburbs of Adelaide. Don't tell anyone but we never even lock our cars or the house. . .I actually have a little cat with a bell in it hanging from one of my lounge windows. A little good luck charm from Japan . .it's not working yet but I remain hopeful.

Miles McClagan said...

Ah, I got robbed in my first month in North Hobart...and I was robbed of my sobriety last night by those damned alcohol companies...will they learn...

squib said...

At least they didn't smash a window to get in

And thank God Wizzy's safe!

delamare said...

And I say what you really need in this life is a car in which Wizz-Fizz can be eaten in without parents getting upset that the pesky stuff is ruining the upholstery!

Only the first aid kit eh? Maybe those crims who got into Vue de Monde were after some bandaids to sort out an oyster shucking related injury?

TOM said...

At least your car was intact and no one was hurt...and of course Wizzy's OK!!

River said...

I read the first bit and thought "oh no!", then I read a bit further and saw that your tape deck is still there. Whew! A car ride without music isn't worth contemplating. I love your little Feng Shui bell, does it have a pretty tinkle or a clang? You have to keep it polished for the luck to continue.
Baino, if your unlocked house hasn't yet been broken into, then your good luck charm IS working.
I hope Sapph's new school is nice and there's bound to be other new kids on Tuesday. Kids her age I mean, not just this year's new crop of 5 year olds. (They seem to get tinier every year, with backpacks bigger than they are).

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks for your concern, fellow bloggers.

You may be a tad disappointed to discover that Wizzy died today. Yep, we had to take a few things to the dump (or 'tip', depending where you're from) and Sapphire said, "Oh Mr Wizzy's about to make the ultimate sacrifice for his family" and promptly threw him out. She then spent the rest of the afternoon making jokes at her ex-buddy's expense.

Such a faithless friend!

UBERMOUTH said...

Your' daughter's name is Carly? Mine too. But why do you call her Sapphire?

The Man at the Pub said...

If anyone broke into my car they would leave a donation. My tape player doesn't even work.

But a first aid kit? I mean, I wouldn't have thought the street value on 3 band-aids and a roll of elastoplast would be much these days.