A Cheech, A Chyna and an Opie

Several years ago, I worked in a tiny office (less than 1,000 square feet). I was alone in the office most of the day. Actually, I had two dogs with me. They belonged to my boss. One was geriatric and had a gold tooth. The other was a puppy and completely out of control.

Mr. Boss was having major renovation/remodeling done on his house, so he would bring his dogs in each day. I kind of liked it because they were at least some company.

Each day I would pack them into my tiny Cabriolet and take them home.

I was a much nicer person then.

Okay, I was a doormat.

So one day as I was getting ready to leave the office with the geriatric Golden Retriever and the Dumb Blonde Puppy, Mr. Boss called. He always did.

Just after he called, the sketchy guy came in the door and asked if he could use the bathroom. I was caught off guard and said yes without thinking it through.

Luckily, Mr. Boss was on the phone. I know this now.

The guy was in the bathroom for a good half hour. Mr. Boss kept me on the phone the whole time. Finally, I went to the door and told the guy I had to leave, the office was closing for the night.

He came out and the blast of pot stench was like something from a Cheech and Chong movie. This clown had been burning one in our bathroom! Are you kidding me?

Okay, so he goes back out to his truck (beat up red pick up truck, parked facing the empty field next to the office complex). He did not leave.

He stayed in his truck. Watching me in his rearview mirror. Waiting for me to leave.

Waiting for me to leave, with the two dogs, one geriatric and needing help into the car; the other a puppy prone to taking off at a dead run.

I was in the office at this point with the door locked, but no way to leave. I could not leave the dogs there and there was no way I was going to walk out that front door while he was out there, watching and waiting.

Mr. Boss ordered me to call the police.

Now, I should say at this point, I do not take direct orders well. In fact, when someone issues a direct order in my general direction, I feel obligated to defy it.

I know, I know. Go ahead and take a moment to feel sorry for Mr. Smith. I do. Heaven knows I do!

So, for several more minutes, I argued with Mr. Boss about calling the police. I was no longer in any danger. The guy was just hanging out in a parking lot. Last time I checked, that was not a crime.

Finally, after some lengthy negotiations, I caved and put Mr. Boss on hold, picked up line 2 and called the non-emergency number for the local police.

I gave the woman a brief description of what had been happening and she told me she would send someone over.

Since this was happening in Fountain Valley (their slogan is, “A nice place to live”), the cruiser showed up about 60 seconds later.

When the cop got out of the car, I was bitterly disappointed. They sent Opie Cunningham to save my ass. He had red hair and a baby face.

I was doomed.

Opie Cunningham goes over to the guy’s truck and starts talking to him. After a few minutes, he asks Cheech to step out of his truck. He has him sit on the tailgate and they continue their conversation.

A few minutes later, another cruiser shows up. Out of this car climbs a female officer that could easily play professional football and, wait for it…a chaplain!!!

What are they going to do, pray over this guy?! Or is Chyna going to school this guy?!

Neither.

They handcuff Cheech and leave him sitting on the tailgate and commence searching the cab of his truck.

Almost immediately, Chyna bags some “evidence” and they put him in the back of the Chaplain-mobile and away he goes.

That was the last I saw of Cheech.

The next morning a flatbed tow truck came and took Cheech’s truck away.

I was fine during this whole episode.

I was even joking about how guilty I felt for getting Cheech arrested. And I did. I felt horrible. He didn’t really do anything. He was just there, sort of minding his own business, but my Spidey Sense was going nuts. Luckily, Mr. Boss forced me to listen to it.

As I was driving home, I realized how close I had come to disaster. He could have grabbed me, and I would have been gone. I would have been distracted by the dogs and not been aware of anyone approaching me.

He had probably been watching me for some time. He knew I was alone. He knew I had the dogs. He knew so much more about me than I will ever know about him.

I was going home to an empty house and suddenly I was terrified to be alone.

I detoured to a friend’s house. As soon as I got in the door of her apartment I just lost it. I was shaking and crying. Suddenly the adrenaline had worn off and I could see very clearly how much danger I had actually been in. I realized how close I had come to being one of those women on those ridiculous murder/kidnapping/disappearance shows I watch on the ID Channel (don’t judge me, I am neurotic!)

So, even though Mr. Boss ended up being a complete bastard to me about six years later, that day, I believe he saved my life.

So, a belated thanks to Mr. Boss.

What was the point of me telling you this whole silly story?

I am not exactly sure. It was the time in my life that I felt serious danger brush far too close to me.

It happened again about two weeks ago.

Grand Master H was out in the backyard playing. Our yard is fenced in, so I have always felt safe letting them go out there. He had been out there for a while and seemed to be happily playing with the hose and I was actually getting things done, so I was probably not as vigilant as I should have been.

The next thing I know, the front door is opening. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that H had somehow gotten the latch on the gate open and gone around to the front of the house. When I walked out into the living room, there were two children (TOTAL STRANGERS!!) walking in our front door.

I KNOW!!

As you can imagine, I was shocked and asked them what the hell they were doing. They informed me that my son was out of our yard, wandering the street.

I gave them the bums rush out the door. When I turned around H was standing in the house. He had come back in the back door.

Come to find out those kids had come over to the gate, opened it , and were going to take him God knows where.

I got the same feeling I got that day at work.

Danger had just brushed past my family again.

I felt it.

Like an icy cold blast, it made me shiver. I cried after I felt the relief of knowing that he was safe.

I got lucky again.

How many times will I be that lucky?

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