When you live in a rough part of town, its probably not a good idea to leave your front door wide open. Put another way, when you've got ladies propositioning you from the sidewalk in front of your house, you might want to keep your doors locked. Well, in college I lived in such a place, but we left our door open a lot. One of my roommates was a legendary skinflint -- a cheapskate, really -- and he tried to use the intimidation of advanced age to control the thermostat.
Opening the windows and doors was a big part of that. Well, one night we were all upstairs in the house, and a criminal came into our house. This person stole the wine from our mantle, the beer from our fridge, and several things from my bedroom. Unluckily, I had the first bedroom off the living room on the main level of the house, making my room a quick target for such an intruder.
We realized what had happened later that night, and not so surprisingly the ageless wonder wished he'd been downstairs when the intruder entered. He claimed he'd have looked forward to kicking the guy's ass. Of course he did. Because, you know, attacking an intruder is always a good idea. You bet.
That's the kind of guy he was, full of big talk and ridiculous bluster.
It took me awhile to figure out what had been stolen from my room. My watch, my coin jar, and a handful of my CDs were among the casualties. I don't know that I've ever actually figured out which CDs were missing, which probably means they weren't anything good, or I'd have noticed by now. I mean, its only been eight years.
Holy crap, it has been eight years. Eight years! I've been out of school for seven years in May? Excuse me while I go to the corner and have an emo moment.
Well, this has always kind of been something that stuck in my craw, you know? I mean, it takes some serious guts to break into a house where five college guys live. Was it really a strange hoodlum? Was it an inside job? I don't have the answers.
Actually, I don't have many answers to this. Its a mystery to me why they stole the CDs they stole, leaving behind so many better discs. The one thing I am positive of in this whole ordeal is that the crook had horrible taste in music. They left the entire works of Van Halen, The Police, Guns N Roses and others behind. Among the discs that I could immediately recognize as missing were a stack of crappy CDs left in my possession from ex-girlfriends, which I kept stacked together for easy ignoring. The crook went right for that stack, like an idiot. Good for me! I'm talking CDs like Mariah Carey, Jon Secada, Michael W. Smith and other discs of excrement that I would obviously never own of my own volition. Obviously.
While I never determined the entirety of what they absconded with, needless to say I wasn't too upset about losing those crappy discs. But they did make off with a few that did upset me greatly.
My "import" wink-wink Van Halen shows from 1983 that I "purchased" wink-wink, gone. My limited edition cardboard case Soundgarden Superunknown disc, gone. The limited edition REM Monster fold-out packaging disc. And worst of all, the entire collection of REM EP's from the Monster album, or as I called them, the Transformer Discs. Four tracks each, the EPs contained one single from the album plus three live tracks from a concert -- and if you bought all five EPs, you could combine them to form a 15-song live album. Hence the "Transformer" moniker. The cool thing was that the fifth and final disc came with a blank cassette to dub all of the songs onto, complete with artwork and everything. The cassette had the track listing printed on it, ready to be used. Cool stuff. But it was stolen from me!
Piss me off. Well, one of the great things about iTunes is that they frequently sell long out-of-print EPs and other collections, because it costs the label nothing to upload the tracks and sell them. I stumbled across those EPs this week and well, I had to buy them. Didn't necessarily want to do it, but I felt I owed it to myself to do it. Stick it to the hoodlum who stole my originals and pawned them for crack. Imagine that, a hoodlum selling REM CDs to get some quick cash. Something very odd about that.