I had one of the biggest scares of my life. I've always wondered how I'd react if I came face to face with an intruder. Here's the good news; now I know.
Most break-ins happen in the middle of the day, in nice weather, in the summer. Those who break into homes don't like venturing out at night and certainly don't want to go to work when it's raining and risk frizzy hair.
So really, burglars are just like you and I, only they're missing a conscience. And a hairdryer. Plus they're shitheads, so there's that.
Here's what happened. If you know me, you know that I'm always building or breaking something. When you build something you need power tools.
And sometimes you needs to borrow those tools from a sister who owns enough power tools to build a suburban subdivision.
Pink Tool Belt had a compound mitre saw I wanted to borrow and it was at a house she was renovating. She wasn't at the house, but she gave me the key to go in and get the saw.
At around 5:00 on a Friday afternoon I drove over to the house.
I pulled into the driveway, gravel crunching under my tires, and walked towards the back door. I slipped the key into the keyhole and opened the door. I walked into a house that had that weird feeling of a home that isn't lived in.
An empty shell where sounds bounce off walls like lottery balls in an air chute.
Knowing no one was supposed to be in the house working, I was taken aback when I thought I could hear some sort of sound when I got inside. A kind of shuffling from somewhere in the house but I couldn't pinpoint where the sound might be coming from.
At that point I did what everyone does when they hear something alarming. I ignored it.
I took a quick look around to see some of the work my sister had done and then went to the basement to get the saw. Yes, the dark, scary basement.
I don't mind telling you I didn't entirely want to go into the basement. Something didn't feel right about this whole episode.
I ran upstairs out of the basement with the saw (yes, I really ran, the saw is extremely lightweight which is why I wanted to borrow it) and set it down to turn the light off. That's when I heard the shuffling noise again and this time I knew I couldn't ignore it - because I was officially scared.
I got that tingly feeling in my toes and a dribble of pee escaped. Those are the official scared warnings.
And then I did something really stupid.
You know in horror movies when the next idiot who's about to get killed goes TOWARDS the ominous sound instead of away from it? Yeah, I did that.
And because I'm a blogger, I also whipped out my phone just in case this was a potential viral moment that would lead to me retiring in the French countryside.
I'm O.K. The squirrel's O.K. Everyone is O.K. I didn't get to move to the French countryside but I did invest in a squirrel finger puppet which I will use as a communication aid in my next squirrel negotiations.