To the Dipstick Who Broke into My (Locked) Office While I Was Teaching Last Night and Dug Into My Backpack and Stole (Some But Not All of the) Credit Cards from My Wallet:
Thank you for not taking my iPhone. I could have lived with you stealing my identity and cleaning out my bank account and walking away with the driver’s license I forgot to renew in March when I was busy celebrating the monumental birthday I felt so ambivalent about, but I would have been really upset if you had taken my iPhone with all of that contact information so lovingly inputted and all of those photos I haven’t yet loaded onto my computer and all of that gadget-love I have expended upon my sweet, sleek, amazing toy. On top of the furloughs and the menopause and the Lady Terps getting their butts kicked by a lesser team in the Elite 8 and Obama being the gay rights weasel we predicted he would be all along, that would have been really hard to take.
But on second thought and also:
Thank you for not taking my debit card. It actually would have been quite a drag if you had figured out a way to clean out my bank account, because, well, the pension fund is in the toilet and this pretty house we live in is losing value with every step we take across the lovely hardwood floors, so the checking account, with its .000000001% interest (I may exaggerate slightly, but not much), is just about the best investment the household has going for it right now. We’re really glad that money is secure, though I will probably continue to check my balance online every 37 seconds for the next six months just to make sure you didn’t copy down my account number and figure out a way to get my pin number, which, I swear to dog, was not in my wallet or anywhere near it, so don’t come back to try to find it.
No, really, you should have, but:
Thank you for not taking the $100 in cash I happened to have in my wallet, though, frankly, I would have understood if you had taken it. I am assuming that if you are desperate enough to be breaking into offices and rooting around in backpacks you might have felt a deep need for that (wholly untraceable) money. Indeed, if you had asked me, politely and with a few emotionally compelling details (an elderly dog in need of expensive veterinary care, perhaps), I might have given you the money, or some of it anyway. I am a kind person, not lacking in empathy. We might have talked and come up with a more constructive way for you to approach your difficulties.
As for what you did take, well:
Thank you for taking my state-issued university purchasing cards and an Am Ex that you probably thought was a corporate card. I imagine you judged that in taking those cards rather than the others you were minimizing my personal liability and inconvenience (which is in fact true and for that I am grateful), though I suppose a cynic might say you figured a slow-moving bureaucracy might not readily detect fraudulent activity on a company card. If that was your calculation, my itchy-fingered friend, you were sorely mistaken. The banks that issued the cards contacted me within two hours after your attempts to use them, because, well, it’s been a long time since my happy little program dropped $500 at a Target on a Wednesday morning. All the cards were immediately canceled, and the vast resources of Queer the Turtle U and the state of Maryland are now trained on the Mysterious Case of the Highly Selective Credit Card Thief. I spent part of my afternoon with a campus cop who grew visibly excited by the prospect of going over to the local Target to watch security tapes. He asked me – several times – to clarify that two of the cards were state-issued, and each affirmation seemed to heighten his glee and determination. He said to me, with steely resolve in his voice, “I am going to catch this guy, ma’am.” “I hope you do,” I replied, in what I hoped was a tone that was equal parts grateful damsel and outraged custodian of (diminishing) state resources.
So there you have it, Mr. or Ms. Pardon Me While I Rifle Through Your Wallet. The turtles are after you. And the eyes of Target are upon you, we hope. Thanks for deciding to shop so ridiculously close to the scene of your crime. Good luck.
(P.S. We post this piece with some humility, knowing full well that the petty crime that absorbed too much of Moose's attention this afternoon was nothing in comparison to the tragedy that occurred on another college campus today. Our hearts go out to the campus and community of Wesleyan University, where a 22-year-old student was shot to death this afternoon. Tenured Radical breaks the news and responds to it here. Peace to you all, TR.)