Friday, October 17, 2008

Putting Lives on the Line

Have I ever told you about my good friend Paul? He'll do anything for his friends, and I mean ANYTHING!

Tonight we had a slightly humorous occurrence. I took Sprinkles out around 10 pm for a quick walk, and when I walked out my door and across the street, I noticed a 2 ft by 2 ft box covered in white paper. On the box was written "STOP AND LOOK", and it appeared to have holes in it. After staring at it for a while I decide not to approach it, but I do start looking all over the place for the people who must be Punking me. Not a soul is around; I hear no quiet laughter; I see nothing but the now hugely freaky box. Look people, it's the post-9/11 era. People shouldn't leave oddly marked, wrapped packages around without a clear purpose!

So I walked Sprinkles elsewhere in the complex and came home. Fearful that LaRae and Randy were already asleep, I decided to call Paul. He lives close, and I knew he and Jennifer would be catching up on their DVR stuff tonight. Yeah, so I relay the info about the box to him, and he agrees it's freaky. However, I don't want to call emergency maintenance (bc the last time I did it was for a weird chemical smell in my apartment, and they thought I was insane, but I thought I was going to die in my sleep from breathing the strange gas), and I'm scared to call 911 for fear of a policeman yelling at me for being silly. Without hesitation Paul says he'll be over shortly.

I decided to go outside to wait for him, so I grabbed my broom (so we could poke the box), and I hunted for a safe spot to duck behind while Paul poked the box. I found a minivan nearby and decided that was a sturdy enough spot that maybe a bomb wouldn't kill me... Looking back, I think I was still too close. Anyways, Paul arrives with a flashlight (super smart since I forgot to tell him the box was right under a streetlight) and a baseball bat -- while it was sturdier than my broom, it wasn't as long. Did I mention my first fear wasn't a bomb but something live (bc I thought there were holes in the box) and dangerous?

At this point you're probably thinking, "Joanna, go to bed and leave it alone!" Well I'm not that person. What if it was dangerous, and I didn't do anything about it, and someone got hurt?! I'd never forgive myself. It HAD to be investigated for the people of my complex!

In all fairness, I've left out another part too. On the hydrant across the street from the box is an arrow with a sign saying Labradoodles will be "on sale" this weekend. Coincidence though, I'm sure...

Back to Paul and the baseball bat! So I was laughing like crazy bc I just know I'm being insane, and it's probably nothing. Paul is looking at me like I'm insane for laughing (mostly bc I think at that point he was praying but counting on being blown up). He actually told me that he thought I needed to be further away for this (him poking the box) -- which also made me laugh, but I did run behind my newly staked out minivan.

So Paul began the exploration of the box. He examined it from all sides. Nothing. He did stop to look around for the people punking us like I did (again I laughed bc I knew he was listening for quiet laughter from the bushes too). He poked it. Nothing. He then told me to get behind the van better. He rolled it over -- with the bat. I braced for the explosion. Nothing. Hm. I was starting to get a little sheepish feeling. He rolled to to one side and unwrapped it partially with the bat. Whew! Still nothing. OK so then after looking with the flashlight a bit better, he really went for it and reached into the box. I think there was paper or a piece of cardboard?? lol. Yeah, it was an empty box. So he sat it back up and sort of re-wrapped it.

Our bet is that it's either there to draw attention to the labradoodle sign or else people will be set up there with some labradoodles tomorrow... although why set up in a complex? I do think they'll be fairly confused as to why someone unwrapped their box. Lol. :) Oh well... don't leave a wrapped box with no clear purpose sitting out in a post-9/11 world!

The sobering thing in all of this is the thought that it could have really been something bad. Paul could be dead now... so could I. I should have called emergency maintenance and let them deal with it. While I super appreciate Paul for literally risking his life for me and my insane curiosity, it was sort of dumb for us to mess with that box. So scary event, turned out good. We'll laugh about my paranoia in weeks to come. Thank goodness for friends who indulge your fears and help you feel safe!


  1. Paul is so sweet! What a great friend! :o) I'm so glad it was nothing, my first reaction would have been a hurt animal or curiousity would have gotten the best of me too! :o) Glad it was nothing though...

  2. I am thankful you guys are safe! Aren't those Hylemon people just so nice? What a good (yet funny) story.