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Posted: September 24, 2011 9:09 p.m.

McCoy: A bungling burglar

Before we start, let me state that I am not now, nor have I ever been a professional burglar. I don't believe in taking something that doesn't belong to me. Heck, I've even had a tough time retrieving things that do belong to me. But, if I were to suddenly find myself shoehorned into a life of criminal trespass, breaking and entering and general mischief, I'd be arrested on the first day out. While watching cop shows in the 1970s, I learned that burglary takes a certain level of skill with ladders, an expertise with crawling in and out of windows and a comfort with heights. I don't have any of those. I'm totally bankrupt in the burglary skills business.

You might ask, "Why are you so sure you'd be an inept burglar?" While I appreciate your encouragement to try a new and potentially lucrative vocation, I think I know just how badly I'd fare. A few weeks ago, I locked myself out of a house up in North Georgia. In a lucky coincidence, I had been working on the outside of the house, and had a ladder near an open window that I had been cleaning and caulking. In effect, it was a perfect set up for a burglary. So, I repositioned the ladder at the window, and I started up the rungs. That's when I ran into the first problem: I hate heights. The ladder tipped a bit, and I raced back down and re-anchored the ladder footing. Then I went up again, wobbly knees and all, and did my best to get inside the house. Well, if it's possible to "fall" into an open window, that's a pretty good description of my entry. Half of me was sticking up in the air, and the half that can scream and curse was tumbling onto the hard pine floor as my stomach scraped along the window frame. If you'd driven by, you would have surely exclaimed, "Look! Isn't that the most incompetent burglar you've ever seen. Call the police before he kills his fool self!" And so it goes. I guess this just proves that strong moral fiber can help you live a crime-free life of purity, but a fear of heights and a wobbly ladder can be just as effective.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at davmccoy@bellsouth.net.

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