1242 WHITNEY AVE • HAMDEN, CT • 06517
PHONE • 203.200.0350
315 W 39th ST • STUDIO 708
NEW YORK, NY •10018
When we purchased a bench for the front of the shop, both my husband and Scott, my sister Jessica’s husband, suggested that we bolt the bench to the ground. We refused. “Who’s gonna steal the bench?” we argued. That was April.
In June, Kate, our front-of-the-house assistant, noticed the bench missing. It was a Wednesday. Jessica immediately went next-door to the bank to ask if they had the surveillance video from the night before. They did, but the bench wasn’t in it. Rewind the tape a few days to Friday, and there’s the video of the bench-stealing in progress. Okay, so it took us till Wednesday to notice it missing. Whatever. That’s not the point.
An actual photo of the crime in progress, courtesy First Niagra Bank.
We called the Hamden Police Department and they immediately dispatched Officer Manning. We excitedly told him that this would surely be a boon to his career and more than likely lead to a major promotion, as we had the actual video surveillance of the crime in progress. Officer Manning went next door to the bank, watched the video, took a report, refused a cupcake, and left after promising to keep an eye out for the bench.
And that was that. Or so we thought.
Enter Frank. Technically Frank should not be in this story at all. A year ago when I was leaving California, I wrote a blog post about Frank and how much we’d miss him. Frank can fly a plane, goes prospecting for gold, and can easily fix your alternator with a glue stick and some duct tape. Add the cute British accent and the fact that he follows up almost all of his zany ideas with “mate”, and he can convince you that even the most outrageous scheme is a solid plan. So when Frank offered to buy a truck and drive all of our belongings from California across the country to Connecticut last summer “in under a week, mate. No problem”, we thought nothing of it.
Once he arrived (two new tires, a replaced fuel filter, and a brand new ignition, all done by him, later) and saw what a wreck our new house was, he offered to stay for a week or two to help out. The sun porch that we planned to tear down became “No problem, mate, we’ll just build new walls, put in a new bathroom, move the laundry upstairs.” August quickly turned to December, and we had a new housemate, mate.
It was around this time we noticed that Frank and my mom were spending an awful lot of time together, and before long he had moved in with her. Frank is now here permanently, being all mushy-gushy and in love with my mom. They’re perfect for each other and we couldn’t be happier.
Anyway, Frank bought like a few hundred or a million of these vintage metal things (he told me what they do but I forgot) and wanted to get them polished. So last week he drove to a local metal shop, pulled into the parking lot, and there, right there in the back of the metal shop, was our bench!
Jessica called the police to report the return of the bench, but wasn’t sure of the name of the officer. She spoke with dispatch: “Hi, um, yes, we reported a stolen bench to, um, I believe it was Officer Manning?” The man on the other end of the line responded with an assured (or was it amused?) “Oh, yeah, it was Manning alright,” and said Officer Manning would meet us at the shop.
The next day, after Manning failed to show up, we called the police again. This time we arranged to meet them in the parking lot at the metal shop. Frank and Scott parked in the lot with a full view of the inside of the metal shop, and sat in the car doing some sort of stake out. “Frank!” said Scott “That one has a gun!” And he did. Scott called 911, and within seconds several police officers showed up. They immediately arrested the one with the gun (it turned out to be a BB gun, but he had other outstanding warrants) and all but one officer left with the arrested guy to settle the bench issue. The non-arrested guys at the metal shop said it belonged to the kids next door. The kids next door came down, examined the bench at length (we’re not sure what they were looking for), and said it belonged to one of their brother’s friends and that they didn’t care what happened to it. And with that, the bench was returned to us.
Our bench, fully assembled once again, in the back of the shop.
Welcome back bench! We missed you (even though we didn’t notice you were gone for a while) and are so happy you’re back.
P.S. The bench is now bolted to the ground.
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