The suspicious ways of snoops and scoundrels | AspenTimes.com

The suspicious ways of snoops and scoundrels

Tony Vagneur

You’ve probably had that feeling at some point, the sense that your home has been invaded in your absence, but you’re not sure by whom. Happened to me the other day, but it was more than a suspicion. Whoever had encroached upon the sanctity of our home was much like a determined dog, leaving unmistakable sign, from room to room. I’m not saying he (she) peed on every available corner, but whomever it was left a trail even more obvious and more permanent – totally undiscriminating and psychologically slimy – although I’m sure the perpetrator is totally unaware of having done so.I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at noticing things out of the ordinary, but there have been a few experiences, like the time I spotted a small nick out of a standing dead tree up in the mountains. Just a chance glance noticed it, about an inch long, and the belief it was man-made prompted an exploratory adventure that located an illegal campsite within a quarter-mile. Much later, the agency I volunteer for informed me they were looking for a suspected felon who might be hiding out in that neighborhood. It took a while through government channels, but we finally determined it was his camp, and the man is no longer a menace. Very carefully, he had removed any trace of identification off of everything in his makeshift camp, such as from magazine covers, from charge card receipts, from everything. Scrawled his initials on a flashlight, though.Or how about the goofy guys who thought they had the perfect, unlawful campsite, but couldn’t resist shooting a whiskey-jack for the fun of it. Just after sun-up and seeing the dead bird in a minuscule puddle of blood, a hole in its chest, certainly brought forth the assumption on my part that a human was responsible for the corpse. Again, the search was on for illegal behavior, a successful jaunt. Not surprisingly, they were less than happy to have their idyllic mountain “hunting” camp discovered, but then again, I guess you take your chances when you can’t resist being a dumb ass.Why someone helped himself to my house is troubling. Nothing seems to be missing, but perhaps there is an important file gone, maybe a misdirected listening device installed somewhere in the place, or a sophisticated tracking program installed on my computer. My housekeeping methods could be called relaxed, but I know where everything is, down to the Canadian money I’ve stashed for next year’s heli-ski trip.Perhaps a private investigator has been hired by a squinty-eyed, cherub-faced lout who thinks I have the essence of never-ending youth, or at least was young, once. Maybe the intruder thought he could score big bucks by stealing unwritten, un-thought-of, future columns. I might bid on those, myself. I’d like to think a jealous husband was behind it all, but – oh, hell – where’d I put that Rolodex.Unfortunately, no matter how much humor one tries to throw at the incident, it’s not funny, not in the least. The means to carry a “Make my Day” encounter to its final conclusion is within my grasp, so to speak, as is the almost as equally deadly ability to destroy a person’s life, should he be caught at such nonsense. I don’t want either. If the miscreant who did such a thing finds humor in the act, God bless’im, but don’t forget, God probably has a sense of humor, too, and as his karma is applied to your sorry hide, he may rejoice.If nothing else, it has put me on notice to keep my guard up. As a cousin of mine once said, in a note upon his door, and during particularly contentious court proceedings, “Come on in, the traps are set.”Tony Vagneur thinks some things (people?) are just plain weird and doesn’t always like it. Read him here on Saturdays and send comments to ajv@sopris.net.

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