The Adventures of Stoic Man and Impulse Girl

November 11, 2011


Hey, everyone, how are things?  How’s your week?  Anything interesting happen?  Uh-huh.  Uh-huh.  Uh-huh.  Wow, that’s great but Oh my god listen to what happened to me!

So, my mother-in-law has gone out of town for a few days, and we’ve been taking care of her house – feeding the pets, picking up mail, feeding more pets, making sure even more animals have food, that kind of thing.  We get there the other night and see we left some lights on the night before.  Oops.  Then we see more lights on – lights in rooms we didn’t even go in.  And then we realize her house has been broken in to.  We realize her house has been burglarized.

And that the burglar is still there.


You’re probably thinking of any number of safe, logical reactions to this.  We did none of those.

See? Would that have been so hard? I swear, there’s no professionalism any more.

We pulled up to the house down the long driveway and then I saw someone inside.  Middle-aged guy – not clean-cut, but also not wearing burglar clothes, which was pretty disappointing.  No skullcap.  No striped turtleneck.  No big sack with a dollar sign on it.  Pathetic.

He came to the front door and asked who we were, which is a pretty smart move, if you think about it.  We were not expecting that, and so for a moment thought maybe this was a neighbor who’d come over because he… I don’t know, saw something was wrong.  But he didn’t run, didn’t attack; he was, actually, extremely calm.

I tend to assess things.  My wife tends to charge.  If’ we’re, say, hiking, and see a really difficult rock outcropping, I’ll evaluate and ascertain and theorize various outcomes and then probably not climb it because it looks too sketchy, and miss out.  She’ll see it and scramble to the top and then not be able to get down (even if – and yes this literal scenario has happened – I’m standing there shouting, “Do not climb that.  You won’t be able to get down.  You will not be able to get down!” and we then spend half an hour with me getting her down).

Anyway, I was reading the situation, looking at options, etc, and generally being very stoic.  I do that.  She, however, immediately pins him down with questions.  “No, who are you?  You’re not supposed to be here. Tell me what you’re doing here.  You’re a ‘friend’ of the owner?  What’s your ‘friend’s’ name?”

You might be thinking that questioning an intruder mid-intrude is, oh, dangerous.  But you’re forgetting that my wife teaches, and that there is possibly nothing more powerful or paralyzing than a woman using her Teacher Voice and demanding to know just What You Think You’re Doing, Mister.

Confronting the burglar. Dramatic Re-enactment.

So, he’s on the front stoop, and my wife is in the driveway.  There’s a railing and some steps to the side separating them.  I go inside to call 911 while she’s questioning him (we didn’t have a cell phone with us).  As I’m going in, my brain is still assessing – are there more people in here?  What will I do if there are?  What if he runs?  What if he doesn’t?  How quickly can I get to him if he starts towards my wife?  Am I really, definitely sure that this is actually happening?

Now is the part of the story that I get frustrated with.  The sequence here was pretty logical, if we had to split up, but then at the end of the sequence, as I’m on the phone (it’s an older phone with a cord), about twelve feet away from the burglar, all I can think is, “Wait a second.  Now I’m the one on the phone and my wife is keeping the burglar at bay.  How the hell did this happen?”  So, you know… not my most satisfying moment.

Fortunately the burglar came back in the house to where I was.  Apparently he decided it was time to leave, and he didn’t have his shoes.  As he came in I was noticing several things:

  1. There was food and beer cans all over and the TV was on.  Looks like he’d been pretty confident that no one was coming home.
  2. My mother-in-law’s drawers were open and things were lying all over.
  3. My mother-in-law’s dog was sitting on the carpet, smiling and wagging happily.
Ask your doctor about making your stitches look, you know, all manly and cool.
Ask your doctor about making your stitches leave a scar that’s really, like, manly and cool.

Of course he was.  The thing is, he wasn’t always my mother-in-law’s dog.  He used to be our dog, but he was incredibly high strung, and would snap at everything – the other pets, the refrigerator, us.  One day while bathing him he bit me in the throat.  I have this super-cool scar right on the jugular vein, but you can barely see it because the stupid jerk doctor did too good a job of sewing it up.  So we moved him to her house because she has pastures where he can run around and be outside.  Now he’s much happier.  Much more relaxed.  A little too relaxed, apparently, because now it’s Me: neck scar.  Burglar: New Best Buddy.

So, I’m talking to 911, and there’s a police car right up the street. He was there within 90 seconds, before I’d even finished giving all the information.  My wife runs out and flags the officer down and he comes in to the house where he sees me, standing in the middle of the room on the phone, and the burglar sitting in a chair putting on shoes. My wife shouts, “Arrest him!”

The officer then looked at (who would turn out to be) the degenerate, drug-addicted, career criminal and at me and then said, “Which one?”

Nice.  Thanks.

I suppose I had just come from the gym, and, yes, I am overdue for a haircut, but seriously?  If this thing goes to trial I intend to make this the centerpiece of my testimony (“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is it not painfully clear that the accused is unshaven and unkempt whereas I have ‘sexy stubble’?”).

Once that got sorted out, and the officer cuffed him. He didn’t resist and continued to insist that we were the intruders.  He would continue to do so throughout the night, even after he was searched and my mother-in-law’s watches and coin collection were removed from his jacket.

“When we get to the border just play it cool, because we don’t have passports.”

From there the evening was police taking pictures, us trying to catalogue what was missing as best we could, trying to find the cats – who were so freaked that I assumed headed to Mexico by that point – and deciding whether or not we should stay the night in case he had accomplices (and if so, should we arm ourselves with flame-throwers, or would machine guns suffice).

It’s pretty astonishing it went as well as it did, if it had to happen.  Obviously, we were dimly aware of ways it could go wrong while it happened, but only on the periphery.  It was about 4:00am that my brain woke me up with a jolt, saying “Hi, so, we’ve finished cataloging and enumerating the literally hundreds of ways that could have gone nightmarishly bad, and thought now would be a good time to run through them.  Sound good?  Great.  Number 1…”

It’s hard to say how long he was there, but he’d taken a number of valuable things that have yet to be found.  He was working with an accomplice who just happened to not be there at the moment (“Number 74: an accomplice could show up while you’re there”), which could possibly explain why he came to the door when our car pulled up instead of running.

I’ll keep you posted as things develop, and also as to when we come up with the name of our crime-fighting duo.  At this point I’m thinking maybe Stoic Man & Impulse Girl (with her astonishing Teacher Voice), but I’m open to suggestions.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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33 Comments on “The Adventures of Stoic Man and Impulse Girl”

  1. becomingcliche Says:

    Holy cow, Batman! Commissioner Gordon just called! Gotham City NEEDS YOU!

    You should always, always, always have up a sign for burglars saying “Free beer, just bathe the dog first!” The dog can rip out their throat. Problem solved.


  2. madtante Says:

    “When we get to the border just play it cool, because we don’t have passports.”



  3. BrainRants Says:

    This is the kind of crap that happens to me. Especially the “which one” part.


  4. reppelmann Says:

    Were you twirling the phone cord around your fingers? Somehow that’s an important part of this story for me.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Of course I was twirling the cord! I also said at the end of the conversation with the 911 operator, “Okay, you hang up first. No, you! Okay we’ll hang up at the same time – 1, 2, 3… You didn’t hang up!”


  5. truthspew Says:

    You live in an interesting place. People don’t generally burglarize around here. I can tell you why:

    You see on my little street alone there have been THREE grow houses. You know what they are, right? Places where they grow marijuana. And in two of them, people have broken in and been shot dead.

    So we’re sort of a well armed neighborhood.

    It’s because RI, despite it’s retarded politicians, has this thing called Castle Doctrine.


  6. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface Says:

    I cannot imagine getting near the intruder. I would have gone across the street to call.
    Funny that he was sticking to his story regardless of circumstances.


    • Side Yard Flock Says:

      I mean you literally were like “excuse me, if you could just scootch over a teeeeeeny bit so I could get past you and into the house to call the police…yeah, ok, thanks. And don’t kidnap my winfe while i’m in there…that would be great of you, thanks.”


  7. She's a Maineiac Says:

    You and your wife should be commended for playing it so cool! God, I would have run away screaming. I agree, nothing can get a criminal shaking in his boots more then the “teacher voice”. Very odd how relaxed this guy was…what kind of drugs was he on? I laughed at the cop’s question, “Which one?” Good for you that your wife didn’t decide right then to be funny.


  8. pithypants Says:

    Wow! I wouldn’t think there could be a best-case scenario when it comes to burglars, but it sounds like you hit the jackpot. I love that he came to the door without shoes on. Because he didn’t want to get the carpet dirty?


  9. angrymiddleagewoman Says:

    I think it’s both hilarious and terrifying that the number of ways this could have gone dramatically wrong didn’t occur to you until hours later when you were trying to sleep. You both were actually quite brave. You have amazing story-telling skills! And I’m a little scared of your wife from this post alone!


  10. Blogdramedy Says:

    “Which one? ” Mwahahaha!

    Your wife now has something to remember, and taunt you with, FOREVER. If she asks you to come to school with her one day for “show & tell” just say no. 😉


  11. ifiwerebraveblog Says:

    That is hilarious and terrifying all at once.


  12. gojulesgo Says:

    Oh my god, Byronic Man! This was an AWESOME story. I mean… I’m really glad you’re both okay.


  13. happykidshappymom Says:

    Oh my word — what a story! I was just logging off for the night, but came across this post and read it aloud to my husband. His mind followed along with yours throughout the story: leaving your wife outside, being compared to a drug addict, running through the ways things could have gone wrong. 🙂 And as for me, I’ve been stuck up more than one tree in my life. And I’m sure more await me in the future. I’m so glad this was a funny post, and not a tragic one! Though it sounds like your mother-in-law did lose some valuables, it’s a miracle, and wonderful that you are all okay. Did you ever find the cats? 🙂


  14. Liz Gray Says:

    You are hilarious my friend! I like it when the cop showed up and asked “which one?”. What an adventure you had! Great title too.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Thanks – I actually submitted it to The Moth (if you’ve heard of that) under the title “The Adventures of Stoic Man & Impulse Girl” which I liked a lot. Made it to their website, but so far not their live show.


  15. Word Rummager Says:

    I didn’t realize other couples had this type of relationship scenario; my husband is the Appeaser and I’ve been labelled the Confronter. I like the Stoic/Impulse too. Sounds more literary and less cartoony than mine. BAM! Splat! Nod! (the last one being my husband of course)


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s actually a pretty good dynamic to have – each balances the other’s weaknesses. I think – if you can keep a positive stance – the two are really complementary.


  16. peaceof8 Says:

    THAT was hilarious! Glad I found your site. I love your writing style! So dang funny. Seriously, no I mean REALLY funny.


  17. Marie Ramona Says:

    I feel like the dog was mocking you. lol I am pretty sure that my dogs would treat an intruder better than they treat me, the cat might attack tho. Great post!


  18. vinnilibassi Says:

    I think “Stoic Man and Impulse” flows better. I detest you, Stoic Man. You’re funnier than I am (The Vinster – Batman’s most insane adversary). Does Impulse blog? I’m impulsive too, or spontaneous, or both. That may mean I enjoy stoic tales. What do you think? Take your time.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Hm.. so many questions…

      Thanks for saying I’m funnier. Who knows if that’s true, but I accept your hate in exchange for believing it’s so.
      No, Impulse doesn’t blog. She should, though.
      Who doesn’t love a good stoic tale?



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