OH NO. THE Phantom Housecleaner has been caught. A person has been breaking into homes in the US, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and vacuuming the carpets. Not a joke.
By the quality of the work (“not terrible”) victims could tell that the housebreaker was female.
When I first heard about her, I wished she’d break into my office, preferably making regular twice-weekly visits.
But the mystery cleaner’s career is over. Last week police caught Sue Warren of Cleveland, Ohio, after she cheekily left one victim an invoice for US$75 bearing her name and address.
This news was sent to me by an unmarried male reader who said: “Please publicize this story to inspire ‘copycat’ housebreakers to do the same thing in Asia.”
He particularly wanted someone to break in and deal with his former flatmate’s fridge, which had “not been opened for 13 months” and was making strange noises “as if a slime monster had evolved inside”.
I asked him why he didn’t just clean it or pay someone else to do it.
He said: “It’s not that I’m a total coward and a miser or anything, but I guess I’m a total coward and a miser.”
Later it occurred to me that there ARE equivalents to the Phantom Housecleaner in Asia.
Several times I have stopped at traffic lights in India or China or Indonesia and a young man has washed my windscreen unasked.
These guys ask for a few coins, which I give them, partly to reward their enterprise, but mostly because they give me this mad glare which tells me they would insert their sponge-on-a-stick thing deep into one of my orifices if I didn’t.
The fridge guy called back later with a question. If “whatever has evolved” in the fridge is unknown to science “how much will I get for it?” he asked.
I told him that life forms which evolved from food were always highly poisonous. “You should count yourself lucky if you get to keep your life.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
A US COURT fined an Asian doctor US$3 million last week for “failing” to warn his patient that being in a bisexual orgy could be fatal. Can someone please warn the US judicial system’s credibility that decisions such as these could be fatal? It may be too late.
THE DEAD BODY of a guy called Vicente Benito was found in his home in the village of Canizal (total population: 520) in Spain last week, the media reported. Doctors reckon he had been dead for 20 years.
I guess this is what is meant by the “slow pace of village life”.
Typical conversation in Canizal must go like this: “Have you seen Vicente recently?”
“Yes, I popped in to his place three or four decades ago, he’s fine.”
(Europeans have a relaxed attitude to most things)
A RECENT SURVEY said that marijuana smokers get into fewer car crashes than alcohol drinkers. Not surprised. It’s hard to get into a traffic accident when you can’t find your car.
THANKS FOR the amusing comments recently, guys. You’re doing a great job, and I should know: it’s hard to be funny in recent times with so much gruesome news around. Top stories are the cannibal pyscho, the China abortion scandal, massacres in Syria and the various financial/ political crises in Europe: not exactly great material for light-hearted commentary. To top it all, it’s been raining heavily all week where I am, and there’s some virus going around so everyone is sniffing and depressed.
So why am I feeling so happy? Found the answer in Time magazine this morning. Dads are irrationally happy simply because they are Dads, according to the biggest study yet of happiness. Here’s a paragraph from the article:
Parents have less free time and less sex, with more exhaustion, frustration and time spent idling in the carpool lane, than the kid-free segment of our society. So why do we do it? Maybe because despite all the rigors and annoyances, the love between parent and child is unprecedented in its passion. It’s blinding and fierce and feels completely different than romance. I don’t know if scientists have looked into whether parents smile and laugh more than non-parents, but I’ll bet they do. Kids are funny. They are you before you became hardened and wizened, before you experienced sorrow, before you went all cynical on the world.
Dads are happy people
Early pic of Mr Bean with family
Whether you have a child or are someone else’s child, let’s celebrate family members this weekend (it’s father’s day). This morning, my brother stumbled on this old pic of your humble narrator just after we had our first child.
Okay, so the baby’s Chinese, but don’t you think he looks just like me? No? Maybe the hair?