I got my cable bill the other day. I owed $124 and change. That was almost double my monthly payment. I thought the company had made a mistake and turned over to see exactly what it was I was supposed to be paying for. I got the shock of my life and the answer to the question that had been bugging me for two months. Let me rewind.
One day, late January, I came home and noticed my front door was unlocked. I chalked it up to carelessness and made a mental note to make sure my doors were always locked when I left the house. Another day, mid-February, I came home from work and noticed my back door was unlocked. I looked around to make sure nothing had been stolen. I wanted to label the incident as another careless behavior on my part except that some of my things had been moved around. You know the feeling you get when you are certain the book you left on the coffee table had been moved a few inches away from its original position and you so damn sure you had not moved it? Yes. That was the feeling I had. It was unsettling. Although I was worried, I didn’t want to come off as being paranoid so I did nothing. After that, I double checked the doors every day before leaving for work and every night before going to bed.
A week later, I woke up in the middle of the night. I thought I heard someone in the house. My heart raced and I fought panic. I needed to keep calm since I had no weapon of any sort in my bedroom (I rectified this situation later). You know how we like to make fun of oyinbo people in movies when they hear a sound and they feel they absolutely have to investigate it, and we as members of the audience know for a fact they will get hacked to pieces by a knife-wielding psycho? Well, I had to make a choice whether to spend the whole night in my room terrified or to go find out if there was a knife-wielding psycho in my house. I had no baseball bat. I had sold my (ahem) other sporting items before I left North Dakota. My butcher knife was in the kitchen – the exact area the noise was coming from. So I did the next best thing. I cleared my throat in preparation for a loud scream if necessary. I tiptoed into the hallway and turned on the lights, then I wandered into the living room before making my way to the kitchen. There was no one there. As relieved as I felt, I did not want my paranoia to get in the way of a good night’s sleep. I left all the lights on and went back to bed, but not to sleep.
Things stayed quiet for another week until one Monday afternoon, I went home for lunch around noon. Before I left for work I double checked the front and back doors, making sure they were secured. I came home that evening around 5:20 and noticed my front door unlocked – again. My back door was wide open like someone had just left the house in a hurry. This time, I called the cops. They checked all the locks to make sure they were not broken into and took my statement. They were surprised this individual never took anything in the house. So was I. I called my landlord and had him change the locks the next day.
Nothing happened after that. I put aside the idea of buying a hand gun and decided to splurge on a hunting rifle instead – turkey season is coming. Life seemed to go back to normal. Until I got the bill. Apparently, someone had been ordering porn on my On Demand account. This person ordered, Cheating Housewives, Girls/First Timers2 and Date a Porn Star 4. My co-workers (who were there when I opened the bill) could not stop laughing. The mystery of the daytime house guest was solved. I figured out why nothing was missing. He (yes, I am sure it was a dude) was too busy stealing free porn. I called the cable company.
“Ma’am you say this was an error?” the lady asked.
“No. It’s not an error. Someone did watch those movies but it was not me. My house was broken into a few times during the day when I was at work.”
My coworkers started to guffaw. A few of them were holding their sides from laughing too hard.
“Would you guys shut up, I am on the phone!”
“So, this intruder watched porn while you were at work,” the rep said to me. Her voice was beginning to crack.
“Oh…” was as far as she went before bursting out laughing too.
This was something weird. I mean, I have lived in Detroit’s west side and never got shot at, robbed or assaulted. Now, I move into a small Southern city that is supposedly safe, I get a cable porn thief sharing my house, rent free. “We’ll adjust your bill, ma’am,” the rep said to me as soon as she regained her composure.
That evening, I went home and sprayed half a can of Lysol on my leather couch and wiped it down. Goodness knows what that weirdo did on it.
True story, folks. Keep your cable under lock and key, it is now more valuable than jewelry.