Cleaned Out | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

When I was 16, on spring break, my family drove down to Florida in our big brown Ford LTD to see our grandparents. In our absence, the next-door neighbor, Margie, took care of our dog, Fonzie (named in the mid-1970s). About five days into our 10-day trip, Margie called and hysterically told us that she had been in the house and thought she heard footsteps upstairs. She'd fled to call the police, who came and found that the third floor -- where my room was -- had been ransacked!

We left vacation early, drove home in half the time. The police had been looking for fingerprints and talking to neighbors about suspicious vehicles. We arrived home and ran through the house: The silver was there ... the TV was still in its place ... Mom's jewelry was safe ...

But we ran up to the third floor, and it was a disaster. There were clothes everywhere, junk strewn all over the room, drawers open with things spilling out. It was a mess.

And it was exactly how I had left it. The next day, I had to go and explain to the neighbors and the police that there hadn't been a burglar in the house. Just a slob.

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