I straightened up, turned around and screamed. There stood Jim. Honestly, I thought he had left 10 minutes earlier and I was in my own world turned upside down drying my hair singing … loudly.

“Good grief, Suz, I live here too.” I think I startled him as much as he did me.

“I thought you had already left.”

“Listen,” he said with a serious look on his face. “Did you get into the maps in the door pocket of my car? They were moved out of the door on to the driver’s seat.”

“I haven’t been in your maps or even in your car. Are you sure you didn’t move them looking for something and just forget?” We stick together because it takes two of us to make one brain sometimes.

“No. This is really strange. Maybe someone has been in our garage. How many people have you given the code to?” he asked like Law and Order SVU detectives do.

“Me? You’re the one who shares everything with everyone. I think you moved the maps and just forgot,” I said putting them back in the door pocket.

He rolled his eyes and pulled out of the driveway on an overnight trip leaving me to the detective work. What if someone had actually come in to our house while we were gone. Does the security system really work? I’ve seen the bad guys short circuit them in movies. What do we have that anyone would want? Why did he have to make that discovery just as he was leaving town?

And the paranoia grew. I even went online to see if we had crazy felons living in the neighborhood. I didn’t sleep much that night.

Two days later Jim found the maps on the seat again, but this time there was more evidence. Torn up bits of paper were stuffed the in door pocket. After following a paper trail, the bad guy short circuiting the alarm system turned out to be a chipmunk building a home in the car door. He had gnawed through a brief case handle and chewed up some book covers, but carefully moved the maps without damaging them at all.

Spike White used to tell me that assumptions can cause you nothing but trouble, so be careful. Runaway thoughts get darker and uglier the further they spin out of control. Assuming almost had me calling in the Taney County sheriff on a chipmunk.


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