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The Mobile Phone

After walking for about 2 hours I was tired and sweaty, another exhilarating walk ended. I dipped into my pocket and was disappointed. The instrument for opening my door wasn't there, I was locked out, there would be no cold shower nor a cool beer.

I remembered that during the walk, I was irritated about my promise to call Ettie to assure her no lions had devoured me, I had pulled the confounded calling apparatus from my pocket and the key slipped out unobtrusively.

Ettie's insistence that I call to put her mind at rest had caused my predicament.

I wasn't worried about losing the door opening instrument. The idea of someone connecting it with our front door and emptying our dwelling of all our possessions was absurd.

Ettie thought otherwise. Her anxiety grew when her friend, Rebecca, the local mrs. know it all, told her about a gang of thieves who cleaned out everything the Steins, another neighbor, owned including the lady's valuable Jewelry.

Now Ettie takes her mother's candlesticks, with us whenever we leave the house. They're of sentimental value. I agree, because I will do anything to allay my wife's fears.

We live on the ground floor of a terrace structure on the eastern slope of Mt. Scopus. Entering from the balcony facing the desert would be difficult, but with a key anyone can enter from the main door.

A short middle aged man, slightly stooping, carrying a skimpy haversack, like a child's school knapsack shuffles around our neighborhood, knocking on doors.

He rings our door bell and I give him five or ten shekels, whatever I happen to have in my purse at the time.

The last time I gave him money I asked him to go away and please not come again. The thing is he gets on my nerves, not that I don't like him. I like to greet him and exchange thoughts about the weather and the corona situation, but the guy simply does nothing. He doesn't want to do the slightest work, all he wants is money. In other words he's a hobo and as far as I'm concerned a thief also.

Since the theft our neighbors have become more wary of strangers. One neighbor doing a bit of surveillance took a picture on which my friend, the deadbeat appeared.

This leads me to thinking he is a lookout man for a gang of thieves working the neighborhood. He rings doorbells to check if people are at home, he follows their movements, notes times when they are out.

In my case he found out where I took my daily walk. I don't think he did this deliberately, he must have been casing the area and by coincidence observed me walking.

He must have been the one to find the door opener I had lost, he was the only person fitted to connect the instrument to me.

He has the darn thing, I'm sure of that. But he hasn't used it. I think he has his heart set on doing a deal with the gang of thieves.

My front door opener has become an item for sale. The question is only how much is the thing worth and that is what the lookout man is over stressing himself to establish.

He needs proof that our apartment contains goods of value before any thief will fork out the bucks he's asking for the article.

He thinks that eventually Ettie will walk out dressed in Jewels, that she keeps for festive occasions.

He's going to wait forever. In the meantime he picks up five shekels for his trouble.

He's holding out for big bucks, but by and by he'll sell it cheaply. I wonder what they'll steal, certainly not my IPhone, which I use for writing these ridiculous stories and always carry with me on the lookout for more serious ones.

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