Conversation with Mr. PO-liceman today on the phone:
Me: I need to make a report about a stolen purse.
Gruff, grunting, chewing policeman: OK ma'am. What's the address?
Me: Um, where it was stolen?
PM: Yes, it wouldn't do me any good to have the address of somewhere where it wasn't stolen, would it?
Me: Oh, OK. Well, you know, I'm not sure of the exact address. I was helping a friend move, so I was just parked outside of her old apartment, and I don't know her address.
PM: (incredulously) So you knew how to get there but you don't know her address?
Me: Um, yeah. Well, you know, the only thing I know is it's the ____ apartment complex on Florida and she lived in building three.
PM: What do you mean "she lived" - I thought you said this was today?
Me: Yeah, it was just a few hours ago, but I was helping her move from that apartment to another, so technically, you know, she doesn't live there anymore.
PM: (sigh) OK I don't want to know all the details about your friend, Ma'am. I just need to know where this theft occured.
Me: Right, and that's the problem. I mean, I guess I could drive over there and find out for sure and come back here and call you? Can we go with the information I have, which is the name of the complex, cross-streets and building number?
PM: Well, that doesn't help me. I need an exact address to put into the computer.
Me: Well, I guess I'll just have to hang up and call the apartment complex and get back to you then.
PM: You could call your friend.
Me: Well, my cell phone was stolen along with my purse and that's where I have her number.
PM: You don't got it written down anywhere else?
Me: (I have to justify my record-keeping to Mr. Policeman now?) Nope.
PM: (big dramatic sigh) Hang on there, Ma'am, I'll try to look it up.
PM: How about 9110 E. Florida? Does that sound good?
Me: Uh, well, sure, I mean, it sounds good. I just don't know if it's correct. I don't live over there. I don't know what the numbers are. But, um, sure.
PM: Well, I suppose it's as good as any.
PM: What did this purse look like?
(and on we go until I am listing the contents of my purse)
Me: ...and maybe um...five credit cards?
PM: OK, what are they?
Me: (I detail all the card companies I've called, and apparently I list a total of six cards)
PM: That's six cards, you said five before.
Me: Oh, Ok. Well I guess I was guessing, but I have this list in front of me of all the companies I called and everyone that reported purchases, and I guess there's six.
PM: OK, well you just said five before, and now you said six.
Me: Well. (my turn for big dramatic sigh) There were five credit cards, and one debit card.
PM: Oh, OK then.
Seriously, can't imagine why this guy has a desk job and has to work weekends, can you?
But maybe I'm just a bad citizen. According to him, I don't get much sympathy because the passenger-side door was unlocked, the vehicle was unattended for 2 minutes at a time, I kept my social security card in my wallet, I don't have phone numbers written down, I don't write down where my friends live, and I didn't have my license number or license plate on my truck memorized or written down anywhere. He asked what would happen if my truck was stolen, how would I report it? Dang good question, actually. One of the only useful things to emerge from this conversation, actually.
So, folks, here's some tips for you:
Keep a record of your credit cards and the numbers to call if they are stolen. Keep this separate from your cards. Funnily enough, they often print this info on the back of the card. You know, so that after you don't have the card any longer, you can flip it over to get the number.
Write down your license number and license plate number.
Don't carry your social security card in your wallet.
Write down where all your friends live, and their phone numbers.
It's entirely possible that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.