I saw some black plastic thing on the street , near the curb . I saw it yesterday and left it . Today is trash day . I figured when I put out the barrels I’ll pick it up and toss it into the trash . Unless my neighbor , Ed , sees it and gets rid of it first . I didn’t expect him to take care of it ; he flies by so fast , back and forth from his house to his truck . He’s busy . Has his own business and hustles . But , then again , there’s always hope .
The plastic was buzzing . The buzzing I’d been hearing all morning was coming from the black plastic device lying on the street . A couple of wires attached ; one of them cut .
” Hey , Ed “, I called . This was unprecedented . Ed and I had never had a conversation during the twenty years since Ada and I moved in next to him . ” This thing’s buzzing .” I began to explain to Ed how I’d seen it yesterday , how I’d heard the buzzing all morning but had no idea it was emanating from the thing in the street .
” It’s not mine ,” he said . ” It might be a car alarm with a sensor . If it were me I’d report it to the police , ” he said . It was the longest conversation that Ed and and had ever had .
” That’s why I’m talking to you , ” I said . ” That’s what I’ll do .”
And I did . Two police cars arrived a few minutes later . I showed the cops the device . The older cop was in the same boat I was . He had no idea what the thing was . The younger guy said it looked like those wires ” they tie up merchandise in an electronics store with ” . We all agreed that he was right , that that’s what it was .
The thing had stopped buzzing by then but was clicking . The buzzing had sounded like giant grasshoppers . The clicking sounded like a bomb about to go off . Maybe I’ve seen too many movies .
The older cop noted that it had no serial number or other identifying marks and that it was wet like maybe it had been out there on the street for a long time . We all agreed that I should toss it , trash it . I thanked them for responding and they thanked me for calling .
The officers chatted out there on the street in front of my house for a minute or two as their cars sat mid-street . I’ll get questions later from the old folks on the street . Arcadia is a safe city . This kind of a mundane thing is big excitement on my street . Good for a little gossip for awhile .