An Ode to Three Douche Canoes

(My Open Letter to the Ass Hats Who Tried to Break Into My Home — While I Watched)


Dearest Douche Canoes:

Like I didn’t have enough trust issues.

So there I was a coupla weeks ago, working from home on a Monday. And guess what kind of Monday it was? Not a Love-Hate Monday, no not at all — but a LOVE-LOVE Monday. As in a “My-kids-are-coming-home-my-kids-are-coming-home-MY-KIDS-ARE-COMING-HOME!!!!!” Monday.

I was breathless with excitement at the prospect of my children returning safely to my home and looking forward to a magical day.

Little did I know that there you were, driving up to my house in your sun-bleached, trashy, light blue, 80s-style, Toyota Corolla-ish crapcar. It was about 10 in the morning, just after I had completed a writing assignment and just before I was going to take a shower.

You parked in my driveway, and then two of you proceeded to come up to my door and start pounding the living shit out of it.

Because, you know, that’s totally going to make me want to open it and see who’s there.

Instead, I walked into my daughter’s empty room (whose second-floor window overlooks the driveway), spied your pile-o’-poop car, saw the guy who remained in the car and heard two of you conversing at my door while you pounded away.

I thought to myself, “Self,” (because that’s the crazy moniker I call me while addressing me in the second person), “…better not answer the door. There are three of them and one of you, and you don’t recognize them. And they seem awfully insistent, what the persistent pounding and such.”

So I watched. And waited. And waited. And watched.

And you pounded. And pounded. And pounded some more.

Then suddenly, I heard something truly bizarre.

What was that sound you ask, dumbasses? It was the ominous sound of silence as the pounding suddenly stopped…followed almost immediately by the clatter of the two of you OPENING THE GATE TO MY BACKYARD.

“Hmmm,” I thought to myself. “Why would these people be coming into my backyard, I wonder?”

I’m so fucking naïve.

I then proceeded to the bathroom window that overlooks the walkway leading to my backyard, where I saw the two of you. On the other side of the private gate. IN MY BACKYARD!

“Perhaps it’s the guys here to mow my lawn,” I thought to myself, momentarily forgetting that I would have needed to hire “the guys” to actually “mow my lawn” in order for this to make any sense. “I’ll wait to see if they go to their teeny tiny little shabby car and pull out a giant lawnmower.”

Remember that time Mary Poppins pulled a coat rack out of her magical bag? I was imagining the exact same scene. Minus the talking birds, of course. And the magical bag.

But alas, you did not. Instead, I watched as you proceeded to pull out a pair of gloves. From the pockets of your black hoodies. (Yip. You can’t make this shit up.) And then put them on. And start sneaking around toward the back of my home, whispering the entire way.

“Shit.” I thought to myself. “Shit. Shit. Shit.”

“I guess I’m not getting a free mow today.”

But here’s what you didn’t count on: I am wise, connected and technologically savvy, you little boneheads. Because I have that modern techie marvel called an iPhone. Because I no longer have a landline, but my phone is always within close reach, right here in the pocket of my …

“Shit.” I thought to myself. “Shit. Shit. Shit.”

My phone. It’s not in my pocket.

“Self?” I second-personed myself again. “Where is that stupid modern technie marvel called my iPhone?”

I retraced my steps in my head. Before the front-door poundfest began, I had just been downstairs chopping veggies for a magnificent/healthful/tasty soup that would serve to welcome my adorable children home this afternoon.

Very Mary Poppins, dontcha think?

Yup, downstairs next to the vegetables. That’s where my iPhone is.

Right next to my wide-ass open sliding glass door, welcoming in the gorgeous 75-degree breezes on this glorious Monday morn.

And apparently, also welcoming in you three dinglewads — whom I’ve lovingly nick-named Dicklips, Pumpkin Head and Chad.

Now I was faced with a dilemma: Stay in my bathroom, lock the door, curl up in the fetal position, suck my thumb and wait to be fucking killed. Or run like the wind downstairs, close and lock the slider, grab my phone and run back to my bathroom perch.

I chose the latter.

I ran. Like the wind. Stealthily and sneakily, but fast and furious nonetheless. I bounded toward the slider, closed and locked it, grabbed that stupid modern techie marvel called my iPhone and feverishly dialed 911.

I then resumed my bathroom post overlooking you. You, Dicklips and Pumpkin Head, were still in sight, while Chad had apparently emerged from the crapcar and resumed pounding on my door – the obvious watchman in case I came home. Or decided to suddenly answer the door.

I then saw you, Pumpkin Head, pull out a knife. You walked toward the man door leading into my garage…

(An aside: Why the fuck are they called “man doors,” anyhow? Do only men go through them? Do women not warrant a door to themselves? Should I take this up with the ACLU? Should I not be concerned about this pesky detail at this point in my story, what with the knife and all?)

The knife. Oh yeah, back to the knife. And the hoodies. And the gloves. And the sound of you trying to pry open my dead-bolted door, the very door which is conveniently located right below the window from which I was watching you.

(Quick tip, Pumpkin Head: Hoodies make your already giant noggin only appear giant-er. Like, globe-like in size. Perhaps next time, a svelte skull cap? Just a thought.)

So I’m on the phone with 911 busting your sorry asses. The dispatcher gets a full description of two of the three of you (sadly, I’ve never actually seen Chad, only his hairy legs in the back of your car), and now she has assured me a couple of times that officers are “en route.”

Except I don’t hear sirens. I don’t see cops. And suddenly, I don’t see you either – neither your giant globe-head nor your friend’s greasy black hair peeking out from under his slimy black hood.

I’m stuck in my bathroom not knowing if you’re in my house? Or not? Because last I saw, you had a knife, you were trying to get into my man door and now you are gone. Poof. Like Mary Poppins again, this time after she snaps her fingers. Only minus the spoonful of sugar. And adding in nefarious intentions.

About 15 minutes of a full-on panic attack later, a cop shows up. A cop. As in, singular. With the gate to my backyard wide-ass open, he follows protocol and refuses to enter until back-up arrives. Not that he has a gun or anything. Or that I’m trapped alone in my house without a single way to protect myself.

But whatever.

So anyhow, I watched him from my bathroom window too, considering a friendly wave and maybe even holding up my fingers in the casual “Call me???” position. But I decided against and hid from him, too. I don’t know why, exactly. Just seemed the trend for the day.

After another 10 minutes, I see two motorcycle cops pull up, and the triumvirate — the holy trinity of fearless policeman posse-ness — enters my backyard.

But you have already fled. Cowards.

And I don’t know what spooked you. I’m not sure if you saw my purse sitting on the kitchen island and the pile of carrots and celery on the cutting board as you snuck around and peered through the sliding glass door that I had locked only moments before. I’m not sure if you heard my desperate pleas to the 911 dispatcher, asking her for fucking help. I’m not sure if you caught a glimpse of my giant eyes, watching you and your gloves and your knife and your smarmy demeanors from the window in my bathroom.

My very small bathroom. The one with the walls that were closing in on me. Because I’m claustrophobic AND being robbed by three knobs with a knife while I helplessly watch.

But what I do know is that you were gone by the time Reno 911 arrived.

(Actually, no disrespect to the police officers. I just love the fact that I actually live in Reno, and I actually called 911, therefore Reno 911 is entirely appropriate. If not evocative.)

And the posse’s verdict: The robbery was unsuccessful, with the only scars being from a knife to the man door.

“You’re lucky,” Lieutenant James “Jim” Ronald Dangle said (at least I think that was on his shiny gold name tag…). “You’re unharmed, and nothing is missing.”

Unharmed, huh? Clearly, he hasn’t read my blog.

And even though nothing seems to be missing, I do find myself without a few necessities these days. Namely:

  • Security. I am now newly uncomfortable in my life as a full-time home-based freelance writer. Every sound during the day, and I’m jumping up, bounding down the hall and peering out the window. You see, there has been a rash of burglaries in recent weeks in my quiet, charming neighborhood, and they’re targeting homes during the day because that’s when most people are at work. Except for me, apparently. Stupid freelance writing career. Suddenly, the prospect of working an 8-to-5 from a (safe) sea of cubicles is becoming more and more appealing…
  • Sleep. Ahhhh, that magical elixir to soothe the exhausted soul seems to be even more elusive than usual. I awaken to every noise, unless I’ve drugged myself with Benadryl. For the “allergies,” of course. Many, many allergies.
  • Trust. Oh wait. I didn’t have that before, either. Never mind.

But, Dicklips, Pumpkin Head and Chad, you have also given me a few things for which I’m oh-so-grateful, including by not limited to:

  • A free pass to enjoy a noon margarita (or two – maybe four…) following the ordeal.

    Margarita numero uno. With an extra shot for good measure…

  • The need for a new padlock, an ominous warning about my giant fucking (yet, oddly silent and invisible) dog and the desperate urge to rip off my neighbor’s security system sign and nail it to the front of my house. Illuminated with a spotlight. Surrounded by reflective tape. Underlined in neon highlighter.

    The scene of the crime — after the crime. And hopefully,serving to prevent future crime.

  • Guilt trips. My boyfriend has become somewhat insistent that we either get an a.) gun or b.) scary dog. I’m reluctant about both, but he thinks I’ll cave about the b.) scary dog, so now he has started secretly placing pix of adorable pound pooches as screensavers that pop up at random times throughout my day.

    Meet Charlie. My boyfriend thinks he looks like a killer.

    Even my kids have gotten in on the ploy – my son recently leaving this on my desk:

  • Heightened awareness. I scour the newspaper, troll local TV news sites and read every “Alert ID” warning that visits my inbox. I’m looking for signs that you’re either still terrorizing others – or perhaps even that Dangle has detained your sorry asses. So when I read the local story the other day about the armed bandit who was arrested after severely beating a woman who walked in on him robbing her home? Yeah, there was some relief. But also awareness of what might have happened to me had you found me in my bathroom. Curled up in the fetal position. Sucking my thumb. Just waiting to be fucking killed.

OK. Gotta go…I hear a car pulling into my driveway. Or maybe that’s the sound of my gate opening? Or just another piece of my already-broken trust, shattering still further.

Bye now. Write!




Now it’s your turn, dear friends and readers:

  1. Any words of comfort to share with me, the new poster child for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
  2. Have you ever had an experience with similar ill-intentioned douche canoes…or with a Reno-911-esque police response?
  3. Would you say your last Monday was better or worse than mine? Because I’d seriously love a happy story about your happy day/life right about now…

Oh…and as a parting gift from The Universe: Guess what I found while driving near my home the very next day?

Road-fucking-kill. This is the third one, folks — in the last year. Funny, Universe…funny…

221 thoughts on “An Ode to Three Douche Canoes

  1. John says:

    My parents had something similar happen to them a few years ago, but the guy got spooked before he made it to the house. He was caught within a day or two (they live in a small community, so everyone knew that there had been a rash of break-ins).

    I’m really glad to hear that you’re ok. It sounds like an awful ordeal. If you’re getting a dog, I can’t say enough good things about German Shepherds. They sort of have a bad reputation but I grew up with them. They were everything you’d hope for out of a guard dog.

  2. Jenn says:

    YIKES! Glad you’re OK!!! Hang in there.

    No similar stories for me specifically. My aunt however did receive a phone call from a panicked neighbor once. She ran up the street to pick up kid #1 and left kid #2 home alone at 5 at night. Some douche broke into the house and kid #2 hid in the basement closet. My aunt and uncle ran over to the house and sure enough the guy was upstairs in the bathroom looking for medication. He ran out the backdoor before the cops could get there. They caught him a week later. Terrifying!

    You win the worst Monday prize. My Monday was spent visiting family and celebrating my new engagement. And working on my tan. 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      First: congrats on your new engagement! Yay you!

      Second: Is it sad/telling that I don’t even consider that people would break into a home for meds? Wow. I do wonder what these three douche canoes were looking to steal, considering the tiny trashy crapcar. Perhaps they were heading for my medicine cabinet…

  3. howanxious says:

    Oh! That must have been horrible. I think we must all be quite sensitive and careful about our surroundings and the people banging on your door be it your laundry man.
    Well, be safe… Get a pussy cat, if not a dog… Take Care! 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I know times are tough and the economy sucks…but this is ridiculous!

      And given how judgmental and condescending cats can be, I like that idea. He could totally stare down the would-be robbers.

  4. Ruth Zive (@rzive) says:

    Holy crap! That is scary! And you are lucky (the emotional scars notwithstanding).

    You can credit Dicklips, Pumpkin Head and Chad with one more thing – providing fodder for a kick ass post!

    I’m with boyfriend Brett. Get the dog. He needn’t be evil – just loud. We got one a year ago, Brody; he’s a wee little thing, but he barks like a bandit every time someone is near the perimeter of our house. It’s annoying as hell, but I encourage it.

    Here’s a tip should they return – use the iPhone to take a picture – then share it everywhere!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh God, Ruth, you can imagine how much I wished I had done differently in hindsight — but taking a pic of the 3 douche canoes is #1 on my list. I was seriously on the phone with 911 the entire time I could see them, though. But 911 operators should ask callers if they can take a picture. I was certainly in no place mentally/emotionally to think of the idea myself!

      The irony: I take pictures of practically everything in day-to-day life. But NOT these dirtbags? Ugh.

      Brody sounds awesome. Well, awesomely loud…and that’s what counts!

      • Phouka says:

        I agree with Ruth here–go for the dog. You’ll get a companion, fodder for blog posts (at least if its anything like my pets!), a child-pleaser and, most importantly, a sense of security and a living security system. A friend who’s a cop told me once that he’d never been to a break-in call where there was a dog–evidently, douche canoes don’t like the noise. The barking alone is enough to deter a fair amount of crime, regardless of how big the dog actually is.

        As far as the Shepherds go–Buster, our sheperd, was an awesome dog. I swear he would’ve let our kids learn to walk by grabbing onto his tush if he’d lived long enough. Very sweet, gentle creature who did not appreciate violence and would tell you so. Someone came to the porch to deliver a package once while I was in the bath–Buster made this odd growl/bark noise while I was in there. I came out to find a package dropped in the middle of my porch. GSDs are wonderful dogs–and it’s nice having a critter that intimidates others, let me tell you!

        • barfo rama says:

          I had a tenant, middle-aged lady with a large German Shepherd. A-holes killed the dog and stole her stuff.

          You are tall, beautiful, and smart. Hope you find happy.

  5. Tori Nelson says:

    I think I just peed my pants, died, woke up, and peed my pants some more. I have a feeling I’d be the shocked dumbass who would settle for waving at the burglars because I couldn’t remember who to call or what to do.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well, I was just the shocked dumbass who did everything EXCEPT the thing I should have done — take a picture of these stupidheads and their stupid car! I hope to GOD I would have thought to take a picture of the car had I had my phone with me at the beginning of the ordeal. I’d like to think it was the sprint downstairs to grab the phone that dislodged my common sense!

  6. Dana says:

    That is super scary! I’m so glad you are ok! Though I am disappointed they didn’t catch the lowlife scumbags who tried to rob your house!

    A girl who I used to babysit for all through high school was killed when she walked in on someone robbing her apartment while in college. She was only 20. They did catch him eventually and he’s in jail, but it’s little consolation to her family I’m sure. There are just to many creeps out there these days. Her story and yours make me wonder about getting some kind of security for my apartment.

    Glad you are ok, maybe think of getting some time of alarm system?

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Definitely getting an alarm system. Soon. Especially if I decide to continue working from home, which is seriously in question right now. Whodathunk a “benefit” of full-time employment is the safety/security provided by an employer’s building…

      Such a sad story about the girl you used to babysit. Ugh. Totally tragic — and reinforces the idea that you never know how desperate these guys are and what they’ll do if you confront them. Kinda glad I’m the hiding thumbsucker…

      • shelleybellyblogs says:

        I realize I’m a month late joining this debate but I just wanted to say that you should not be scared out of your home by this horrible thing that has happened. Don’t stop working from home, just spruce up your security.

        Dealing with alarm companies is really really annoying but totally worth it for the peace of mind and there are some great deals around at the moment – even if you don’t get something ‘top of the line’, the screeching alarm alone is enough to send intruders running.

        Well done on getting through the ordeal, you did well. I don’t think I would have had the presence of mind to run for my phone.

        • Mikalee Byerman says:

          Thank you for the perspective — and you’re absolutely right. But it’s one of those experiences that leaves you questioning everything!

          I do appreciate the comment…and the support!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much — I can’t tell you how much I second-guessed myself in the aftermath of the whole ordeal. Practically everyone I tell the story to asks, “Did you take a picture with your phone?” Holy crap, that would have been smart…but sadly, I was too busy having a full-on panic attack.

  7. Rob Rubin says:

    That is some f**ked up shit. As much as I like to think I’d be all Chuck Norris in that situation I’d probably be more like the little nerd guy in the Police Academy movies whimpering in the corner incessantly.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Haha! Love it, and I wish now that I had been channeling some Norris of my own. But adrenaline is a crazy thing, and we all react differently. Bizarrely, I had the EXACT same physical reaction I had when I saw the picture of the brick that ended my marriage: All the saliva disappeared from my mouth, inspiring quite the coughing attack while I was on the phone with 911!

  8. Bruce Stambaugh says:

    Nefarious intentions indeed. I am so sorry to hear about this latest negative experience. You’ve had enough junk happen already. I’m glad you use your blog to let it all out. What you experienced is the same as a personal violation (aka rape). As you know, I live in a very rural area. Yet, I have had to call 911 on more than one occasion. Apparently your three stooges cruised my neighborhood long before they got to Reno. The dispatcher said the deputy would be here in three minutes and in three minutes the cruiser pulled up. Like your thugs, the guy(s) had vanished. I never heard the buggy pull away. It was very unnerving. Consequently, I always have my phone with me, except in the shower, and please don’t try to picture that. Get the dog, dear.

    Stay safe and please keep writing.


    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh yes, the blog is total therapy, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel even today after writing this!

      Three minutes is an EXCEPTIONAL response time for a rural area. Mighty impressive. I was frustrated the day of my experience, as the police were involved in a highly publicized sting operation (to enforce our new texting ban) where they were riding public transportation in search of drivers using their cell phones.


  9. mj monaghan says:

    First of all – boy the “neighborhood” has really gone downhill since I left. I guess I’m not as big a deterrent since I’ve moved south. Sorry ’bout that, M.

    Secondly, alcohol is always good for PTSD, except when taken beyond moderation.

    Fourth – see what too much alcohol does; where’s ‘Thirdly’?

    Fifth – You might put up a sign on the front door, and gate, that says something like: “My big-ass boyfriend works here during the day. Please, please, please bust in on him and his double-barreled shot-gun anytime between 7 am and 5 pm. He has a desire to make you HOLE-Y! Muahhahahahahahaha!”

    I’m very sorry that this happened to you, WBFF. Sounds horrible, and I hope they catch the little dangle-heads and string them up by their ….

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      …by their…dangles?


      Alcohol is great, but I do try to partake exclusively in the evening. Even though it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, I do have a day job. Well, sorta. However, I’ve noticed that my writing does improve while I’m drinking — or at least the creativity improves. Do you see what I’m doing here? Total justification for drinking during the day. Thank you, WBFF.

      And yes, I’m attributing this whole ordeal to your abandonment. Our little strip across the Sierras just doesn’t feel the same.

  10. Lee Brochstein (@LeeBrochstein) says:

    Holy Shit. Get a big dog. I have a big dog, who would lick a robber to death, unfortunately…or run and hide. I had my bike stolen in the middle of the day out of my garage while I was home and it freaked me out. Took me a long time before I felt safe. I still get a bit freaked when the kids are gone and it is just me and the big not so scary dog at home. Get an alarm system and a big not so scary dog. Both provide some comfort. Glad you weren’t hurt though!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you, Lee — a big dog is most likely in my future. Even though I’m allergic, I anticipate that Brett will bring one home on his own accord any ol’ day now.

      And I kinda like the idea of your dog licking a robber to death. Sounds like an apropos punishment to me…

      • Phouka says:

        There are some hypoallergenic breeds–West Highland White Terriers, Havanese and Bichon Frises to name three. (Dad’s allergic to dogs too, so these are the ones we’ve had over the years!) These are all dinkier dogs, but there might be some larger breeds if you check online. The only downside is you have to buy a purebred to ensure they’ve got the hypoallergenic qualities.

  11. rich says:

    the pounding is to see if anyone is home. once you didn’t answer, then they assumed the house was empty so they could break in. possibly, if you had yelled out the window to get out of your driveway, they would have left. or not.

    man door? never heard that one.

    the reason they took off is because the one in the car had a police scanner. he was monitoring the dispatcher who was sending a car to your address. that gives them about a minute or two warning to take off.

    sorry to hear that story.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Yeah, I definitely now understand that they were trying to determine if I was home…but given their sheer strength in numbers, I wasn’t comfortable answering the door! Ironic. Had I just answered, I would have probably had nothing to be scared about — but I was too scared to answer. And then when I saw what they were doing, I was too scared about what they would do if I revealed my presence…and they knew I had seen them. A catch-22 to be sure.

      I hadn’t thought about the police scanner. Good call.

      • rumpydog says:

        Yep they use a scanner. You could choose a third option- a security system. I don’t suggest a scary dog. I do suggest a dog though. DeDe is a lab and her bark sounds way scarier than mine!

  12. Forrest Hartman says:

    Sorry you had to go through this, but I’m so glad you’re OK. I haven’t had anything quite like this happen to me, but I second (or is it third or fourth) the idea about the dog. Not only are they great protection, they are great companions. As for the gun, my dad was a cop and I don’t suggest it unless you are fully comfortable using it. If you know you can shoot an intruder without hesitation, great. Otherwise, it can make a bad situation worse.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thanks, Forrest — I have a feeling there’s a dog in my future. Whether I want one or not (which I don’t — they pee and poop and eat and need places to stay while I’m on vacation. Ugh).

      Agreed about the gun…however, I wouldn’t have minded shooting a round into my own ceiling. Something tells me that would have been an effective deterrent, and it’s far easier to patch a whole than a human.

  13. cissyblue says:

    Greetings and hello the brave Miss M! You did great honey! Really! When you ran down to lock the glass doors, that was what may have saved you! What timing! I believe you have some angels around you, watching out and protecting you from nefarious idiots! haha You can trust yourself honey, those stupid criminals won’t be coming back to your house anytime soon, trust me… you must have given them quite a fright! I don’t know you Mikalee, but I am very proud of you! If you do get a dog, get a small one, Charlie is a “cow-dog” and would require long walks etc. I suggest you continue to put security measures in place and “Talk Talk Talk” to your neighbors! If everyone is more aware, it will definitely help! Take care, good luck with the writing and I hope that the 3 canoe guys end up where they belong! Big Hug for you! Old Cissy in Texas! p.s. I have two watch dogs, and they are a major pain when “wanted” guests come by…

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you, Cissy — we’ve definitely had numerous talks with the neighbors, and everyone seems to be on high alert these days. It’s amazing what an “incident” like this will do to a neighborhood! I’m now seeing cars parked in front of homes, people working inside garages, new light bulbs in porch lights, etc.

  14. Inger Wilkerson says:

    At the age of 23, in my very first apartment alone, I awoke at 1 AM to hear the apartment manager intercept a would-be robber outside my window. After this I woke up at 1 AM every night like clockwork–which gets old really fast. Luckily my vacation was coming up and when I came back that had broken the cycle. So if the Margaritas aren’t enough, perhaps a trip (I also bought a burglar alarm)? Glad you are (relatively) okay.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow — scary story, and I’m SO glad you had an alert apartment manager! Breaking the cycle sounds like a great idea — ironically, though, I was just out of town last weekend…for a story I’m writing about haunted hotels. So the sleeplessness continued there, as it continues now! 😉

  15. mom says:

    Hi Honey——Yep—“Killer”, the dog is good, along with a GUN, SECURITY DOORS, WINDOW AND DOOR LOCKS, and maybe hiring a BIG, TATTOOED GUY NAMED “SNAKE” to sit at your kitchen table slicing veggies so you don’t have to. Then there’s the STEREO against the family room wall set with high bass to a talk station, or my fave “The Wolf, 92.1 FM
    Stay safe my love, and call me if you need me—–I’m on speed dial 🙂 Heck, call me even if you don’t need me 🙂 Love ya!

  16. Mark Petruska says:

    I once had a hardened criminal walk into my wide-open garage when I lived in San Jose and steal my bike!!! It was horrible, Mikalee. I don’t think I slept for days afterwards (plus I had to friggin’ WALK everywhere).

    But seriously, I’m glad and thankful that you’re okay. And I apologize if my first response on your Facebook was THIS IS GOING TO MAKE A FANTASTIC BLOG POST! instead of I HOPE YOU’RE OKAY.


    Oh, and Charlie looks adorable. Which may not be the best trait in a “guard dog,” but I say get him anyway.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      No worries, Mark — I was not offended even slightly by your suggestion. The funny thing about it: I had already said the exact same thing to Brett even before you mentioned it. I think my comment was something along the lines of, “Well thank God I’m a writer, because therapy would cost me a whole lot more…”

      Damn that stupid robber stealing your bike. The nerve — making you walk and all. Oh yeah, and giving you PTSD…that, too.

  17. Julie Frayn says:

    That was riveting, horrific, and in typical Mikalee style, hilarious. But on a serious note – holy shit, you don’t get a worse Monday than that. I go with alcohol. Enough to dull the distress, not so much you get too brave if such a thing were to ever happen again. Which it won’t. Ever.

    My only run in of this kind – standing at my kitchen sink a couple of summers ago, also cutting vegetables (hm, interesting connection), look up and see a guy in my backyard heading for our bikes that are chained to my gas line under my kitchen window. What do I do? Knife in hand, I bound down my back stairs and out the door, yell at him and chase after him when he bolts. He had shoes. Me not so much. He got away. Next time, I’d not do that. Kind of dumb… You know, the no shoes thing.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I’d sure like to think that was the one and only time in my life that will happen. Kinda like getting struck by lightning. Or seeing overly dramatic, cartoon-like dead squirrels. Oh wait. Bad example.


      Julie, you are my new hero — barefoot and wielding a knife?!?! You’ve got balls o’ steel, hun. Love it! (And btw, “Barefoot and Wielding a Knife” should totally be the title of a novel. Just sayin’,)

  18. Maggie O'C says:

    Douche Canoe is an outstanding phrase!
    Before I even got near the end of this, I thought, “DOG”. I have a giant lovey dog but any dog will do. Douche Canoes do not like dogs that yap or bark or exist because the dogs draw attention to the house and could conceivably bite the Douche Canoe’s tiny little nads off.
    I’m really sorry, that’s hideous. I do love Reno 911!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thanks, Maggie…douche canoe is a new catchphrase in my house. I’m also fond of Skeezenut, but that one didn’t make it into the post, sadly.

      And it definitely seems a dog is the consensus! I do like the idea of some nad munching, personally — I mean for the dog. Wow, that sounded bad… 😉

  19. Pauline Gaines says:

    Mikalee, how terrifying! I’m so glad you’re okay. We got robbed in broad daylight a few years ago. I had stupidly left a bathroom window open as I had overstimated the girth of crack addicts. All our electronics, and a bowl of spare change, were taken. At least we weren’t home to get mangled or have to cower in a bathroom. I don’t know about a gun, but maybe a taser?

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      My only concern with a taser is the need to be so close to the perp in order to use it! (and there I go, using the word “perp” — very CSI of me, dontcha think?)

      Geez, Pauline — I can’t believe they took your bowl of spare change. Crack addicts for sure — and tiny ones at that, I guess, judging from their ability to squeeze through the bathroom window.

      Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m glad we’ve both survived our ordeals!

  20. Kathryn McCullough says:

    Holy, fuckin’ shit! That means I’m freaking for you and am in extreme need of Depends. Near-death experience aside, this is brilliant writing. So incredibly compelling and, dare I say, hilarious! Thank the good gods at iPhone, you’re safe.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Holy fuckin’ shit indeed! Couldn’t have said it better myself — Depends were definitely in order. I’m glad you found the writing compelling and hilarious — in hindsight, it is a pretty funny story…given that I wasn’t fucking killed and whatnot.


    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Yip, I’ve seen people in WALMART carrying a gun, for heaven’s sake…that’s not alarming or anything. But honestly, I’m just not sure if I could do the whole gun thing. I’d be too scared of the children somehow getting hold of it, which means it would need to be in a safe, which means I’d need to remember a code if I were in a position to use it, which means I’d probably be better off just chucking the damn safe at the perp to defend myself!

      I think a dog might be a safer bet.

      • John says:

        You should get proper instruction in any good gun course on safe handling. Also, you can use a bio-safe that only recognizes your fingerprints to open the safe in an emergency which means the weapon can stay right next to you all night if desired. I grew up around guns and hunting, but you can become fluent in safe handling and practice. 🙂 Sorry for the rant.

  21. kitchenmudge says:

    Ripping yarn, Mikalee, as always. The squirrel is a sign. The Lady in Red is watching over you. She got knifed once and won’t let it happen again.

    Mudge’s urban security advice:

    (1) Any dog that wouldn’t be pacified by a friendly burglar with a Milk Bone is a dog that you wouldn’t want around your house.

    (2) Noisy dogs are nice to have nearby, but the neighbor’s dog, with the neighbor bearing all the trouble of taking care of it, is a much better bargain. No poop all over your own yard, etc.

    (3) Some alarms, or made-to-look-like-alarms, on strategic doors & such can freak a burglar out enough that he won’t even try.

    (4) Answering the door from a window where he can’t reach you, phone in hand, pepper spray in the other hand, is often a possibility.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      The squirrels, the Lady in Red…the Universe. All out to get me. Or warn me. Or whatever.


      Good advice all around — I’m a big fan of an alarm. I’ve also recently heard that if you have a car alarm (which I do), you should have your keys next to you at all times so you can set it off at a moment’s notice. Of course, that would take the presence of mind to actually remember that…

  22. Anne Schilde says:

    Actually, I’m going to take a detour from my usual over-compensation for the lack of humor on my blog. Advertising a picture of your gate (and your home in another post right?) with an announcement that you do not have a dog or a security system and that you are home alone on Mondays… all bad ideas. You really should buy Charlie now. 🙂

    I came home the other day to find the front door wide open. It turned out it was just the wind, and said wind didn’t find anything interesting enough to take. It’s a bit unnerving walking in when you don’t know what you’ll find, though. I’ve had my apartment robbed before, but they didn’t take anything of mine cuz the only thing I have worth anything is a piano. Mary Poppins would have trouble lifting that.

    I had a great Monday! But I spent it writing, so no real story to tell unless you want to read the one I was writing.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Anything for the sake of my art, Anne — the story must be told! Nah, just kidding — I don’t think I’ve ever posted a pic of my house, but regardless, let’s just say security measures are in place and others are in progress. I’m sure I’m far safer now that I’ve ever been before in the wake of this eye-opening experience!

      Glad the wind was pacified without robbing you blind…but that is scary nonetheless. Like you said, that feeling of not knowing what you’ll find is often the scariest part. I shudder to think what would have happened had I pulled around the corner that morning after going on my morning McDonald’s Diet Coke run. And seriously, I had just returned from there about 30 minutes earlier, so I wasn’t far off from that possibility.

      A Monday spent writing sounds like a good day — that’s an uplifting thought for anyone passionate about the craft, so I thank you for that!

  23. goingroundandround says:

    Eeeek, that’s scary. I’ve never had anything like that happen, although we do get quite a few suspicious characters wandering our neighborhood. There was a similar situation at a senior citizen foster home here, also in broad daylight, where the criminals opened the sliding door that opened onto their backyard (it was unlocked). The homeowner’s puppy barked and started their other dog barking, and the lady came in and scared the robbers away, so a dog is a definite deterrent or at least an early warning system. The robbers were caught.

    You could get a recording of a giant dog barking and play it if someone comes to your door, in lieu of an actual dog. Just the barking is very effective – we have 2 senior dogs who make such a racket that even the pizza man gets nervous. Or if you don’t want to get a gun, a loud recording of the ominous “CH-CH” of a shotgun might work. Alarm systems are awesome, but I hear they’re expensive.

    I don’t even leave the curtains on my front window open because I don’t want people to know I’m in the living room, and then I can peek out at the people to see who they are (which is really just out of curiosity because I’m not going to open the door anyway). I’ve had “Beware of Dog” signs up for years after someone tried to kick our gate in. I keep all doors locked, all the time, house and cars (although the sliding door in the house is sometimes open for the breezes, as yours was. I’m rethinking that), and my husband built a solid metal frame for our gate and welded a giant metal lock to it so nobody could figure out how to open it from the outside.

    My aunt and uncle have some great security doors made of strong expanded metal that have their own locks and real deadbolts. Those are on my list of things to get for the house.

    Glad you’re okay, and I hope they find the criminals and throw the book at them. This kind of thing is far too common.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      GREAT ideas here — you know, I’ve heard that simply cocking the hammer of a shotgun will make would-be ne’erdowells poop themselves, so that’s always an option!

      It’s all so sad. We shouldn’t have to worry about our sliding glass doors being open. We shouldn’t have to worry about security doors and reinforced locks and dogs, either. But it seems this is all a sign of our struggling economy — and people looking for quick fixes. Ugh.

      Thank you for the great comment — I hope they find these douche canoes, too!

  24. Bethany says:

    Big dog. Big gun. (hey, you’re in Nevada, you can go buy one and take it home the same day!) I would totally freak out! But I also selfishly feel validated for sleeping with two phones next to me and I keep all the doors locked when I’m home alone during the day.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You’re totally vaidated, Bethany…turns out, my mother’s advice to sleep with my car alarm panic button next to me was also warranted. Now I know!

      And yeah, good point about the dog — and the gun. Living in Nevada does have its perks…

  25. paywindow7 says:

    What a terrifying experience. We are all very glad that you’re OK and I completely agree with getting yourself a dog. Any size as dog as long as it has a very bigdog voice. My other option is to get a yourself a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and take it to a professional who can teach you how to use it. The police can’t protect you and most of them will tell you that and it’s nothing against them. They can only try and catch, prosecute and punish those who already hurt you. Even better is get a 12 guage pump shotgun. Nothing more detering to a burgler in your house than to hear a shell being jacked into the chamber of a shotgun for firing. Then develope the mindset that whoever comes at you or yours to do harm deserves to be dead. Not just wounded, dead. If that started to happen more, then people like your three douche canoes will think twice about rape and pillage and go back to college and finish law school.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow…college and law school, huh? You have high aspirations for the douche canoes!


      The more I think about the whole situation, the more disheartened I become. I know there have been predators for as long as societies have been in existence, it’s just sad that people need to be uncomfortable (read: locked in your home with your windows barred shut) to feel safe and secure.

      Small dog with a bigdog voice — I’m loving the idea!

      • paywindow7 says:

        ahh, the humor was supposed to be that the douche bags were law students that left school to rape and pillage (like lawyers) and now that they failed at that they should go back to school to improve their skillset. Never mind the jokes on me when you have to explain ’em.
        Just very glad you’re OK.

        • Mikalee Byerman says:

          Not at all — I totally got it…just had to emphasize how awesome it is that they go from being douche canoes to college/school then back to being douche canoes! Sounds just about right…

  26. Pye Savage says:

    My carport facing the alley has become a convenient location to dispose of unwanted items- lead paint, radioactive waste, dead sasquatches, unfortunately we lose a few car batteries, garden supplies and, quite recently, my prized collection of broken off hammer heads which I was going to repair fairly soon.
    I also had a scorp walk in the back door while the fierce dog slept, my MP3 player headphones in, cranking out some work, I looked up to see him walking down the basement stairs.
    As much as I wanted my crappy laptop gone I realized the good one from my employer with the fruit logo etched on the back would go to so I had to confront him.
    The officer indicated my jerkoff was depending on stealth unlike yours … if you get a dog make sure it works, same with a defensive weapon. Take care.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Holy shit — dead Sasquatches, even? You’re totally trumping my squirrels.


      And I love that your fierce dog slept during your own experience. I mean, I hate it — but in hindsight, it’s a little funny. Right? So glad you’re ok…

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Total killer, right? I mean, if you checked out how abnormally long his tongue is in the printout/note from my son…that must be a super power. He could lick a person from across the room — to death, I’m sure!

  27. Dana says:

    Ack! Even reading this story is giving me PTSD. I would have been beyond terrified in this situation, but you did an amazing job locking the door, getting your phone, calling the cops, describing the douche canoes, etc.

    I’ve been in a few scary situations before (drunk driver mowing down our backyard fence and nearly plunging his car into my walk-out bedroom window; some loser from the local photo developing place using our phone number to call my youngest sister and utter death threats (I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!!); having some drunk douche cadet try to toss my husband over a 2nd floor railing in our apartment building when he asked said drunk losers if they could please be quiet at 3 am one night), but knives have never been involved. Too scary.

    On the plus side: it sounds like your community is banding together and keeping watch over the neighborhood, and this will NEVER happen to you again. Seriously. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime terrible fluke experience. ((hugs))

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow. I mean…WOW — you guys have had your fair share of once-in-a-lifetime, terrible fluke experiences too! Almost as many times as I’ve seen overdramatic dead squirrels…there must be a connection. SO glad you guys are all ok, too!

      Thanks for the comment, Dana … I’m so glad it’s over and that the knife was only used on the door. And I’m definitely grateful for the perspective it gave me, as I lived in blind ignorance before.

      • Dana says:

        Nobody likes to think about their home being anything but a safe and secure place. It’s unfortunate that you’ve gained this scarier perspective, but I also think the tiny perps were just that: TINY DOUCHE CANOES!! They don’t deserve your thoughts or emotions.

  28. trailertrashdeluxe says:

    So glad you made it through okay. Every idea I had was already mentioned, of course. Perhaps add Brett’s voice along with the dog or shotgun sounds, on a recording (have him growl a series of threats at the morons, including the fact that 911 has already been called) that you can play at a moment’s notice. I imagine there’s an “app” to remotely operate a PA system in one’s home from a smartphone.

  29. Kerry Dwyer says:

    Christ what a thing to have to go through – as if life isn’t hard enough. I love the term Douche Canoe.
    I have not had my house attacked but I had some experiences on the underground in London that made me very nervous about travelling alone.
    If you want to look at a happy day then check out Gin and Tonic Jelly –

  30. salmart2 says:

    I’m glad they didn’t get way with anything or violate you more than they did. Creeps.

    After many sleepless fearfilled nights when my ex bought his brick, I got a poodle puppy . As soon as I did, I knew no one would EVER break in, day or night, without her barking up a storm & at least waking me up, so I could then sleep well. Her barking would have alerted neighbours too thus frightening douche bags off. How can the low-life sneak around casing out the joint with a dog going crazy?? It doesn’t have to be a mean dog that will bite people!! And as gorgeous & kind as she was, I have no doubt she would have attacked anyone if she thought they would hurt me. In fact, kids & boyfriends use to pretend to hit me to watch her amp up. Very cool!! But attacks aside, the barking is athe deterrent.

    Poodles (and their cross breeds) don’t have hair, just wool so are great for anyone with allergies & they don’t smell. They’re really intelligent & loyal. And great watch dogs. One of your kind neighbours would baby sit an adorable pooch if you travel surely. (Or your kick-ass Mom). And kids love dogs. Plus they’re great company when it’s hate Mondays etc. I say ‘JUST DO IT!!’ Or if I want to be trendy & funky, I say ‘ GET IN!’

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Sure, salmart, pile on — because I don’t already have enough pressure to get the dang dog. Sheesh.


      Just kidding, of course. In fact, a poodle is one of my only options, as I am extremely allergic to dogs — and cats, for that matter. I’ve also heard Goldendoodles are hypoallergenic and totally awesome, to use a descriptor straight from the ’80s!

      So “Get in” is the new phrase, huh? Good deal — glad you noted it, as apparently I’m out of the loop. I’m still saying “shut the front door,” which apparently is SO last Thursday.

      Thank you for the comment … and support! Actually, the kids and Brett probably thank you more for the latter — the support of their “case.” LOL.

  31. talesfromthemotherland says:

    Ok, I have tried to think of a reassuring story, or maybe something to make you smile, but this story just blew me away and I can’t think! I really can NOT imagine this whole scene going down and then not feeling all the stuff you do! Seriously chica: that is some crazy a$$ drama going down! I can’t help but wonder what kind of idiots pound on the door first, knowing that perhaps the neighbors would notice. Seems so brazen. Is this how it’s truly done these days? Or, are these guys a special breed of stupid douches? Amazing!

    I do absolutely love the note your son left… perhaps it is time for a dog. Mine bark whenever someone comes to the door. If I don’t feel terribly safe, I say in a very firm voice (to my incredibly friendly dog) “Stay Luke. Heal!” and then I tell whoever it is, “You’re fine, as long as I’m around.” wink wink. Seems to put service people or anyone else right on guard: where I want them. Maybe a dog is your answer… Enjoy your day, and try not to let this ruin it!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Drama, indeed — clearly, too much of it! But thanks for the positive support. Every little bit helps these days.

      I can only imagine that this “technique” (pounding the shit out of a door) is their specific calling card. They MUST have a back-up plan/cover story, though, in case someone is home or notices. One of my neighbors from way down the street told the cops that the piece o’ crap car was sitting in my neighbor’s driveway for a good 30 minutes before he noticed it moving to my driveway. So I’m sure they were casing the neighborhood, making sure all appeared very quiet and empty.

      And as an aside: Many thanks to the neighbor down the street for noticing such suspicious activity — and not following up on it. Sheesh!

      Great technique with Luke, by the way. I’d only suggest adding a few commands in German, as don’t all dogs have a German kill command? Or at least, that’s what all the movies have led me to believe…

  32. renowriter says:

    What a disturbing incident! I had a string of serious targeted vandalism and a break in over a period of a couple weeks at a property I lived at and it took quite a while to feel safe again.
    The best, and possibly strangest, words of consolation were “now that it has happened the odds are incredibly in your favor that it will never happen again.”
    Beyond that I did some research and came across a few good quick facts:
    1) Living human presence is the number one deterrent for crimes of opportunity(daytime thieves, vandals, etc)
    -Setup a chair on your front porch and work from your laptop. Say hi to all the passing people. You will get to know your neighbors and local walkers really well AND be deterring crime. No dog or gun needed.
    2) Dummy security cameras are just as effective of a deterrent as the real thing.
    -One fake camera looking at the front entrance and one covering each side yard as well as a couple “Video Surveillance used to Protect Property” signs/stickers in key places is nearly as effective as human presence.

    And if when all is said and done you are still too jittery, there are places around town that offer access to professional space for very reasonable memberships for freelancers.

    I hope you feel better soon. This kind of experience is rough.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I absolutely love the idea of hanging out on the porch, except as a writer, I think I’d find too many “shiny” things upon which to fixate! I’m sure you can relate…maybe a mannequin with sunglasses and a giant hat, ala Weekend at Bernies? Just a thought…

      And I think a video camera is an inspired idea.


      • renowriter says:

        I can totally relate to the too many shiny things. Have you seen how much blogging I have gotten done during the summer? The sun just pulls me away from the computer. I like the mannequin idea. Maybe if you get it in real skin tones and dress it well it will work. Call it a “Scare-thief”?

  33. Tara Cutler says:

    Holy smokes…what a bunch of doucheknuckles!

    Like these three upstanding young chaps have demonstrated, thieves are of the chickenshit variety and since they are targeting empty homes, make sure they know you are at home. Blast some music or keep the TV on.

    My ex bought me a 9mm pistol several years ago for a birthday present. Living in a small town and him working at a maximum security prison was reason enough for me to be armed (and I really like to shoot things). After we divorced, I kept it loaded and under my nightstand. I definitely slept better at night. And seriously…how frickin’ awesome would it have been for you to go to the door with a pistol and scream “FREEZE MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!” Pretty sure they would’ve pissed themselves as they were running the other way.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I do have a bat next to my bed…which is funny, because this incident really proved to me that my silly little bat is completely useless. I’d have to get far too close — so cocking a pistol and yelling “Freeze Motherfuckers” is far more appealing!

      I’m seriously going to have to try shooting something now, just for sport. Far too many of my friends have told me it’s WAY fun — you included!

  34. Jill says:

    When I was young and living in a questionable neighborhood, a few attempts were made to break into my place. The most memorable was when I woke up, grabbed my Buck 110 knife (the largest folding knife Buck makes), went to the window beside and back from the front door and tapped on it with the knife. When I saw the silhouette of the guy leaning over to see what that noise was, I smiled and gestured with the knife. He ran off. I still have that knife, but have also upgraded to a sharpened machete, for longer reach. (Upgraded my neighborhood, too.)

    As a compromise, what about buying a shotgun, but no ammo? Or just blanks? The distinct sound of it being cocked (heh) would scare any would-be robbers away.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Haha…”allergies” suck!

      And yes, the fact that my kids weren’t home was my saving grace. I think I’d be in a straight jacket or dead if they were home — I would have gone absolutely bat-shit crazy on those douche canoes’ asses if my kids were here (hence the “insane or dead” idea…)

  35. Scott says:

    Screw the pooch M. What you need are two holsters. The first holster is for that cell phone. Yeah, I know they are not the most fashionable things these days but when they get a look at the 40 calibur Smith and Wesson M&P semi-auto taking up space in your second holster there isn’t anyone going to question your fashion prowess. At least not out loud, within earshot. Dogs need dog food and, as a result, leave deposits everywhere (big scary dogs equal big scary deposits). Feed that 40 calibur once and they’ll care away it’s deposit on a stretcher.

    I’m glad you’re ok. I always look forward to reading your posts.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you, Scott — magnificent ideas. I don’t know … personally, I think a pair of holsters could be the next big fashion trend.

      And yes, big scary dog = big scary deposits. That made me laugh out loud!

  36. littlewonder2 says:

    Geez, that sucks. Couldn’t imagine if that happened to me, although once I heard something like that happened to a neighbour…

    My Monday… consisted more of me driving down from Brisbane to Sydney (Australia, in case you didn’t know where I live) after spending the weekend there to see my sister get married to her new husband. They’re moving somewhere up there now. My sister’s room is pretty empty down here now.

    We had a nice weekend, although apparently her husband Josh’s former best friend had come around to try to stop the wedding, full of two-faced insults (the previous night, he’d brought a wedding present).

    But I didn’t actually see any of that drama, so it was fine. Got to see a pretty nice garden park there. 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow — drama much? I didn’t think that happened in real life…only movies!

      But it does sound like a nice time nonetheless. I’m beginning to think a big ol’ vacation might be in my future — Australia sounds just about perfect (during my summer, especially!).

  37. monicastangledweb says:

    Mikalee, what an awful, scary, terrifying close call. The worst that happened to me was years ago in grad school. On a Sunday afternoon, very quiet in my apartment complex, I was walking home from the grocery store with a big bag in my hand and my purse on my shoulder. A man in a nice suit grabbed my purse, knocking my groceries down, and took off. But I was safe.

    Years after that, something much worse happened to someone close to me in the middle of the day again, when no ones around. She too was walking home with groceries and a large man jumped her and pushed her into her home, raping and beating her. Did I mention she’s 4 feet, 11 inches? She barely survived it.

    My advice to you? Get the dog!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Geez, Monica — way to make me appreciate my silly little encounter with these silly little spineless thugs. Thank you for the perspective…I definitely know it could have been much worse. Your experience makes me think of my best friend’s daughter, who just had almost the same thing happen. But she’s only 16, and she thought the guy was joking when he told her to give him her bag. So she didn’t, and when he grabbed her shoulder, she started screaming. So proud of her — but yeah, give up the bag!

      I’m just grateful we’re all safe and here to tell about these bizarre encounters, though…

  38. Harold says:

    We had a close encounter over a year ago.
    Our son had to be at school at 7AM for early bird PE. We leave at 6:30 AM. Walk out the door and there is Officer Friendly (County Sheriff) with a perp just outside our front door! The officer said he was driving by and saw this guy sneaking along the houses instead of walking out by the street. Probably looking for an easy hit! Open doors, windows, unlocked cars, that sort of thing. Turned around and came back and got him! He had us check every door and window and then went to the neighbors house and had them do the same. All was okay and we were late to school that day. The officer did take the guy away after we said we didn’t know him and did not want him around our house again.
    I hadn’t thought about this in quite a while!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Talk about good timing — sounds like Officer Friendly was a God send! I don’t know about you, but my experience has definitely made my hyper-vigilant about making sure doors are locked and dowels are in windows and doors leading into the house from the garage are deadbolted, etc. I used to be kinda OCD about the whole thing — now I’m OOOOOOOCCCCCCD! 😉

  39. Lori Dyan says:

    This sounds terrifying! The fact that you can write about it, and make me laugh reading it, is a testament to your cajones. I would’ve drowned in my own pee. Cuz I woulda pissed myself. Repeatedly.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Yeah, adrenaline is an odd and unpredictable thing — the only physical symptom I had was the instant dry mouth, so bad that I started coughing…which is not so good when you’re hiding from guys with a knife!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my little tale, Lori —

  40. Nessy San says:

    A terrifying experience, It happened to my aunt while I was having a vacation at her place. It was past midnight. The burglar tried to get in the house by destroying the metal of the windows which were attached to the wall. The dogs were spitz and they were inside the house – so they didn’t bark at all. But my aunt noticed the scratching sound and when she realized someone was outside, she got a cooking pot and started banging it like there’s no tomorrow! At thesame time she was shouting for help. The neighbors woke up and run after the guy. They caught him after a neighbor across the house spotted a lying man infront of his doorstep. Unfortunate from him, he climbed his thorn wire fence and was bleeding from it. He fainted from too much running and bleeding.

    At home, we have a german shepherd and she was barking like crazy when our neighbor’s house was being robbed. My family members ignored her (I wasn’t there and at work yet). Our neighbor’s relatives also did not look outside to see the cause of dog’s behavior. So no one noticed the robbers. To me it’s important that if you have a dog, be alert when it’s barking. Having a dog is not only cozy, but also, you will have a burglar alarm on 24/7 before the three douches start climbing your fence.

    You were quite brave and very lucky indeed! I hope there’s no 2nd time, but if ever there will be, you are already emotionally and psychologically prepared for it. Take care always.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much for the support — much appreciated! I also loved the ending of your story, given that the douche bag actually fainted from running and bleeding. That’s a fitting conclusion.

      Good point about the dogs barking, too…there are quite a few dogs in my neighborhood, and I can’t tell you how many times I simply ignore them when they’re going crazy. But now I’m a bit more sensitive to the sounds (actually, ANY sounds) — and definitely more aware of my surroundings!

  41. cesardagord says:

    Oh wow, what a story. I actually read a couple of your other posts after I read this one. Not getting on the specifics of the content, I have to say I like your writing style and great sense of humor. Sorry about the brick…

    Now about the story at hand. I don’t know whether a dog is really a deterrent. Because if similar stooges think you are not home, they probably know how to handle a dog with treats or something. However, if they enter your house and you are there, and you have the dog, the dog is likely to protect you from an attack. Dogs, especially some of them, can be very protective of their masters.

    Furthermore, dogs understand feelings and emotions, so they can add other benefits to this equation. Both for specific situations such as while you wait for a 911 response, or on your day to day routine when they show their unconditional love, or on brick-type situations. They are great companions.

    Finally, I don’t own a gun. And I personally think guns always lead to more problems, they can escalate a situation to a point of no return – bad for everyone involved. But based on your story using it as a scenario, I would love to see the douche bag faces if they got on a house, similar to your situation, and the gun-trained owner (Chuck Norris style as someone else commented) would be home and waiting them with a gun pointed at their faces. But that is only for Hollywood scenarios.

    My only advice, working with the tools you have at hand (I-phone), is to keep it charged, and to keep it with you at all times.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well first, thank you for the kind feedback — I’m glad you stumbled upon my blog, and I hope to see you around here again!

      I am constantly amazed at a dog’s capacity to express such a wide range of emotions — from love to fierce protection, sadness to embarrassment. Because of my allergies, I’ve never been a dog owner … but I’ve been around enough to know how incredible they are. I’m telling you, this entire experience and all the gentle reminders from my great readers is making me reconsider…

      And yes, iPhone is right in front of me right now, where it always is nowadays. That was quite a wake-up call!

      • cesardagord says:

        Thank you for replying Mikalee. I will be checking your blog every now and then for more stories; I like your writing style. Hopefully you will be writing about less dramatic events. Because drama is always interesting for the observer. Not so for the protagonist. Maybe it will be about your trials and tribulations, overcoming allergies and training a dog.

  42. superjack2468 says:

    Yo Dudette, totally scary. Definitely worth more than a two “super jack” story though.

    My home was robbed once, by ex-friend who only stole my guns. Re advice for protection, I recommend two guns over one dog. Any serious burgular can deal with a dog by throwing them a bone. Watch current TV advertising for an example. Worse yet they might harm your dog. If you do go the dog route, make sure the dog barks loudly and often. At best, the sound will scare the burgs off. Maybe just use a recording of a dog barking as the doorbell chime like Grandpa used on “Weeds”.

    Re guns, two 16 gauge shotguns. Keep one under the bed in separate bedrooms. That way, if the burgulars get one of your guns somehow, they’ll think you’re unarmed and let their guard down while you run to the other bedroom and get the spare and commence blasting. Wait, this won’t do -you’ve got kids in the house as well as BB.

    So my advice sucks, sorry.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Yeah, I was a little conservative with the super jack count, wasn’t I? I must have been in shock. 😉

      I’m really glad you brought up the point about the potential for a dog being harmed — I would feel SO guilty! Not sure I could handle that…

      And yes, your advice pretty much sucks given the fact that kids are in the house. But I appreciate it nonetheless, friend!

  43. Heidi Currey says:

    Have you ever considered moving to Montana? I hear the crime rate is practically non- existent:-)

    Super scary…glad you are ok!

  44. lifeandothermisadventures says:

    You can purchase decals and signs for an alarm system, without actually buying an alarm system. I have done that for many of the apartments I’ve lived in. (I’ve lived in some bad neighborhoods, let me tell you.) There are lots of tips online for making your home less inviting to intruders, as well.

    Secondly, why not foster a dog for a bit? You’d be doing the dog a favor by giving it a better chance of finding a home, and you’d also sleep better. That way you can try out the idea of dog ownership without actually having to commit.

  45. Laurie Bartolo says:

    Hi Mikalee. I’m really impressed that you can go through such a scary ordeal and still have the composure to write a thoughtful and witty post about it. I enjoyed reading it, but also felt bad about enjoying it because I hate that this happened to you! I work from home and have the same concerns about these daytime home invasions. But I also have two dogs, and several other layers of defense. A dog is a good idea – good protection but will also keep you company. Be safe!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well, sometimes it’s just nice to hear that I’m not completely alone in my fears about being alone all day…I never considered that this would be a side effect of being a full-time freelance writer!

      Thanks so much for the support and encouragement, and please don’t feel bad about enjoying — that’s why I put it out there, after all. Well, that and the fact that I don’t want to actually PAY for my own therapy…

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You know, 911 operators really need to remind people of the idea of snapping iPhone pix when they’re on the phone…it never even crossed my mind, which is ironic, considering I take pix of everything!

  46. ecodolphin says:

    Yes, I have had this experience before, thanks for asking. In my case I did have a gun, although it reamained unloaded, that really didn’t seem to matter. As my own pumpkin head pulled himself up to look through one of my porch windows he was greeted with the sight of a 12 gauge shotgun pointed right at his nose.
    “SHIT!” Was the only thing that he could think of to say, or perhaps that was what was filling his underware, I’m really not sure?
    At any rate he and his little friend nearly fell over each other to the point where they nearly fell off of my fairly high up porch. I never had any uninvited guests from that point on over the years that I lived in that house.
    Could it be that those individuals with their dark little hearts got the message?
    I think that looking at your own mortalility from the wrong end of a gun kind of changes your view on the world.
    One final note: I had plenty of time to load the gun but I am a pacifist and probably could not have pulled the trigger, however, in this case I think I got my message across with frightful clarity. And perhaps it was enough to sway any further thoughts of breaking into someone elses universe in the future. With any luck their still alive with a memory that stilk haunts them everytime they consider a trip to the darkside!!!!!!!!!

      • ecodolphin says:

        I knew for sure that the gun was unloaded and the safety was on for good measure. I imagine that neither one of my little thieves have evr forgotten that incident so i hope you’re right that that was all that was needed to change their ways!

  47. Someone says:

    It almost feels wrong to say that I was thoroughly entertained reading this story. You are hilarious and I can already tell, a super-woman.

    But thank goodness those creeps left, yet I sort of wish they were caught red-handed. They will one day, if not already. People like that always do one way or another.

    be safe,

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Awww, thank you — your kind comments are much appreciated! And yes, I would have LOVED for the cops to have caught them in my backyard. It would have felt so fulfilling to have them cuffed on the sidewalk, knowing that they knew that I was watching them and their stupid antics the whole time…

  48. Gail says:

    Very, very scary. Glad you are okay Mikalee! I have a similar story. This happened many years ago when my two sons were young (about three and six) and my husband, an RN, was working the 3-11 shift at Baptist hospital. It was about 10:45 pm and I was cleaning my kitchen before bedtime. My mixed breed and normally very shy dog was in the back yard– a dog who was very timid and who we had only heard bark maybe 2-3 times in the 16 years that we had her. Anyway, my sons were fast asleep, and all of a sudden, my dog was outside and began barking and growling and going ballistic. I heard the screened door to our screened in porch which was hooked shut from the inside slamming repeatedly. I looked out through my kitchen window and though the lighting was dim, I saw a dark figured body of a large man trying to get into my porch. My dog had him cornered on the deck and was barking and growling. I was scared out of my wits and obviously not thinking clearly. Instead of calling 911, I called my husband at the hospital! He said “HANG UP AND CALL 911,” and so I did and he did too. I had a bad case of laryngitis at the time and my husband was afraid dispatch would have a hard time understanding me, so that’s why he called too. We were transferred to our local sheriff’s department and they assured us a sheriff’s car was on it’s way. In the meantime, the “suspect” jumped over the railing of my deck which was adjacent to my screeend in porch and took off with my dog in hot pursuit. I ran around the house turning on every outside light we had. Thirty minutes later, the sheriff car arrived! Yes, thirty minutes! He proceeded to get out a flashlight and search the bushes around my house! (Like the intruder would still be hanging around under the bushes 30 minutes later). The sheriff asked me if I was sure it maybe wasn’t a friend coming to visit? Nope don’t think any of my friends would just show up unexpectedly at 10:45 pm and try to rip my screened in porch door off the hinges!! He only said, “well, I think your dog took care of him and he won’t be back.” I was scared to death and didn’t want the sheriff to leave. I told him I had two young sons asleep in the house and asked if he could stay a while longer until my husband got home which should be anytime. He said he couldn’t do that and assured me the intruder would not be back because he was sure my dog had drawn too much attention to him and scared him away. Not much comfort to me and I was never so happy when my hubby pulled in the driveway a while after the sheriff left.

    A funny side note: A few years later, I came home from the grocery store late one afternoon to find a donkey in my front yard. Yes, a donkey! A neighbor and I called the sheriff department to inquire as to what we should do. I’ll have you know, a sheriff car was here in 5 minutes flat! Even funnier, this sheriff knew where “Donald the Donkey” lived (a couple of streets over)! Now what’s wrong with this picture? I call about an intruder trying to break in my house and it takes 30 minutes to get a sheriff here. Then I call about a donkey in my yard and they’re here in 5 minutes flat! Go figure! I decided next time anyone tries to break in my house (and I hope there’s NOT a next time), I’ll just casually meniton that there is a donkey in my yard!!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh. My. GOD, Gail — what a terrifying story. I mean, the fact that you were home with your children…I just can’t imagine the kind of panic that would inspire. I was terrified while watching these guys trying to break into my house, and I definitely value my own life — but not the way I value my children’s lives! I would have done anything and everything to get these guys to go away. I can’t imagine what you must have been thinking/feeling.

      And I can’t BELIEVE the difference in response times between an attempted robbery in progress and a donkey invasion — that made me laugh out loud! I’m hoping donkey day was just a slow crime day — but something tells me the sheriff knew there’d be a good story to accompany the donkey, so he high-tailed it over to save the day!

  49. Connie T says:

    This happened to my boss years ago. They knocked on his door. He didn’t answer. They came in the back yard and was going to break in. He was a cop and arrested them. They picked the wrong house. If they do knock again, just yell go away, but don’t open the door. They will leave because they want an empty house. They pound the door just to make sure nobody is home. You should have grabbed a big knife too. Get a gun.

    • barfo rama says:

      Thieves stole my gun, hidden in back of closet. Asking the neighbors, I got half-a-dozen different descriptions of outsiders in the (very isolated, only one way in, strangers obvious) neighborhood that day. Guns have very mixed consequences, I could link to numerous stories of police getting shot by their kids or getting drunk and killing their wives or shooting kids or otherwise making permanent solutions to temporary problems. And those are people who presumably are trained in safe firearms use. Idiocy is the more usual case, and an aggressor can easily take your gun away.

  50. Garrett McKenna says:

    Oh dear! poor Mikalee! I think writing about it is a healthy way the help get over that unpleasant business.

    Also, seems like your blog is doing well. I had to scroll for 15 minutes to arrive at the bottom of all the comments to add mine! 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Haha — 15 minutes, huh? 😉 I do have the best bloggy friends in the world, so I’m grateful for the comments — and for the fact that you were so patient to add yours to the mix!

  51. Johni Louise says:

    Mikalee Byerman OMG this is so well written! Love what you named them! Also glad to see that you are alright and there’s nothing wrong w/ a few Margarita’s to feel OK again esp after this. ..

    DOG…go for it. My sister trained Police, Drug and Junkyard dogs for years. Dogs that made more per Hour than most men for “guarding”. She was the Woman who would make them trust her- then teach them NEVER trust anyone not even a woman. I used to call her DOG BAIT. Watch her suit up to be attacked by Massive Aggressive Breeds… If you have kids you won’t want an aggressive breed. Your kids won’t be able to resist “having a dog” and playing with it. True Guard dogs don’t have family and they also don’t play or BARK. A true guard dog is silent and doesn’t make a sound till YOU can SEE them and then… it’s too late to run.

    A medium size breed who produces a good bark will serve you well. Noise is Noise. Asshats don’t like Barking. And a medium size breed can still do Damage if provoked into a BITE. Charlie looks like a Blue Merel Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog/ Kelpie) this is a working breed. So it needs to stay active. However, it’s in their nature/DNA to go for the HEELS like they do to keep cows/sheep moving. In a PICKLE this dog will take out an Achilles Tendon and Down the Enemy. I like Charlie =)

    Have a Margarita and a Spoonful of Salt- winks

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Holy cow, I can’t imagine training dogs to attack…how scary would that be? Of course, I’m sure she knows how to be in complete control. Dog bait, indeed!

      Good info on Charlie — thank you for the insights.

      And yes, I’m fully stocked on margaritas — in fact, I have plenty to share if anyone’s interested? 😉

  52. mfinki says:

    Thanks Gd you are “OK” (OK enough?) and the kids were not home.

    My vote (for what it is worth):
    Dog: Yes.
    Gun: No.

    Scary dog?… nah… just one that would bark, loud and clear; one that would be “BFF” with your family. (yep… i do love dogs 🙂 )

    Not the first time i read your blog and … do not enjoy it.
    Well written and everything; sure!, but the subject… sigh… yo deserve better Lady.
    Best regards.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well, thank you kindly for making the distinction — I love to write, but I HATE to write about crap. But it is good blog fodder…

      I’ve met many-a small dog that sounds absolutely ginormous. That seems a good call to me… 😉

  53. samesides says:

    Mikalee, I am so pleased to FINALLY read your stuff. Devon Reese has been bugging the ka-ka out of me to link with you, and when he pushes me to do something, I generally DON’T do it. However, I regret this action for the first and only time. I enjoyed your story and laughed at your expense; however, I can tell your skin is thick enough to deflect a gorging attempt by a rhino, and you can take my cackling. I look forward to following you from this day forward.

    I have an attack cat to protect me. She loves everyone who walks through the door and trips the shit out of them. It works every time.

    Kitties, Puppies and Butterflies-
    Emily Reese

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You crack me up, Emily! But I totally understand what you mean: If my ex told me to do something, I’d do the exact opposite…so the fact that you found your way here at all is huge testament to your relationship with Devon!

      I’ll have to consider an attack cat — cats crack me up. They’re shady as fuck. 😉

      I’m SO GLAD we found one another. I think we were separated at blogging birth, which makes you my long-lost blogging soul sister…

  54. fireandair says:

    Gun. They’re easier to control than dogs, no matter what the Hysteria Brigade would have you believe about them. Although you WILL have to teach gun safety to your kids if you have one in the house — it’s like being a cop. They keep guns at home and have kids, and they manage to make it work, so it’s completely possible.

    • mfinki says:

      I hear you. I regret that we must end-up coexisting with violence.

      Or… if you prefer a lighter take on this… i actually live in Canada, so … “guns, easier to control than dogs?… i dunno what you are talking aboot”.

      but back to a serious comment… i wish things were different. Find it very regrettable.
      Shall we all have a nice, peaceful week.

  55. butcheringsaint says:

    I do hafta say you captured the essence of it all. Dicklips, pumpkinhead and Chad…..hilarious. the world and your regular readers are quite glad you werent harmed in the making of this blog

  56. anxietyandbiscuits says:

    I hope you’re OK; I’m not sure I could write something so witty after that sort of ordeal. A friend and I were mugged at knifepoint and it took me a while to see the funny side. (One of them had improvised with a potato peeler).

    You are indeed lucky nothing was taken or damaged, and no-one was hurt, but I imagine the feeling of a violated home is awful. Have you considered installing a visible CCTV-type camera? If they targeted your house because there’s something worth stealing, it might dissuade them or capture them. A dog is a commitment and a gun is an accident waiting to happen, and might not be useful if you end up trapped in the bathroom again!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      A potato peeler?!?! Honest? That’s pretty awesome — though I’m sure it was terrifying regardless. It is such a violation of your very person…but I’m grateful you and your friend are ok!

      I like the camera idea. Or as another reader suggested, even a “fake” camera might work. Still considering options…

      Thank you for reading!

  57. freejak says:

    Here’s how to get much of the benefit of owning a gun without any of the a) cost b) hassle c) danger and how to get cops to swarm to your house faster than a Krispy Kreme store with the “Hot” sign lit:

    If you are unfortunate enough to have to call 911 again for a similar situation, tell the dispatcher about your situation. Then add that you are waiting inside with your Glock.

    Trust me, you will not be lonely for long.

    The ‘bad’ news – the arriving officers could be a mite, um, “touchy” isn’t really the word. Maybe “freaked” but with overtones of fear and an unpleasant “come out of the house miss with your hands where we can see them” finish.

    So, this isn’t going to be the Best Monday Ever, but you can’t have it all…

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      This is a very good point. I also was told that in the future, if I’m ever locked in my bathroom watching perps with a knife again while on the phone with 911 (and Lord HELP ME if I am…), then I should switch out the word “knife” for “gun” while describing the incident. Apparently, that makes a big diff.

      Thanks for the idea!

  58. Val says:

    Very late to the party (followed you over from Pauline), but I wanted to tell you: you will never regret rescuing a dog… Just go pick out a big intimidating mongrel from the pound; you’ll feel safer & that’s the kind of love money CAN buy!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I do love the idea of rescuing a dog — just not so loving the idea of losing a small part of my freedom because of it! I know, I know, I’m being totally selfish here.

      I’m so glad you stopped by … thank you for the comment, Val!

  59. detanglingme says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Even though the situation was scary and not funny at all, you are hilarious and I giggled my way through it. I have never been in that exact situation before but, I am oh so naive and would think those douche canoes were there to cut my lawn too. I have also felt that kind of panic set it before. I love how you can write about it with such humour and honesty. They’re clearly not very skilled robbers nor do they seem the brightest. If they ran off before the cops came they probably won’t be coming back. Good idea with the Beware of Dog sign too. I wouldn’t get a dog just because you want to feel safe, get a dog because you want a dog! I would suggest getting home alarm stickers and putting them on your doors and a couple windows too. You did a good job in that situation and if it ever happens again (and hopefully it doesn’t) just remember your amazing ninja moves you made to get to your phone.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I do have mad ninja skillz — if by that we mean “ability to dart through the home while hyperventilating and slamming closed a slider and grabbing a phone”!!

      Thanks so much for commenting … I’m truly grateful that I’m able to make you laugh, despite the horror I felt. Although it really is kinda funny in hindsight. Or maybe that’s just the PTSD talking.

  60. hotelgeek says:

    Wow… that could have been a very horrible episode of criminal minds so first: No crime drama for you for a while. Hotch is cute but your imagination needs no further encouragement. Second, holster that phone. Oh I know… without the flip feature you can’t do your best kirk on an away mission plea to be beamed up… but the mad dash to the phone from the (I’m guessing) near opposite end of the house won’t happen again. take a tip from Home Alone: dog sign needs sound effects or its just something to laugh at.
    Thoroughly reseach the breed of killer dog you want. Border Collies bark at their own farts and are etremely gassy… Not good on the nerves but excellent if you need to reprove Pavlov’s theory in psyche class. The killer dog you chose needs to be compatible enough not to want to munch on you guys too. Zeus & Apollo (dogs need friends) will most likely go over these young douche canoes heads… till they remake Magnum too. So you’re gold for a few years.
    Humor really is the best medicine. So you are half way to recovered. Still, I like to imagine the humiliating diatribe these idiots would recieve at sentencing should Reno PD catch them. It will be the most entertaining day the judge, bailiff and recorder have had in months. And none of them are going to understand half of what you said… especially the Chad. It’s always the Chad.

    Time will fix this.
    And I am guessing that having so poor a work ethic (quit before the job was done) they wont bother coming back to try again.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      OK, you made me laugh out loud multiple times with this comment! It IS always the Chad, isn’t it? And yeah, I’m guessing I don’t need a Border Collie. I already have a daughter, and her gassiness sends us all running for the hills. (P.S. I’m SO glad she can’t read my blog, or else I would be in SO MUCH trouble right now!) 😉

      Thanks for the laughs — Zeus and Apollo…classic!

  61. ladywise says:

    I live in the country where it is unnatural to not own a gun and several dogs or just a dog and several guns. Either way, God help someone that even pulls in my driveway uninvited, let alone tries to come in the house.

    I grew up in Atlanta and gradually moved further out away from the city over the years until I am way out in the woods in Alabama today and loving every minute of it. I can’t even stand to listen to the news because you here about so much of this kind of stuff that it gets depressing.

    You did awesome young lady. Just that you had the guts to make that sprint down stairs and get your phone was great! Generally the biggest thing that happens when you are fearful is that you freeze up and can’t move. You over came that and did good. Stop beating yourself up for what you didn’t do (taking a picture) and pat yourself on the back, have a drink, celebrate what you did do right. Celebrate that you didn’t get hurt and nothing was physically taken. Yes, you got a good reality check, and that is all I would look at it as is a reality check, food for thought for a good security check list to be put into action now.

    The other thing I would like to note is, this is the first time I’ve read your blog and you are a good writer. I enjoyed just reading the story. I’ll be back!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow, ladywise — thank you! I’m absolutely grateful to read your comment, because I have spent a ton of time beating myself up over the course of the last few weeks about what I didn’t do. But you’ve provided new perspective, for which I’m entirely grateful.

      And now I’m considering the woods in Alabama. Just more food for thought.


      Thank you for visiting — so glad to make your blogging acquaintance!

  62. Dana says:

    Mikalee, I finally figured out that Marilyn=Rielle Hunter. Her crazy rambling and distorted logic on her blog is exactly the same type of rationalizing that Hunter used in her book (I confess…I read it-but it was only morbid curiosity!)

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh. GOD! I saw her interviewed a few times last week, and I was thinking the SAME thing!

      My thoughts about Rielle: Crazy. Rationalizing. Oblivious.

      Hmmm. Sounds familiar… 😉

      Now I MUST read the book. If only to gain further insights…

  63. whinyhanie says:

    I’m glad those dirtbags changed their minds and left your house.
    I had past experience regarding something similar and I still thinks about it sometimes. 3 or 4 years ago, some neighborhood kid broke into my house around 5a.m and put a knife on my house mate’s throat. It was terrifying. And worse thing was I froze. Luckily I got my tongue back and screamed for help. All the neighbors came & someone called 911 for us. That kid got caught because he was so dumb. He returned home and spooked his mom when he jump off from the roof, with my house mate’s handbag still in his hand. His house is just 3 house away from mine & the neighbors said that he had prior break ins record. We moved out the next day. I didn’t sleep peacefully after that for at least a year? I still shudder just thinking about it right now.

    I think a dog is a good choice. It can alert you if any stranger approaching your house & can be your companion at the same time. win-win situation.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Holy COW that’s scary — it was awful enough to see the knife from a distance. I can’t even IMAGINE having one held to my throat!

      So glad you’re both ok. Physically, that is.

      Thank you for sharing…ugh…

  64. thegreatgodpan1 says:

    i suggest you get a bull terrier…we are very vicious looking and everyone is shit scared of us and keeps their distance…..but in reality we are as soft and as loving as can be to the people that we love….we love kids and even love the family cats that share the couch with us…….dont however piss us off if you dont know us because we are really powerful and have one track minds when we loose it……………….

  65. Abby says:

    They probably ran over that squirrel as they ran coward-like from your house. Love your writing. I’m sorry about your ordeal. I haven’t had anything like that happen to me but I do have PTSD. Do whatever you need to make you feel better. A dog will certainly help (no, I’m not a plant from your children).

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You’re all plants from my children — I just know it. 😉

      Seriously, though — thank you for the support. It makes the douche canoes and the dead squirrels seem slightly less ominous…

  66. meanwhilein3 says:

    Reading your terrifying event had me on the edge of my seat. Glad you’re ok! If you are still debating on a big scary dog get boxer, often mistaken for a pit bull yet charming and quite the companion.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Good idea. I’ll admit that I don’t care for pit bulls, but I’ve heard most are actually kind and can be extremely loving. They just look so — intimidating…

      Thanks for the comment!

  67. hrhdaf says:

    God that sounds really scary! Im amazed you can find anything funny to write about it at all!
    On a slightly different note… now that Brett, your kids and half the internet are pressuring you into getting a dog, what you gonna do? ;O)
    Daf x

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well I’ll just say that you, Brett, my kids and half the internet are very convincing. But I think I might just be a rebel and opt instead for a shady-as-fuck cat…


  68. Lee Dudley says:


    This was a great read.

    I had a similar experience when I lived in Houston, TX. The difference is that I was not at home when it happened. My partner and I were out late in the evening and I had this inexplicable feeling that we HAD to go home. Right now!

    As we walked into the house I heard the sound of feet running across the floor and then caught only a glimpse of a young man’s lower leg and tennis shoe as he flew out the front door.

    They had broken in through the back door (which was about to be replaced during an extensive remodel to the house). They robbed me blind.

    The bizarre part is that I had that ‘feeling’ that I had to go home. I also had a feeling that they were kids who had come by earlier in the day looking for someone to hire them to mow lawns (which I did hire them to do). But they kept looking at the house a lot while I was inside working on installing wainscotting.

    Anyway, the point is that I didn’t feel comfortable again in my own home for about a year and half. To this day, I lock EVERYTHING. All the time.

    I’ll be money it takes you a year to feel safe again and that you’ll be a compulsive ‘locker’ if you’re not already.


    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow, Lee — what a crazy story. I’ve been giving a lot more credence recently to the power of the gut…your story places another check in the “believe in the gut” column. It seems you definitely had the right instinct — I only wish it had inspired you to return home BEFORE they robbed you blind. But then again, you really don’t know what could have happened. Perhaps they were armed? I’m just glad you’re ok.

      A compulsive locker, indeed — that’s pretty much my superhero power now!

  69. mamanne says:

    I have always been grateful for my dog’s seriously mean-sounding bark… I don’t think anyone would break in, just because of her. Now, tried-and-tested, if someone actually broke in, she’d stand in the farthest corner and just continue barking (I know this because my nephew and 3 of his buddies came to pick up my piano while I was gone, and that’s just what she did!) but burglars don’t know that about her! I usually have salesmen step back about 3 feet when I open the door holding her collar, lol. (she’s a ditsy Yellow Lab/Golden Ret. mix… I for one am scared to death of German Shepherds because both my mom and I have been attacked by them, but that’s my own personal paranoia)
    I was also saved by a cat once! We bought a house which included a pack of feral barn cats, which I finally convinced the seller to pick up (not before they had 2 litters of kittens I had to find homes for, but I digress…) anyhoo… they took the cats several miles away to a friend’s barn, and a month or so later one cat returned. I figured if she liked it there that much she could stay, and I will be grateful to her forever! She took up residence under our front porch, and I fed her there, and each night before bed I’d go out and give her some cuddle time… she was sweet but very skittish. Well, one night, when my husband was out of town (of COURSE, right??!) I was sitting on the porch with her when she suddenly sat bolt upright, eyes huge looking to the right, then flew down under the porch. I didn’t see anything around, but the hair on the back of my neck got all prickly – cause that what just weird – so I went inside, locked the door, then went into my bedroom to look out the window because that was the direction the cat’d been looking in… I left the lights out, and cautiously peered out my window (there were some juniper bushes about two feet from the house there) and just as I peeked out THERE WAS A MAN LOOKING IN!! His face was about a foot away from my face with only the window between us! I screamed like I’d never screamed before, for how long I don’t know. Then I called 911, and yeah, even tho I was completely panicked and there was a freakin’ man right outside my freakin’ window it took them for-freakin-ever to show up. You know what one cop said? “Well, if you screamed right in his face like that, he’s probably still running.” Hmmm… maybe, but that didn’t make me feel better. I didn’t sleep at all that night, and had to sleep in the guest room for a long time… but, nothing else ever happened, my dogs are in with me at night now, and that sweet little wild cat saved my life. Or from something worse than death. Animals are awesome.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You’re a great storyteller — I was riveted throughout your comment! I’m SO glad you’re ok — and SO grateful you had a skittish, wild-eyed, awesome feral cat to protect you. I’ve heard of dogs saving people’s lives…but rarely cats. That’s simply awesome!

      And your dog sounds adorable. Bark worse that its bite, huh? That makes me laugh…

      Thank you for the wonderful comment!

  70. Debra Colby-Conklin says:

    This is scary shit. So glad you’re ok…at least physically anyway. Emotionally, that may take a while to get over. I have a quick story to share as well, if you don’t mind.

    When I moved out of my home, I took my pop-up camper with me and set it up on my sis’s lawn (just until I could afford an apartment) and the very weekend I was to spend my first night in the camper, she told me she’d had a break-in and the jackwads had taken off with her laptop, jewelry and a-hum…happy weed. Needless to say I was a little freaked out by the thought of sleeping in a rinky-dink canvas sided camper that is only held shut by velcro. I spent my first night inside her home with my loyal canine Scarlett in the bedroom with me. Two nights later and b/c my sis’s house was a tad crowded I pulled up my fraidy underpants and said, “Frig it…I’m sleeping in the camper.” But I made sure my Louisville slugger was planted under my pillow and Scarlett was at the door to awaken me with her deafening bark if anyone or anything came to within a foot of the camper. I slept very little those first couple of weeks, but after awhile I was just too damn exhausted not to sleep. I was fortunate I was able to move into a camp a month later. And although this place isn’t exactly “burgler-proof” either, at least if someone did decide to break-in it would take a little more effort than simply pulling the velcro away from the metal posts.

  71. writeawaystacey says:

    OMG I am so sorry that happened to you! Iam glad you were not hurt! You did however put together a really cool blog about it. I think a dog would be a good option too if you can handle taking care of one. I like what you did to the gate lol. My mom had someone break into her house while she was at work, some 20 years ago and they and threw food all over and went through everything stealing a big jewelry box my mom had with a lot of her grandmothers jewelry and stuff so she was pretty upset when it happened. Afterward she got a hard wood back door without a window, and put up beware of dog signs on the front and back doors. She also had someone at work give her some signs with “This house is monitered by ADT security on them .” So knock on wood she never had another robbery.” I live with her now and she has a dog and we still have all the signs though we really don’t have a security service because we cannot afford one. We live in a very bad depressed neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri and cannot afford to move so I am hoping we don’t start having any trouble. GREAT Post by the way!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      That makes me so sad — to hear they stole your grandmother’s jewelry. That’s the really hard part about burglaries, I think: Most of the time, the shit they take means everything to you…and probably gets thrown into a trash can or hawked for next to nothing. Ugh.

      A dog and signs (real or not) will probably do the trick for you guys…my fingers are crossed, at least. It’s better than nothing, right?

      Thank you so much for the great comment!

  72. Val says:

    I know the feeling. Not had the exact experience but many years ago our house in London was burgled while we were still in it (I’d just woken and gone to the bathroom, during the night, as you do…) and the aftermath of that was that for quite a long time both of us were completely freaked. Apart from better security measures we didn’t really do anything else. Much as I love animals, I’m allergic to dogs and cats and couldn’t go for that option. It made us both much more alert though.

    Are you going to post to your blog again? I’d love to read more of your posts. Will have a look at the older ones in a bit.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You know, my situation was bad enough…but to have this happen to you in the middle of the night, I think, would be even scarier! So glad you’re ok. I’m allergic to cats and dogs too, but I’ve been told that if you “push through” the allergies, they’ll subside after long enough. I’m just not sure how long it takes — which is what holds me back!

      I just posted again to my blog — the absence is explained in the most recent post, so I do hope you check it out and keep reading. I’m glad you’re here.


  73. joanneinjax says:

    My dear Mikalee,

    Everyone deserves a little vacation, but the interwebs are sorely lacking these days, and I, for one, would appreciate at least one summertime post from you. I love your writing, and almost two months without anything but your responses to comments does not count! I miss you! And I could certainly use some of your humor to lift me out of the hellish summer I’m having.
    Adult step-children who can’t get their act together, plus a 7 year old step granddaughter, who now has a Facebook page (what is her mother thinking?), have put me close to the edge. What is wrong with these people?!!!! After just passing my 61st (!!!) birthday, I’m feeling out of touch with this ever changing world and am seriously considering running away to a nearby beach motel for a couple of days of peace! The spousal equivalent will be returning from the bayou next week, and I think I will have a partner in crime, since he’s so over his children too. But, really, are you ever?
    Write me something fun! No pressure – but my sanity may depend on it! (Just kidding.)
    Hope you are having a peaceful summer, without the stress that comes with the family thing.

    ps: sorry – too many !!!! and parentheses. I usually write better than this, but I blame it on the heat! Again!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh…holy wow. What a situation you’re in. Heat, misbehaving adult step kids, a 7-YEAR-OLD WITH A FACEBOOK PAGE!!!!! That, my dear, takes the cake. I feel for you — and wish you a peaceful stay in the beach motel. You definitely deserve it.

      And yes, my writing “vacation” is over. My apologies — if you read my latest post, you’ll see the reason for the delay. Odd that you wish me “a peaceful summer without the stress with the family thing.” Stress, indeed…

      Thank you for stopping by — as always! 🙂

  74. elysianhunter says:

    Let’s see, I have three large dogs (two are lethal toward the unauthorized, the other is deaf, toothless and harmless, but looks intimidating) and a loaded .357. I decided years ago, after my Dad’s shop was broken in and they stole a bunch of his stuff that I wasn’t going to be a victim. The firearm thing was intimidating until I took a gun safety/concealed carry class. Now I am glad I can carry concealed and I feel a LOT safer not only at home but if I have to go out at night too. It’s a thought. But at the very least large dogs are a deterrent. Which house do you want to break into? The one with the three big dogs snarling at you from the picture window? I think not. But then I’m a dog lover anyway.

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

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