I was staying in a two-story place with many other relatives. A diverse group, among the others were my father, two nephews, a sister-in-law, and one nephew’s wife and children. We were staying in the building temporarily. It impressed by being old and mundane, cheaply furnished with things which might have been procured at the curb on trash day or from secondhand stores and estate sales. It would only be for a few days. We understood and accepted its limitations.
One thing that did stand out was the owners’ use of red, white, and blue bunting and decorations. Much of it was worn and torn, and some of it was stained and moldy.So much of it in some many places, it was a great distraction. Especially, we noted to one another, since it’s not any sort of holiday that would call for decorations like that. It seemed like they wore their patriotism on their sleeves and by doing so much of it, they demeaned it. But it was their place, so WTH?
My nephew’s wife decided on another course. Without telling us, she and her daughters took much of the bunting down on the second floor because it annoyed them. I didn’t approve and told her so. Her husband, my nephew, defended her in his loud voice, joking about the whole thing. Dad agreed with me, it shouldn’t have been done, but shrugged it off, refusing to involve himself.
Everyone except Dad and I took off. A fuller understanding of the dwelling emerged. It was like a shoebox stood on one end. All the walls were white, except one upstairs, which was pink. The upper floor had a loft so you could look over and see about half of the bottom floor and the front entrance. No furniture was in that space. That floor was covered by a thin, worn, and soiled harvest-gold carpet with an extremely short pile, almost like indoor/outdoor carpeting.
Someone came to the door and then stepped in. Looking over the loft’s railing, I saw that it was a local police officer dressed in a black uniform. He said he was investigating vandalism. Going down and speaking with him, I realized that the owners had reported removing the second-floor bunting as vandalism. I told the officer what’d happened. While doing that, I indicated one wall to our left. Although white and broad, red, white, and blue ribbons covered the wall. These ribbons were like a blue ribbon given out as an award. There must have been thousands.
The officer considered everything and then said it didn’t sound like something he should be dealing with and left. I went back up and told Dad about this. As I did, the others returned. I repeated the story about what’d happened.
The others again prepared for an outing, and Dad and I again remained behind. Someone knocked on the front door, and then a state trooper entered. Looking up at me, he told me he was there to investigate reported vandalism. I laughed at this. Going down to talk with him, I discovered the ribbons gone from the first-floor wall, revealing a well-used and large corkboard. I asked the officer about the report, laughing as he explained that he was looking for missing ribbons, and then told him about the red, white, and blue ribbons which had covered the wall. The rest returned while the officer was there. Dad came down and told the officer that we’d pay for the missing bunting and ribbons. The officer replied, “No, the people wanted prosecution.”
The trooper decided it wasn’t his problem. He’d make the report and it would be forwarded to DA for further action.