Diane's Not at Home Right Now

Some people think I'm crazy for blogging about the fact that I'm not home, that I'm a thousand miles away, leaving my home and valuables vulnerable to theft or terrorist attack.

Some people don't realize that I don't own one single piece of jewelry worth more than $7.99, that I bought all three of my necklaces at TJ Maxx or Ross, and that I don't even own anything sparkly for that matter.

Plus I have a very large dog that guards my meager possessions. And she's cranky, incontinent and possibly rabid. And my husband is home, too, and while not incontinent or rabid, he can get a little snippy sometimes.

So I feel free to blog, Twitter and Facebook my brains out about how I'm far away from home, having the time of my life vacationing in Youngstown, Ohio.

I attended my mother's School of Thought That Nothing Bad Happens To Me so I'm probably the least suspicious person you know. I'm never wary. I think most people are pretty decent and I'm usually right. I can walk into the middle of a West Side Story-like gang gathering in New York and ask directions because I got lost in Harlem, and live to get back into the car with my trembling passengers, probably because there's no fear to smell on me.

Also I think every story of bad stuff happening is an urban legend. If you tell me that someone was somewhere and a little kid was kidnapped, I'll bet I can prove that it didn't happen just by typing S-N-O-P-E-S into Google. I'm not saying that kids don't get snatched, but I just don't think we need to walk around thinking that we're in a constant state of danger of being kidnapped, raped, killed or robbed of our TJ Maxx jewelry.

My friend Lori and I used to walk in the neighborhood, for exercise and to get out of our child-ridden houses. She was always telling me about these horrible stories, probably as an excuse for the fact that she lived like she was in the witness protection program, with a private phone number, no credit cards and triple bolt locks on the doors.

"My nephew works at Disney World and he told us that last summer there was a little girl taken from the park and they took her in the bathroom and cut her hair, dressed her in boy's clothes and walked right out of the park with her, undetected."

That didn't happen, I told her. It's an old urban legend that's been going around for 20 years. I heard it happened in King's Island in Cincinnati in the '70s and at Cedar Point in Sandusky in 1985.

"No, this really happened. My nephew works in security and they were all looking for her."

That did not happen, I told her.

"This really did happen."

If it happened, how is it that I heard about the same thing happening 20 years earlier?

"Well, maybe the kidnappers heard the story, too, and got the idea."

Yes, that's it. Evil kidnapper types are on Snopes.com looking for ways to cleverly threaten people. Soon they'll be standing in mall parking lots asking you to smell perfume; calling from your upstairs phone while you're babysitting; and riding elevators in Vegas with large, scary dogs and being black.

You can worry about that if you want to. I'll be here oblivious to all danger and seeing the good in people, on my Youngstown vacation, thank you very much.

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