Who Swiped the Dishrags?

And Who Left the Vegetables?

By Khaliela Wright

People seldom think of a raid as a good thing. Then there’s me, a person for whom raiding conjures up fond memories and is considered a pleasant surprise. I was surprised again the other night. After a long day at work, which included an evening meeting, I arrived home and entered the kitchen to find several bags heaped on the counter. They were not my bags. As a fastidious housekeeper, I assure you my kitchen counters are clean and bare when I leave for work in the morning. Curious about the contents, I peeked inside each bag. They were filled with fresh produce: green beans, carrots, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes. There was even a bag of summer squash and small zucchini—evidence that zucchini bandits had struck again, but this time they were kind enough to leave me something other than zucchini.

City slickers might think a zucchini bandit is one who steals zucchini. We rural folk know better. A zucchini bandit surreptitiously foists unwanted zucchini onto unsuspecting victims. In rural communities, zucchini of varying shapes and sizes appear unbidden in kitchens, on doorsteps, and occasionally in the seats of cars that have been left unlocked and unattended. Zucchini, sunburns, and wasps: the nuisances of summer.

The incident put me in mind of other times I had been reverse burglarized, such as when my eldest son, Judah, moved to Wisconsin and filled my garage with his castoff furniture in the middle of the night [see the author’s “Reverse Burglars,” IDAHO magazine, August 2016]. I blissfully slept through what must have been a horrible racket. In the morning, still bleary-eyed, I opened the garage door to go feed the rabbits and walked straight into a couch.

That time, at least I knew who the responsible party was. Not so this time, or many other times in the past.

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