Wrong Target

Dear guy who was snooping around outside my house last week,

Are you serious? You're thinking about breaking into my house? Obviously you aren't very far along with your research. For starters, why don't you just look at my house? Don't you think you can do better?

You should be able to determine from across the street in broad daylight that anyone who lives in a house like mine has less than $100 cash on hand and absolutely zero diamonds or precious emeralds.

If you're so poor that my spare money sounds attractive, perhaps I should inform you that I keep it in one of those giant Schmidt beer-bottle coin banks. Have fun making a speedy getaway with that.

Perhaps you haven't noticed the "Beware of dog," sign on my fence. I know, that isn't always a cause for concern, but in this case it is. I guarantee that if you enter my house a 96-pound Doberman will eat your face.

Allow me to offer you some helpful advice, since I have a college education and am not presently under the influence of methamphetamines. Breaking and entering is a dangerous and serious crime. If you're going to take the risk, give yourself a chance for a big score. In other words: Go steal from the rich, you moron.

Those people who live in big castles outside normal neighborhoods like mine have a lot of nice things you can make off with, and there are fewer neighbors nearby to catch you in the act.

Wealthy people go on long vacations, allowing you to take your time and do the job right. Many of their houses have driveways that allow you to pull right up to giant double doors for easy loading.

Even if I had an awesome widescreen digital TV -- which I obviously don't -- getting it through my narrow hallways and doors would require solving the kind of complicated geometric equations that led you to drop out of school and go into thievery in the first place.

So, the next time you put on that hooded sweatshirt of yours and go lurking in the night, use some common sense. Find a nice suburb or lake property to target. Leave your neighbors alone. Pawning compact discs is just not lucrative in today's market.

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.