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The art (or lack thereof) of vandalism

May 6, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Have you ever been vandalized? Had something stolen from your yard? Something nice you built and placed on your lawn and woke up to see it broken? Now, I don't mean having your yard "TP'd" or even your windows soaped? Do they soap windows anymore? That was the result of my criminal background some fifty years ago. No real damage, just some good harmless fun. And it wasn't done all year around. Just certain times like Homecoming Week or Halloween. But why do people break or destroy other people's things just for the sake of "doing it." Is it boredom? Or bravery? Or to impress others? What can possibly captivate someone's mind and behavior to just objectively destroy something that isn't theirs? You know where this is all going, don't you? Yep, I am a statistic of vandalism!!

Sometimes when our driveway is full of vehicles, campers, pontoon boats, (ask my son-in-law) and other things with wheels, I park my vehicle on the street. Now I don't know what happened or better yet, who happened to be traipsing by my van in the darkness of the night-time, but come last Sunday morning, there was broken mirrored glass all over the ground right next to my van. "OH CRAPPOLA," I mumbled to myself as I immediately noticed that my driver's side rear-view mirror was shattered. What does one do? Get mad? At who? Get even? Again, at who? Cuss? $%#^%$, Well, that's between my Maker and me!!

Nope. I just got in the van and drove to get ready for our Sunday morning services. But all the way, I pondered why! Think about it. A group of guys or gals or both walking down the street for whatever reason and who knows what time, but somewhere between 11 PM and 7 am. I know that for sure. So I play it out in my mind....they're walking down the street, pass by the van and they stop for a second or two, think about or maybe not even think about it and one of them uses some hard object and in the span of several more seconds smashes the mirror. What fun that must have been! An exciting 7 or 8 seconds tops. And another minute or so to reflect on their great contribution to mankind and then back to walking down the street.

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Wonder if they clapped hands, or shouted accolades to each other, or gave high-fives or what? It was, after-all a tremendous feat of human endeavors. They actually accomplished something! Not anything worthwhile, mind you, but an accomplishment none-the-less. Perhaps negative contributions is what they do best. Who knows.

But the really sad fact is that my van is not an isolated incident. Other vehicles get attacked fairly frequently and it seems the city parks get vandalized every now and then. Several weeks ago, I read of some vandalism at one of the local cemeteries. How sad! It's frustrating to say the least and usually costly, but to take the time, drive or walk into a cemetery and purposely destroy or steal things family members leave for their loved one is..........hmmmm, can't hardly think of a printable word to put there.

Wow! Getting all that off my chest feels good. The sad note though that the people who do these things probably can't read too well and may not even know what a newspaper is, so I'm preaching, er, writing to the Choir. Now the real, real sad point is this.....have you ever heard the old proverb, "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?" Last summer, the very same thing happened to me. Same place, same mirror. Well, not exactly the same mirror, but you get the idea. Shame on me! But, but ......can't a guy park his car on a residential street at all? Guess not!

That's The Way I See It.

Let me know how you see things at or call me at 319-334-4117.............hope u have a great week..........



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