JOE HILDEBRAND

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Joe co-hosts Stu­dio 10, 8.30am week­days, on Net­work Ten.

is sur­prised his be­long­ings are ac­tu­ally worth steal­ing.

I’m proud to say I live in the kind of neigh­bour­hood where peo­ple keep an eye on your house and car when you go away. The only catch is, this is partly so they can steal from them.

In re­cent years, ears, we’ve no­ticed strange ob­jects s go miss­ing with al­most no other er ex­pla­na­tion than out-and-out out bur­glary.

I say “al­most” st” be­cause my wife was preg­nant­nant for 18 months of those se years, and she may have vis­ited the dump in a pre­na­tal­na­tal nest­ing frenzy and then en com­pletely for­got­ten aboutut it the next day. Search you­rur hearts, ladies. You knowow it’s true.

The first ob­ject ject was an ex­pen­sive stroller ller we had left on the ve­ran­dah, ah, to which one might rea­son­ablyson­ably say: “Well, it’s your fault for buy­ing an ex­pen­sive stroller and leav­ing it on the he ve­ran­dah.”

In my de­fence,nce, I say it was a test that I set t for so­ci­ety – and so­ci­ety failed. iled.

The sec­ond ob­ject was an­other stroller we bought ught to re­place the first one and which we had also left on the ve­ran­dah,an­dah, to which one might rea­son­ablyson­ably say: “Are you @#$%ing kid­ding me?”

In my de­fence,nce, I say I was giv­ing so­ci­ety­oci­ety a sec­ond chance. ce. The third ob­ject was a Bea­tles box set my wife bought me, which I did not leave on the ve­ran­dah but on the front seat of my car. Granted, the car was un­locked, but that’sthat s a mi­nor, im­ma­te­rial de­tail. At th this point one might rea­son rea­son­ably say, “What the @#$% is wron wrong with you peo­ple?”, but I feel theth real mes­sage is that im­pove im­pov­er­ished ice junkies with great taste in mu­sic are ex­ploit­ing mi mid­dle-class of­fice work­ers for th the sole crime of gen­tri­fy­ing th their sub­urbs. Hon­estly, w where is the grat­i­tude? It also raises an­other q ques­tion: is there any­thing p peo­ple won’t steal? Ho­tel work­ers al­ready kno know that any ob­ject smaller than t the bath­tub ends up in the hand lu lug­gage faster than you can say, “Do not dis­turb.” And, re­cently, my sis­ter strolled past a signs on a picket fence that warned passers-by to stop steal­ing plants f from the gar­den. “Se­ri­ously,” it added added, “who does that?” Sure Sure, I was once tempted to re­move a bag of pot­ting mix from my neigh­bour’snei front lawn, but that’s o only be­cause I knew it was suf­foca suf­fo­cat­ing the Sir Wal­ter. My sis­ter and I were raised in the bel be­lief that the best de­fence against theft is to make all your worldly goods as un­ap­peal­ing as pos­si­ble. In­deed, we grew up in a house that would ac­tu­ally have looked ti­dier if a pack of rob­bers had gone through it.

And so, in the case of #stroller-gate, I had falsely as­sumed there was lit­tle dan­ger of some­one ab­duct­ing a three­year-old Moun­tain Buggy held to­gether by gaffer tape and baby mu­cus.

Like­wise, the Bea­tles col­lec­tion, I have to con­fess, was the mono ver­sion. And while I never had the choice to refuse it, the bur­glars most cer­tainly did.

Yes, it is a sad in­dict­ment on so­ci­ety that not even a pot plant or tran­si­tional mu­si­cal odyssey is safe. It’s not the ob­ject that mat­ters, just the need to stuff your pock­ets with what­ever you can. It’s like go­ing shop­ping with Wi­nona Ry­der.

But thank­fully good neigh­bourli­ness isn’t en­tirely lost. In fact, the other night the kids next door came over to tell me I’d left the head­lights on.

Still, I thought, they could’ve just turned them off with­out both­er­ing me.

Af­ter all, the car was open.

In my de­fence, say it was a test that I set for so­ci­ety – and so­ci­ety failed”

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