Folks, just what the hell is this world coming to?
A few months ago, my office moved to a new location. There was plenty of landscaping done at the new building and a good chunk of that included a lot of those scrubby little shrubs that are so nondescript that they fade into the background.
Some people took notice of them, however. Last week, a thief ran off with 27 of the things and had to be replaced for $1,400. Who the hell runs around town stealing shrubs? I've learned over the past few days that a lot of shrubs are turning up missing around Little Rock. I wasn't aware there was a black market for shrubbery, but such a thing does apparently exist.
There are two things to learn from this. First of all, my office is in Little Rock and this theft is a great example of why I live in Benton and commute about 20 miles to work everyday. Those Little Rock folks will steal anything that's not tied down.
Second, we were robbed twice. The first time we were ripped off by the company that had the audacity to charge $51.85 per scrubby shrub and the second time was by the folks who loaded those shrubs up in the middle of the night and made off with them.
Actually, we got robbed three times -- we had to pay to have the shrubs replaced to the tune of $51.85 per bush.
As usual, the folks at my organization have overreacted by purchasing a security system that is to be installed soon. I'm not sure how much that system costs, but it's a safe bet it will be worth more than the shrubs it will monitor.
Furthermore, an external security system isn't that hard to thwart. What if the sneaky thieves decide to show up in ski masks and unmarked trucks? What if you capture a couple of people who can't be identified on video and show it to the cops? With the amount of crime in Little Rock, I can't imagine the police will dedicate a lot of resources to tracking down a bunch of shrub thieves.
Maybe the "security system" plan will work fine. Those cameras do come with big, intimidating signs that warn of electronic surveillance. Maybe that threat will be enough to convince the shrub thieves to move on down the road and hit an easier target. What would be a lot cooler, of course, would be a couple of angry dogs patrolling the perimeter. Yeah. That would be a lot cooler than a bunch of easily-tricked video cameras.
Regardless, the mind boggles. $51.85 for a shrub? No wonder people are stealing them all over Little Rock.
Oh, here's another odd thing. My office is located near the FBI building in Little Rock. The thought was the proximity to the feds would effectively cut down on crime in the area. Evidently, that assumption was very wrong.
I do hope our victimized shrubs found a good home after being put on the black market. We can only hope. Thinking otherwise is just too painful.