Interesting bit of news on the Morgunblaðið website this week: a panty thief was apprehended in the west end of the city, in the laundry room of an apartment building. The news item saw also stated that this wasn’t the first time the thief had been caught in that particular building.
I haven’t contacted any of my old neighbours, but this sounds an awful lot like the place I used to live. We had this problem there. On three separate occasions we had a break-and-enter in the the laundry room, and each time only one type of item was stolen: women’s panties.
Happily for me, I lived on the top floor – the fourth – with no elevator. This meant that not only did I have the most excellent view, but also that I couldn’t be bothered to run downstairs to the communal laundry room, which was located in the basement. This, in turn, meant that I was never the victim of panty-snatching.
My neighbours, on the other hand, were in quite a frenzy about the whole thing. And I will concede that it was not the most pleasant feeling, knowing that some deviant who got his kicks out of stealing womens’ panties and doing God-knows-what with them was waltzing around in our stairwell at night. Not to mention the perpetual damage to the laundry room windows that he systematically inflicted to get inside.
But our thief was elusive. There was, mind you, one night when one of the neighbours, who was around 80, heard a racket downstairs and went out into the stairwell, only to happen upon the jolly panty aficianado on his way out. She received such a shock, the poor dear, that she was quite unable to give a description, although she could ascertain that he was not wearing a set of women’s underwear on his head.
Anyway, cut to a few weeks later. Time: around 1.30 am. EPI and I were lying in bed. Suddenly I heard a loud THUNK! and bolted upright. “That’s him, that’s him!” I shouted under my breath at a bewildered EPI, whose full attention had been on the imminent onslaught of sleep. Before he had a chance to respond I’d leapt out of bed and was in the darkened living room, peering down into the garden. By jove, there was a single light shining out of the whole entire building – and it was the light in the laundry room. YT sprung into action, and before you could say ‘letatorrentofpantiesraindownuponmyhead’ I had a certain Officer X on the phone. Having been informed of our predicament on previous panty-snatching occasions, he assured me they’d have a car round in just a few minutes.
“You have to go down there, let them in!” I excitedly informed EPI, who by this time was jumping on one leg trying to get his pants on. He concurred, and was out the door in a flash, hastening down the stairs like a thief in the night. [but not a panty thief]. YT, meanwhile, positioned herself at the window to make sure Panty Thief didn’t make a run for it. I only waited two minutes, and suddenly the Special Police Task Force were in the backyard, silently moving in for the big capture. I blinked for a second and THUNK! what did I see but the half-torso of a man sticking out of the [small] laundry room window. In his haste to flee, he’d got himself stuck, poor sucker. The Special Police Task Force pounced immediately, dragging him out through the window and onto the ground, shouting: “GET DOWN!! PUT YOUR HANDS UPON YOUR HEAD!! NOW!!!” [but in Icelandic.]
A few minutes later, after they’d affixed the handcuffs and such, they stood him up and shone their flashlights on him. Much to my amazement, the Dreaded Panty Thief was just a young guy, in his early 20s or so. Really normal looking, with curly hair. The boy-next-door.
Anyway, I quickly put on some clothes and went downstairs. In front of the building were two cruisers with lights a-flashing – just like in the movies. As I stood there, a constable approached me. “That’s definitely our man,” he said, jerking his thumb in the direction of our thief. “He had these in his pocket.” And before I knew it I’d extended my hand, and he’d dropped something into my open palm.
A pair of thongs.
[Already… washed? Gah!]
And that’s the story of our panty thief.
Who may or may not have returned.
I really must give one of my old neighbours a call.
Strong winds from the south today and RAIN. Lots of it. The kind of weather that is super-refreshing if you’re properly dressed, like our YT was today when she took a stroll around the golf course, dressed from head to toe in Gore-tex. It cleared up later in the day and the sun actually appeared, but it was still *brr* cold. Fall is here. Temps now 9°C and the sun rose at 06.30 and set at 20.19.