Topic: "Clean Machine" (2)
Frodo knows what it is like to be accused of something he did not do. There are situations however, in which blame is supplanted by credit for acts not done. Tempting it is to stand in silence and receive accolades, for in some situations if Frodo doesn't get the applause, then hands are never clapped.
Debbie Phillips, President of the Putnam County, West (By God) Virginia, School Board, returned home one evening recently to find her house cleaned, top-to-bottom. Her husband denied any responsibility, as did her next-door neighbor. In fact, Ms. Phillips was unable to find anyone who professed any knowledge of the phantom housecleaning. Given the fact that her house had been locked, and the key remained in its' secret hiding place, she did the only reasonable thing. She called the police.
The following is a transcript of how the telephone call to the City's 911 System may have actually happened:
"Hullo Mrs. Phillips, Sgt. Pyle here, what can I do for you this evening?"
"I see, uh huh. So you had someone break-in to the house while you were at work, is that right? Well, is anything missing?"
"Was there any damage done then?"
"Any sign of forced entry?"
"Well, if nothing is missing, and there is no sign of any damage, what makes you think somebody broke in?"
"I beg your pardon? Could you repeat that?"
"The house has been cleaned?"
"The beds have been made, the kitchen floor mopped, the toilets scoured, the windows washed, the living room vacuumed, and a thorough dusting throughout the house."
"Mrs. Phillips, you're telling me that neither your husband nor any of your friends admit to the cleaning, and the reason you're calling 911 is to go on record that somebody must have entered the house using your hidden key, and cleaned your house without permission. Then, they evidently returned the key to its' hiding place, and didn't even leave you a note?"
"Mrs. Phillips, have you had to confiscate any marijuana or anything from any students so far this school year?"
"No Ma'am, I'm just asking questions so that my Captain doesn't ask me that question?"
"Yes ma'am. Thank you for calling, and we'll keep an eye out for anyone cleaning without permission."
Several weeks later Mrs. Phillips was interrupted at work by a telephone call from her son who was home alone. It seems that a cleaning lady had parked her car out front, removed the key from its' secret hiding place, and entered through the front door. She then proceeded to mop the kitchen floor.
The facts determined by the Police Department were that the cleaning service had been hired by a neighbor one street over, with the same house number, who, conveniently it seems, chose exactly the same location for hiding a key at their house as did Mrs. Phillips at her house. Mrs. Phillips chose not to prosecute under auspices of the Patriot Act, or to challenge the legal status of any of the cleaning crew.
Frodo, had he been Mrs. Phillips husband, would have taken credit for the phantom cleaning, and later placed a $10 bill under the rock where the key was kept as a token of his gratitude to the perpetrator.
Frodo knows that some gifts, once given, cannot be taken back.