Dr. Suess’s Grinch and the Grinches of today are mean and are thieves too. They steal Christmas presents and decorations. There has been a series of robberies in a certain neighborhood. The TV screen panned into some recorded scenes of a young man actually stealing some the packages left on the porches. They found a culprit, at least on film. Some homeowners set up cameras on their porches. This particular video clip showed that a young man came on the porch and picked up the boxes. He ran to a revving car waiting at the front of the driveway. This group had done this to a number of homes. After sometimes these perpetrators were apprehended, according to the TV news. There are many such instances. Some get nabbed, while others don’t. Anumita tells us about the Grinches, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Dr. Suess’ fictional character Grinch does have brothers, sisters, and cousins, who live in our real world. In his children’s book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he portrayed a mean character living on a steep hill on the north side of the town of Whoville. Grinch had a tiny heart and could not tolerate the festive merry-making sounds of the villagers. He steals the presents and decorations from Whoville while dressed as Santa. But, his concept of celebration changed as in the morning he found the villagers still happy and singing Christmas Carols instead of being in anguish or crying. The Grinch learned the meaning of being happy and his heart grew in size. He returned all the presents and decorations and becomes a part of the Christmas Celebration.
Dr. Suess’s Grinch and the Grinches of today are mean and are thieves too. None of these reported Grinches have had a change of heart, according to the reports from the various local TV channels.
As Thanksgiving is over, the air in most places is filled with the joy of the season. The countdown to Christmas is on. Stores, offices, homes are all decked and lighted up. The cold air brings the warmth of the people. Excessive traffic on the road and crowds to tackle everywhere, yet a feel of expectancy is highly charged. Gift buying, party planning and tons of other preparations are in full swing.
The post offices and the courier companies are working around the clock. Gifts, cards, and pictures are sent to the near and dear ones. They have to be there in time. In the Snow Belt states, like mine, I often see the mailman/mail woman lunging heavy or big boxes of gifts through the snow. They deposit the boxes on the front porch of the houses, to be retrieved by the owner when they are back home from work. It is a common practice.
I usually listen to the local news on the television, early in the morning, before my kid leaves for school. The reporter’s voice caught my attention. He said the Grinch had struck again. I placed my tea kettle on the stove and moved closer to the television to listen. There has been a series of robberies in a certain neighborhood. The TV screen panned into some recorded scenes of a young man actually stealing the packages left on the porches by the mailman.
Now, they found a culprit, at least on film. Some homeowners set up cameras on their porches. This particular film showed that the young man came on the porch and picked up the boxes. He ran to a revving car waiting at the front of the driveway. This group had done this to number of homes. Few days later, I heard the news that these perpetrators were apprehended. I sighed a breath of relief.
But then, after a lapse of some more days, there were other reported incidents, similar to the one before. This time it was a woman, who looked to belong to a well to do home. She was lifting the Christmas decorations from the yards of people. I could not believe what my eyes saw on the TV screen.
Numerous clippings are played on the local news channels from around the country, as house owners have security cameras. Many do get caught but others don’t. The mail company, UPS, and other courier companies try their best to keep an eye for people lurking around. But, during the last month of the year, the work load is unprecedentedly high.
Here are few tips provided by the mail carrier companies:
1. Have a delivery sent to you
– If you are home during the day, write a note asking UPS, FedEx or the Postal Service to ring your doorbell before dropping the package off.
– If you’re not home, send the package to your office or a neighbor next door.
2. Don’t let mail sit on your porch for long
– You can write a note asking deliveries to be placed on your back porch so they are out of sight
– If you are using UPS, you can ask that your packages be delivered at an Access Point – which is a local business that has teamed up with UPS. If a driver does not feel comfortable leaving a package at your home, they will take it to a certified business nearby, where you can pick it up after showing ID.
3. Track your packages, or request signature confirmation if possible.
– Most delivery services now provide a way for you to track your purchases online or on mobile apps.
– Require a signature for delivery or request that you receive an email and/or text message when the package is en route and delivered.
I wonder why these people, the kill joys, do what they do. If this was done by someone, who is less fortunate or those who could not make ends meet, I would have thought that to be an excuse.
But why do the people from good homes land up stealing? Kleptomania is indeed a psychological problem. These people need help.
The phrase “the Grinch strikes again” echoed in my ears. This kind of theft is rampant during the Christmas time, due to large number of packages delivered.
On the bright side, there are institutes and places that collect toys, blankets, and foods for the less fortunate. Salvation Army set up small red buckets and people volunteer their time to ring the bell for donation. Schools and offices collect non-perishable food, blankets to be distributed to the food pantry or the homeless. Toys for Tots program is organised by the US Marine Corp Reserves. These are distributed to the kids in need.
This year my kid’s school orchestra group is working on a project for the ill children of the Children’s Hospital in our town. They are making care packs and assembling blankets for those in need. It is a small way to spread joy. Learning how to care and give back to the community from a young age is a foundation for a being a better individual.
Maybe, this would balance some of the wrongs the real world Grinches do during the season of joy and fun. They might steal some gifts and Christmas decorations, but never can they hamper the festivity.
©Anumita Chatterjee Roy
Photo and videos from the internet.