By sorta popular demand, I’ve included that answer to the question, what was in your garage at the end of the story.
It was late one evening or early one morning depending on your perspective. I was finishing the last chapter of a great book (reading, not writing) when I heard a loud bang come from my garage. I could see the garage from another room in my house, so I peered across to see the garage lights on and the door open.
If I was sure of only one thing, it was I always close the garage door. All was silent, so I grabbed my home phone and called wait for it – a friend.
“Are you behind my house by any chance?” I asked.
“No, I’m in Louisville.”
“Holy crap, I think someone’s in my garage.”
“Just go check.”
Another crash. “I’m going to call (wait for it) my sister.”
I called my sister who suggested 911 might be a more appropriate group to get in touch with. I didn’t want to bother 911 in case it turned out to be nothing. But finally (3 minutes later) I decided, What the hey I’d give them a call.
The 911 operator said, “Police are already on the way. Your sister and your friend already called.”
More banging, clanging and mayhem came from the garage. As I crouched behind the kitchen island, I realized how flimsy the door between the garage and the kitchen was.
My cell phone rang. It was my friend, a man as you’ll see from the following conversation. I had him on one phone and the 911 operator on the other.
“Go see if you can see anyone outside the window,” he said.
“Okay,” I said.
“What did he say?” the operator asked. I told her, she said, “NO, stay down.”
“Turn on the outside light,” friend said.
“What did he say?” the operator asked. I told her, she said, “NO, stay where you are.”
“Go listen at the garage door,” friend said.
“What did he say?” the operator asked. I told her, she said, “tell him to shut up.”
After a time of hiding in the dark behind the kitchen island, the 911 operator said, “The police are outside. Do you have a weapon?”
I said, “I have a wire hanger.”
The operator snickered and told the officers that I was armed with a wire hanger. The officers snickered but said I could hang on to the hanger if it made me feel safer.
Yes, I in a room full of knives I picked up a wire hanger and was ready to throttle any intruders.
NO MORE WIRE HANGERS. Remind you of anyone?
P.S. I slept with that wire hanger for almost six months.
Because, as it turns out it was not one, but a group of burglars. There were other break-ins in my area that started in the garage before moving into the house. The police thought that at some point they realized someone was awake and left before they finished. They were caught a few months later.