In the nine years that we have lived in our house, we have had our fair share of usual neighborhood happenings: drug busts across the street, a small house fire down the block, and drunken fighting in the street at 3 am. And we have had a few things stolen off our front porch: a new graco stroller, a pair of men’s sneakers, a hammer. And several years ago someone made off with two of our long and heavy ladders, dragging the cumbersome things through the streets at dawn, making an awkward run for it. Then a few months ago, on a bright and sunny afternoon, my children watched from our living room window as an older fellow pushing a cart full of cans and other treasures, pulled down his pants and went number 2 in our yard. He didn’t clean up after himself and the boys wondered why he didn’t wash his hands afterwards. Then just as I thought it couldn’t get any more interesting, we came home the other afternoon and found an empty spot on our porch where our pumpkin used to be. Apparently, our Suavies Island squash had been lifted by someone who knew our shit was organic. I didnt have the energy to go back to the patch, so I hauled my ass to Safeway. Now the pumpkins are cleaned and carved and candled. And they are chained to our porch. Just in case.