January 22, 2018

Glazier’s Log : Morning Ministrations

Ram Raid2.15 am.  Another hot and muggy Perth night.

Distant sirens break my train of thought.

The cell phone screeches bringing me back to earth. We have a Ram Raid on a well known store in Fremantle. I know what to expect. Sometimes they even reverse-crash in so they don’t have to turn the vehicle around. It makes a helluva mess, but they usually know what they want and are gone in minutes.

It’s good to be on the move again. I note the bright moonlight. Uh oh, a full moon too! My truck purrs through the quieting streets, briefly lifting the old leaves, dust and litter in my wake. When I roll up outside the scene and handbrake the wagon, the storefront is a typical scene of devastation. The police are leaving and brief me on the crime. They reckon it’s the usual suspects. “Are you psychic or just optimistic?” I ask. Apparently it doesn’t warrant a reply. No sense of humour. I crunch through the debris, start my cleanup and get the premises boarded up and secured for the night. After giving the store the final once-over I settle back in the truck and fill out the paperwork. As I cruise off into the silent streets my cell phone screeches again. Another break-and-enter . . . It must be the heat. Or the moon. Anyway, I know what I’d rather be doing.

The next day our team of glaziers finish cleaning up the storefront and re-glaze it. It now looks like new. The demolished Anti Ram Raid posts outside the store are to be replaced and strengthened.     Caz

Glazier’s Log : The Pitchfork Burglar

PitchforkTrauma counseling. Now that’s another skill we glaziers develop on the job. I frequently encounter dazed and distraught customers after they have had a break-in.

Take the other night for example. An opportunist burglar, having spied through the uncurtained windows of the house a set of car keys and purse casually left on the top of the sideboard, sneaked up the drive into the unlocked garage and chose for his tool a sturdy pitchfork. While the family were enjoying their dinner, he struck the glass in the sliding door until it shattered and, bold as brass, marched in, grabbed the car keys and purse, and left: apparently without a word. The family were completely stunned and cowed by his intimidating presence and aggressive demeanor. They did nothing – even as they heard him drive off in their car.

When I arrived they were still in a state of shock and I had to curb my tendency to look on the humorous side. As I went about my work I chatted with them sympathetically, and encouraged them to be optimistic. Later, choosing my words carefully, I gave them a few good pointers on basic security while promoting our range of superior laminated security glass – the ultimate being Lamguard. The police had been less sympathetic, more keen to track down and apprehend the offender.

We all tend to become a little casual about where we leave our keys (and sometimes money). There is no need for us to make it easy or tempting for the criminally inclined. A little thought and cunning can be enough sometimes to deter an opportunist thief.

Funny though, when I returned to my truck which I had left parked outside the house, my toolbox had been emptied.

I’d forgotten to put the lock back on. I must remember to practice what I preach.

I must remember to . . . . I must remember . . . .


Glazier’s Log : The Pick-up

Caz - the night dreamer Early a.m.  I see the muzzle flash and the bullet whirrs past my right ear. An explosion of broken glass behind me reminds me they need to upgrade that door panel to our LamGuard Security Glass. Diving to the floor I pull my weapon and roll to the left, firing four rounds at the flash as I stop, feet and elbows splayed. I hear a scream, then a cough. I crawl to where I dropped my torch and illuminate a scene of devastation. I scrunch over the broken, shattered glass. But where are the bodies? Suddenly, there’s a hideous screeching sound. Wha  . . . ? Aha. It’s my cell phone. I had nodded off again. I am called to secure a large window in a popular shopping strip. Some stupid accident. My truck comes to life with me. I slip in a Powderfinger CD, turn up the volume and purr off along the empty streets of Perth, the night’s litter fluttering in my wake.

The story – as told by the astonished driver to the cynical security guard, and retold to this even more cynical glazier – was that the “drive through” coffee he’d been nursing as he drove away had burnt his lips, causing him to spill it on his lap, which caused him to . . .  Well, you know how it goes: Distracted by the need to cool his goolies, he pulls the wheel sharply over, mounts the footpath, takes out a rubbish bin and manages to stop with only one front wheel in the actual shop. A life-like shop dummy draped in a slinky designer dress lies suggestively across his bonnet.

Scattered glass fragments lie thick, dressing the scene like snow flakes. Good stuff that Safety Glass, no jagged shards. Even her dress – hiked up and revealing – isn’t cut.

Excessive alcohol consumption may have been a contributing factor. The police are having a quiet word to him as I arrive and the breathalyser is being prepared. “You’re gone mister” I mutter to myself, and start boarding up the gaping shopfront.

After cleaning up the site, I cruise away into the dawn, job done. Our glaziers will have that shopfront like new before lunch time. My favourite track comes on. I crank up the volume and look at my new passenger for approval. She stares woodenly ahead, her nakedness a distraction.

Damn, I should have asked for the dress as well…..


Glazier’s Log : Forensics to the “Fore”!

The Serial Golf BallBalls. Cricket balls, footy balls, soccer balls, golf balls and marbles (fired from slingshots), even sluggish ten-pin-bowling balls have been known to break windows. In fact balls collectively account for 14% of our domestic work and 2% of our commercial. A further breakdown reveals the fact that golf balls are the worst offenders and provide us with 8% of the above proportion.Inanimate objects they may be, but in the hands of the inexperienced, criminally inclined or seriously insane, they become lethal projectiles. But back to golf balls. They’ve been known to end up on people’s dinner tables – sometimes interrupting a meal – and people have even found them in their beds: thus solving the mystery of the broken window.

I was kept busy for about a month not so long ago by the mysterious “Serial Golf Baller”, as he came to be known. Occurring in the CBD with the broken windows being mostly high up in multi-storied buildings, a mix of commercial and apartment blocks, it caused the police no end of headaches. The downtown residents were perplexed. These apparently random acts of violence became a rallying cry (or at least a topic of intense mutual interest) between imbibers in local bars, restaurants and cafés. Theories abounded and were embellished with every downing of pint and pinot. Those hovering over their lattés in the cafés would tell of golf balls being discovered in quite bizarre locations. Hmmm. And the police? – they were flummoxed.

Fortunately, a senior detective sergeant with old fashioned, Sherlock Holmsian tendencies had started plotting the trajectories of the now some 200 errant balls – many were found rolling down the streets. Thus, he narrowed the origin of these missiles down to a clump of high rises and surmised the balls had been teed off from the top of one of them. There being no one yet killed from these missiles, there was little credit to be had from solving this case, but our Det. Sgt. was a plodder. The Serial Golf Baller had launched his balls only late on Friday and Saturday nights, so each weekend our man, securely harnessed up on the very peak of the tallest building in the area, scanned the high-rise tops through night vision glasses. His focus was sharpened when, after a pleasant day’s golfing with a visiting contingent of the Japanese constabulary, he was made aware of the Japanese obsession with night golf driving ranges. With some ground floor research, he was able to narrow down his search to a certain Japanese businessman who, nightly lit by several bottles of sake, used the roof top of his office block for his practice. A large sum of money was paid, apologies and diplomacy applied and suddenly no more windows were being broken.