The Bolters (sounds like something I'd have done as a kid)

You should have seen your face! You looked like you were inverting the bald-headed four-legged flambé.

A friend of mine’s brother is having a weird problem. He bought a house last year to remodel and then sell, and has been living there during the project.

Three times now, someone has stolen bolts from items in his yard. That’s right, bolts. Once was a couple of bolts from his motorcycle, for example.

Recently he was working in the yard with some piece of gardening gear… maybe a leaf blower, I forget. It had two tubes joined by bolts that formed the main attachment. The phone rang and he put the thing down. Inside the house he talking on the phone for a minute, drank a soda, and then went back outside again. When he picked up the blower, the tube fell apart… the two bolts that held it together were gone. In the ten minutes or so that he was outside, someone stole the bolts off the thing.

He bought the house from a run-down little church next door. The church had been using it as rough living quarters for about a dozen political/religious refugees from Ethiopia, but they were ejected from the property by the police for health reasons. The pastor of the church decided to sell the house to raise money for some church improvement projects. After selling the house, the pastor announced he was retiring to do missionary work in Zimbabwe. A couple weeks after he left, the guy with the missing bolt problem ran into the pastor’s brother in the neighborhood and asked if the missionary post had started yet. The pastor’s brother looked baffled and said, “No, we’re buying a used-car dealership together.”

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