Nobody's missed the news about the 91-year-old man in Lake Worth, Robert Thompson, who jumped out of bed naked and held an "intruder" at gunpoint until the cops arrived, right? But what's missing from the Fox, Associated Press, and Sun-Sentinel reports is one crucial piece of information: In Lake Worth, property intrusions by drunken migrants are one of the perks of living in this wicked little town. And take it from a Lake Worthian, you don't need a Rottweiler, a gun, or your exposed junk to scare the bejesus out of some totally soused Guatemalan who has no idea where the fuck he is or how he came to be inside your fence (or on your porch, in your driveway, or passed out on your living-room sofa, for that matter.)
Let's skip the hoopla about what an American Hero this old fart was for a minute. (The geezer ended up shooting himself in the leg, for chrissake.) I'm a Lake Worth homeowner myself, and in the ten years I've lived on B Street, I've had the pleasure of many encounters with drunks on my property. For instance:
*The time two thoroughly pissed men pulled up on my swale, clambered out of their van, made their way into my backyard, and peed against my fine old Mahogany tree.
*The time I found a guy sleeping off a bender, curled up on one of the chairs on my patio, with two of my best beach towels used as blankets.
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*The time I found one of my neighbors sprawled beside my hedge, looking like he was dying (he wasn't; just too many cans of Coors).
*The time a female friend of mine woke up to find a dude, about four feet tall and completely blotto, standing in her bedroom doorway (she tackled him, he fell down, as drunks are wont to do; nobody got shot).
In the first case, I marched out, armed only with a martini, and chased the guys out of my yard. The second two cases required a call to 911. But in no wise was I in need of a loaded gun, and I didn't have to flash the family jewels at anybody either.
"I would have shot him if he kept coming," Thompson was quoted as saying. "You've got to protect yourself." Wow. I feel so reassured that my palsied Lake Worth neighbors are waving their .38s around in the dark. I guess I can sleep easy.