The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles
Editor 

On the weary randomness of meaningless thievery

 


Our cowbell was stolen. Right off the front door, in clear line of sight of anyone, when we were open, which would be the only time it could have been stolen.

We really hope it was taken by a cow. You know, someone who really needed it. But no one in our office recalls seeing a cow wandering in with tools for removing a cowbell from the door handle. Or, for that matter, even one without tools.

If you’ve been in The Sentinel office, you would likely have seen and heard the cowbell. It had been on the inside of the front door for the past several centuries; I think I recall it mentioned in one of Plato’s Dialogs. It was placed there as a convenient way to let people in the back of the office know someone had come in when there was no one in the front part of the office. It worked really well.

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want it. Granted, it was a very good cowbell, probably an E flat, if my ear serves. From what I gather, cowbells these days are used for pretty much any purpose other than actually putting on a cow, most often as a rhythm instrument in bands. Or for hanging on doors as a rustic, low-tech doorbell.

It’s a mystery. We’ve received no ransom note, so it’s unlikely it was taken as a fundraiser, though I remember seeing some shady-looking people around recently professing to raise funds to finance fact checking for President Trump. Come on. Like he’d really be interested in something like that. Might as well wear a T-shirt with “Trust me, I’m a scammer” on it.

So why in the world would someone steal our cowbell? It had to have taken some serious initiative. The bell was on a chain with a screw-bolt securing it. Someone had to stand inside the front door long enough to unscrew the bolt and remove the cowbell without being seen—and without it making a sound. And really, we don’t leave the front of the office empty that long. Speculation is running high; the office pool right now is favoring the notion that someone did it on a Wednesday when we’re at our busiest, with people coming in at 7 a.m. asking if the paper is in yet. Well, not really, and actually we love it that so many people check so early and often to see when the paper arrives.

(While we’re on that topic—goodness knows how we got there—please be aware that the thing that most affects when our paper gets here on Wednesdays is the printer in Hood River. They generally do a very good job for us, but they print several newspapers on Wednesdays, and ours isn’t always at the top of their schedule.)

We haven’t reported the crime to Goldendale Police. We aren’t posting “Lost” posters around town or on Facebook. We held a Cowboy Funeral for it; it goes, “He’s dead, he’s gone, let’s ride on.”

And a new cowbell arrived yesterday. It will go on a very thick chain, this time with a padlock on it. It may be even better than the old one, if I may say so without risk of disparagement.

Visitors are welcome to come and look at the new bell. They’re also welcome to share their thoughts on this wayward, unfathomable world of ours.

 

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