Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sherry Hopkins

Third visit might have been charmed for thieves, victim

As I promised last week, here’s another story about my younger sister Donna.

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It seems that we both have an inclination toward trouble. I do believe in both our instances trouble seeks us out. Even when we were kids we both seemed have some type of tribulation or another.

Even though she was the younger, I never could quite get the older sister authoritarian rule over her. She was quite unyielding in her day.  But being the mousier of the two I did admire the way she handled people (read adults) in our life.

She was never at a loss for words and never at a loss to express her feelings, good or bad.

One particular time when we had been involved in something, untoward I suppose, a neighbor’s mother was chastising us for our behavior. She called Donna insolent and Donna being young and outspoken (insolent) questioned the very meaning of the word.

“That sounds like perfume,” my smart aleck little sister blurted out in the middle of the the mad mother’s warning. I kept my mouth shut.

Mad mother was not pleased and told our parents of the confrontation and they were not pleased. I’m sure some punishment followed.

The following story will show that Donna has not lost one ounce of her ability to find trouble even in her middle age.

Donna’s family home was burglarized very close to Christmas a few years ago. The thieves broke in while everyone was at work and or school. They destroyed her beautiful home, smashing her Santa collection, opening gifts and taking what they wanted and ripping her husband’s gun case from the wall to which it was attached when they couldn’t find the keys to unlock the case. They came home to a disaster and were understandably shaken at the intrusion and destruction.

Three weeks later the thieves came back in the cover of darkness and stole Donna’s Explorer SUV using the spare keys they had stolen on the first go round.

Following this break in Donna loaded herself down with weapons of self-defense, handguns, shotguns, and taserguns and pepper spray.

One weekend while she was alone she carried a hairspray-size can of pepperspray and a handgun out to get the mail. While getting the mail she absentmindedly put the pepperspray in her robe pocket.

Later that morning her cat jumped onto her lap, making her spill coffee all over the same robe. She threw the robe into the wash. When the load finished she headed into the laundry area off the kitchen to load the dryer.

As soon as she got to the kitchen she started sneezing and coughing. Her nose began to run. Her eyes began to water. She started to feel really bad really quickly and thought she must be coming down with a nasty cold or the flu or something.

She retrieved the robe from the washer all the while sneezing and coughing. As she brought the robe up she discovered that it was covered in brown streaks. She thought perhaps she had left a bit of chocolate in her pocket and so she washed the robe again and AGAIN. The whole time her eyes and throat burned and her coughing got much worse.

So she went back to the den to await the process and started feeling much better. The phone rang. She went into the kitchen to answer it and started coughing and sneezing all over again. After the call she checked on the robe. It was still covered in big brown streaks. She loaded the washer down with Spray and Wash and reset it for another load. The whole time she felt worse and worse.

On the last time she checked the results of the laundry load and heard a ka-thunk as she lifted the robe out. There in the bottom of the washer was her big ol’ can of pepper spray that she had been washing ALL morning.

All of her symptoms were coming from the mace she had unknowingly washed.

She ran the wash cycle ten more times to get the mace out of the washer. She missed that Monday at work because her throat was so raw from inhaling the spray for so long that she could barely speak. She also went to the doctor to insure that no permanent damage had been done

She threw the ruined robe away and told me that she now sends all her pepper spray out to the dry cleaners.

At least she can find humor in an otherwise humorless situation. I expect she carries a smaller can of mace to get the mail too.

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at