When you head off to bed at night what are the routines you follow before your head hits the pillow?
Do you check to make sure the oven and stovetop burners are off?
Do you wash your face, brush your teeth and comb your hair?
Do you look to see if the doors and windows are locked?
What is the one thing — let’s call it “The Kicker” — that will pull
you back out of bed if you forget to do it before getting into bed. My
Kicker is checking the oven. If I forget to check the oven I will get
out of bed to make sure it’s off. Death by incineration is a most
horrible way to die.
When my grandfather was alive he’d go around his house in North Loup,
Nebraska — a village of 300 people at that time — and open all the
windows and unlock all the doors before he went to bed so if someone
wanted to rob him they could do so without waking him up.
One musician I know who played on tour in my hometown of Lincoln,
Nebraska told me 15 years ago the most amazing thing his band noticed
about the city was how all the parked cars downtown had their windows
down and the doors were unlocked.
My friend grew up in Chicago where
everything was locked up tight if you were not within eyesight of your
property; he found that willing vulnerability of Lincoln to be charming
and good-natured. He felt safe.
Unfortunately, Lincoln has now joined Chicago in locking doors and
rolling up windows.