In the Soo-Soo

safe in soo-soo landWhen we were kids, if you asked one of my brothers the whereabouts of a missing item, his reply was always, “In the soo-soo (pronounced sue-sue).” This was not offered as a possibility, but a statement of fact. When pressed about what, or where “the soo-soo” was, he’d only shrug.

Sadly, my brother passed relatively early in life, and with him he took the actual whereabouts and true identity of “the soo-soo.”  Wanting to keep this fun memory of him alive for the next generation, all of us adopted his perfectly crafted excuse for anything gone inexplicably missing as being “in the soo-soo.”

A few years back, at a former job, I shared my office cubicle with the company safe. It was a small safe, bolted to the floor, designed to hold just a couple of cash drawers.

There was no reason I and the safe needed to be together. The safe really belonged with the office manager, but she did not like the cubicle’s location, which was in the far back; too far from the front desk where much of her daily tasks took place. However, I didn’t mind being tucked away in the back, because the trade-off of taking the cubicle with the safe (which was awkwardly placed, so working around it was sometimes a pain) was a large, storefront style window and quick access to the back door of the building, which made the occasional need to surreptitiously come and go from the office very handy (the need having to do with office politics, which is a whole other story for some other post, some other time).

As I walked into my cubicle one morning, I discovered the safe gone. The holes where it had been bolted to the floor were exposed, and the carpet had a couple of gashes, but otherwise nothing seemed out-of-place. I felt a distinctly cold draft, and turning toward the window, discovered the glass had been completely smashed.

It was still early, and with only one cup of coffee in me, so I wasn’t quite able to process the sort-of surreal scene. I stood puzzling for a while before calling anyone else’s attention to it. Finally, I yelled down the cubicle aisle to my boss and the office manager.

“Hey, D & M? Uh…I need to show you something.”

“What?!” D (the boss) yelled back.

“The safe is gone. Out the window, apparently.”

D & M both rushed to where I was standing. They also took a minute to take in the spectacle.

“It looks like it just got up and jumped out the window!” M said.

D checked the back door and it was unlocked. He then took a closer look at where the safe had stood.

“Some sort of bolt cutters,” pointing out the fact the embedded bolts were still in place.

“How could anyone possibly cut those bolts?!” M asked.

The police did their police investigative thing: They took measurements, dusted for fingerprints, snapped pictures, asked questions and took statements.

Their quick-judgement conclusion was someone who knew the office fairly well did the deed. Someone with access to the building unlocked the back door, and smashed the picture window from the inside out. From the blackened tire skid marks outside the window, the cops guessed the thieves used a truck, probably a tow-truck, or some vehicle outfitted with a heavy-duty winch to hook on to the safe from outside and then yank it out of the floor with the vehicle. Once done, they lifted the safe out the window and in the vehicle.

But, what was really odd about the whole thing was the later discovery of the cash drawers in a near-by park, fully intact. None of the cash, checks or credit card receipts from the day before were missing.

My boss giggled. “What the hell? All that bother and they don’t even take the cash drawers?”

The police officer shrugged.

“So, they just took the safe?”

“Whoever got into the building probably also knew the combination to the safe. Our guess is once they had the safe, they took off, but decided to stop in the park, probably to open the safe to check the contents. They must have been spooked by someone and drove off in a hurry without moving the cash drawers into the vehicle with them, or re-locking the safe door. The cash drawers probably tumbled out of the safe and out the back of their vehicle. It further confirms our theory they used a tow truck, rather than a flat bed.”

My boss looked incredulous. “OK, so, where’s the safe?”

Again, the officer shrugged.

I looked up to the proverbial heavens, smiled, and said, “It’s in the soo-soo.”


[This is a mostly true tale, but with some creative license.  And, I’m giving myself the Spock Award. ;^) ]

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