Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
||Season of Giving & Taking...
The Season of Giving and
is, almost Christmas. Probably by now you are overcome with
Christmas spirit; feeling generous, decorating your tree, and
finishing up some last minute shopping before wrapping your
We only hope that you have not forgotten to make a charitable
contribution to help your local criminal element. Yes, it is
Christmas for crooks too, and there is nothing they enjoy more
than busy, crowded, holidays when they
have so many additional opportunities to practice their trade.
Here are a few tips to help out these ambitious entrepreneurs
and assure them of a successful holiday season:
When shopping, park your car in a dark area away from buildings
or lights and make it more accessible to them. After all, itís
Christmas. Have a heart! There is nothing a thief likes better
than a dark area where he wonít be seen or noticed while
practicing his craft.
Taking time to note what is going on around you when shopping is
not necessary. Why be paranoid? Most likely the guy hanging
around and talking on the cell phone is just another shopper and
not a felon looking for a victim. He may even offer to help you
carry your packages.
After shopping, just leave your packages inside the car and
donít use up any valuable time to lock them in the trunk.
Thieves love to window shop, and they might accidentally see
something they like. You will also be providing them with the
opportunity to break your car window when they find something
Cell phones, purses, and radar detectors make excellent gifts
for thieves and unlike your ungrateful relatives, they wonít
even mind that they are pre-used. Criminals will probably
suspect that you may be away from the car for while shopping.
Making a quick grab when opportunity knocks can absolutely make
Small shopping areas are even better places to give away your
valuables than large shopping malls where there may be security
guards. Avoid malls and help a dishonest outlaw make a living.
You might even leave your door unlocked and pretend you in such
a rush that you forgot. Remember that a thief must do his
shopping outside while you are shopping inside.
If you prefer donating cash instead of goods, carry large
amounts of cash and never pay with checks or credit cards.
Encourage timid pickpockets by leaving a purse dangling on your
shoulder for easy snatching, or putting your wallet in a visible
back pocket instead of an inside pocket. Cash cannot be traced
or cancelled and pickpockets will greatly appreciate your
If you make it home without donating your purchases to a
worthwhile culprit, wrap all your gifts and place them under the
tree in front of the window where they can be see from outside.
While you are out of the house enjoying
other holiday activities, industrious burglars can procure the
gifts that are already wrapped for giving and thus assure their
own family of a happy holiday.
If a good con artist sees nothing worth taking, perhaps he will
come to your door asking for a donation for a needy charity,
knowing that you will be in an especially generous mood at this
time of the year. Donít embarrass him by
asked for identification or refusing to donate except to
charities you know and trust. Give generously and help a con guy
Yes, this is the time of year to support the low life of our
society. Being an easy mark makes the lot of a lawbreaker much
easier. With vigilant attention to carelessness, you can assure
that the scum of the earth will not go without a merry
Christmas. Please give generously and always remember, you too
can be a victim of crime.
Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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