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  • Writer's picturepeter grose

Shard of glass (apologies to Debbie Harry)

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

An article in today's New York Times talks about the very little damage done by the mob that invaded the US Capitol on 6 January. All will be fine, said that august organ, once the last shard of glass has been swept up. At this point I can only say: us too.

The day before the Washington ruckus we left a well-locked house a bit after nine in the morning to do our daily shopping. We were back at about 10 o'clock, to find that there had been an attempted break-in while we were out. It was a total failure, for comic reasons.

The would-be burglars had tested various doors and windows with what I assume was a jemmy. The doors and windows held. Next they noticed a rear glass door with a deadlock, and the keys dangling temptingly inside. Easy, they must have thought. Just break the glass and reach round behind and unlock the door.

What they hadn't reckoned with is that the lock needs a special trick to work. Otherwise the key spins uselessly, and nothing moves. This they must have discovered after they broke the glass. Presumably that was at about the same time as our return from shopping, and they fled without ever getting inside the house.

However they left us with plenty of shards of glass to clean up, which we did after the gendarmes had gone. And today that led me to thinking . . . what was the difference between our would-be burglars and the Trump-led thugs who invaded the Capitol building? Both achieved nothing beyond breaking some glass. Well, not quite so. With luck the Washington lot have totally ended Donald Trump's disastrous political career. So they have achieved the exact opposite of what they set out to do, for which we must all be grateful. And as collateral damage they may have finished off Ted Cruz into the bargain. We live in hope.

On the other hand, I suppose the Washington lot were a bit more successful than our burglars: at least they got inside the target building.

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