In my defense, I have never been a witness to a burglary before. It is nothing like the movies. There's no drama, no threatening music, no creepy lighting, and it is a lot quicker. So it was that it took me a long time to register what was happening.
Every Wednesday Fr. B and I get together for breakfast. We jockey back and forth between two restaurants though why we do so I don't know - both of us clearly like the restaurant of this story more; the coffee cups never run dry, the service is fantastic, the food good, and the price just right for this cheap Slovenian. (And they don't mind that we sip our coffee for about an hour as we catch up on important diocesan gossip.)
So there we were when this guy walks in and looks as though he is reading something on the cashier counter. But something is just a bit off about the whole thing.
And we were! We were being burgled and I was so stunned I couldn't even talk. This only has happened to me two previous times. Once was when I met Pope John Paul II and all I could do is mumble in tongues. The other time was when my Mom and I ran into a black bear in the mountains of New York. All I could do was point at it (with a camera IN MY HAND) and say, "Ba . . ba . . . ba"
It was fortunate for the cause of Justice, Truth, and Right that somebody yelled, "Hey!" It was then that the most amazing thing happened. You know how in super hero comics, people who are otherwise mild mannered citizens suddenly turn into phantasmagorical crime fighters? It is not fake. These things really happen. One moment our waitresses, our sweet, kind, efficient waitresses are walking about taking orders, filling coffee cups, and clearing plates, the next millisecond they form a team that makes Charlie's Angels look like an elementary school cheerleading squad.
"Let's get 'em girls!" the leader shouted and the next thing you know coffee cups and order pads fall to the ground and every last waitress shot for the door and chased the burglar down the street.
And they caught him, pinned him to the ground, retrieved the money, and kept him subdued until the police came. When it was all over, the waitresses returned but you could tell they were still high on adrenaline. It would have been a great day to paint the restaurant they had so much energy. They came back in - No! They swooped back in, patting each other on the back, cleaned up the mess, and started taking care of the patrons quickly and IN VERY LOUD VOICES.
"ARE YOU OKAY?"
"I'LL GET YOU MORE COFFEE!"
"YOUR CHECK WILL BE RIGHT UP!"
It was all quite exciting. Of course I couldn't wait to tell someone.