That's what we all say isn't it? Well, it happened this morning. I live in a quiet subdivision on a cul-de-sac in a small tri-level house. I've been here 11 years and never had any trouble. I awoke this morning to an annoying beeping. Beep beep beep. Beep beep beep. What the heck is that I wondered? It's not my cell battery dieing so what is it? Finally had enough of it and headed downstairs to kill whatever it was. I made it halfway down the stairs and froze. My first thought was why is there a pair of jeans and a jacket on the living room floor? I didn't strip and leave my clothes down there. Then I saw feet sticking out of the pants. Still my thoughts didn't go to an intruder, I thought maybe my wife has plans to go snowboarding this morning and this is a cousin or friend that's going with, crashing before an early start. I go back in the bedroom and ask who is sleeping in the living room. She said no one she knows and we both freaked a little bit. I keep a loaded 12 ga. next to the nightstand for just this kind of thing (no kids), but all at once and for the first time, I realized that this full size shotgun is too unwieldy for this situation. My wife asks if she should call 911. I hadn't even thought of that just yet, but I say YES, call 911. I grab my .357 from the other room, load it, and move back to the top of the stairs to keep an eye on this passed-out guy in my house. We are on the phone with dispatch for 15 minutes waiting for "help" to arrive. Good thing for all of us that this guy was out cold, even snoring at times. Once, he stirred a little and I thought to myself maybe this is it. Then, finally, the deputies arrive. They approach the house and knock?!?! I ask the dispatcher if I'm supposed to unlock the door or what? She says if I'm OK with it then yes. But that I need to NOT answer the door with a gun in my hand. I paused and thought bullsh!t, there's an intruder in MY house, I'll keep my gun. My wife talked me out of it, so I handed it to her, and tip-toed past sleeping beauty to unlock the door. Two deputies came in and asked if I knew this guy or invited him in, I said no, I have no idea who this is or how he got in. One deputy and I made a very quick survey of entry points and found nothing but the doggie door. This guy had to be determined because this is a pretty small door, not yap-dog size, but not German Shepard sized either. So the deputy instructs me to go back upstairs and wait. They rattle the guy and he's all sorts of displaced. First he's a little verbally combative and wonders why there's cops in his face. It's clear he was (and probably still is) pretty wasted last night. He thinks he's in his own house, or at least somewhere he belongs. The deputies have trouble getting any straight answers out of him. He finally realizes his situation and hands over some kind of ID, turns out he is on probation for something, but the report doesn't say what. When they ask, all he can say is he's on probation for getting drunk. This goes on for what seems like forever. One of the deputies finally comes upstairs and asks what we want to do. I'm kind of lost, isn't that your job I think to myself? So I ask what my options are, this is my first break-in and I'm not really sure what to do. The deputy says all they can really get him on is trespassing, he didn't appear to be stealing anything, and no apparent damage was don't to the house, so trespassing is it. Nothing more than a summons and we would likely have to got testify in court. Or if we don't press charges they would take him home, or to detox if no one was at the address he gave. Don't ask my why, because I can't say right now, but I was feeling charitable (maybe the Christmas season, who knows), but I elected not to press charges. As they cuffed him and led him out (finally), he yelled up the stairs that he was sorry. In all this, where the hell were my dogs? I always thought that they would at least alert me to something going on. No dice. They were both laying on the floor in the bedroom like nothing was out of the ordinary. After they left and we calmed down a bit, my wife and I did a good look around the house and found that he had helped himself to some leftovers in the fridge, and that beep beep beep from before, was the microwave saying that food was done. So he had nuked some leftover mexican and passed out before he could eat it. He had also nuked some leftover wings from Hooters, ate a couple, threw the bones in the dog food container, which looks a lot like a covered trash can, and then put the rest in a cupboard. He opened a jar of pickles, some tortilla chips, and even killed a can of squeezey cheese. The doors on my shed out back were open, but nothing appears to be missing anywhere (save for the fridge). But the really unsettling thing is that this trailer-trash was in my house for hours and I didn't even know it. How lucky we are that he just had the munchies and wanted to get out of the cold, and not to do us any harm. I don't normally spill my guts on the interwebz, it's just not my style. But for some reason I just can't stop talking about this, to anyone who will listen. I bet I've told it 10 times in the 5-6 hours since it happened. I guess I'm looking for the words that don't exist, the words that will make me feel secure in my own home again. It seems weird to be so rattled, because nothing bad came of it, but the neverending stream of "what-ifs" that is running through my head has some really scary outcomes.