I like to get an early start, it's a country boy thing. I just love to start working at 5 am during the winter, when the sun isn't up yet and the city is peaceful. At around 6 the baker on the corner of my block has the first batch of warm croissants ready, I get them after walking my dog. Today I woke up at 4:30, showered and got ready to start working on a history lecture some friends asked me to give. It's basically a short overview of Argentina's independence process for a group of foreigners at an American NGO I've been working with for the past five or six years. So there I was, sitting in my comfy livingroom chair with a cup of freshly brewed Darjeeling and my pipe full of delicious Latakia, when my dog starts going nuts. I mean, he's always a bit nervous when people walk close to the door but he was barking and jumping around like crazy. A second later I hear two voices and a loud "crack" as two guys come crashing through my front door. I got VERY nervous and I can't really recall my exact moves after that, I just remember rushing to the livingroom door and hitting every bloody sharp corner on each and every piece of furniture on my way there. And moments later I was on the phone with my mother (criminal attorney, she was half a block away at my grandmother's house) while two guys where laying face down on the ground complaining about pepper spray and dog bites. For the life of me I can't remember grabbing that pepper spray can, I do remember unholstering my good old 686, though. My mother arrived, then the police came (she called them) and soon there were a few curious neighbours gathering around. One of them, who was clearly a little drunk, tried to talk the police sarge into cuffing me for holding his mates at gun point. He then tried to convince the other home owners that I was a menace, a dangerous maniac that could just start shooting people any time. Luckily this guy and I are the only young guys in the building, and my older neighbours didn't seem to think there was anything wrong about reacting to a home invasion. Turns out there had been a party at the drunk guys house, his friends were a bit drunk and stoned out of their minds. They were heading to the building's main door and stopped in front of mine (don't know why) when my dog started to bark they responded by shouting and charging the door (old and unlocked). Apparently the shiny .357 revolver that came out to greet them sobbered them up a bit. All the paperwork took a good 4-5 hours, the cops were really nice and took my statement at my house instead of taking me to the precinct. Having a well known lawyer there (most policemen in the city know my mother's work) certainly helped. But they also seemed tremendously relieved that there were no shots fired and just a couple of drunk idiots to take care of. When my neighbour complained they very politely explained that I could have legally shot them the second they crossed my threshold even if they were unarmed. I was asked if I wanted to testify against the guys, and I said I would (we can't drop charges in Argentina, but if you chose not to testify when you're the victim it all sort of goes away). I want the suckers to go to trial and get a nice "breaking and entering" line in their records. Not because they broke my door, which I was replacing later this week anyway, but because they put me in a horrible position that could very well have ended with somebody shot and me in the middle of a legal nightmare. Needless to say, this is NOT my favourite way to start a morning. I'm still very, very tense. I'm just thankfull that I wasn't sleeping when this happened, I'm afraid that I would have been so startled and scared that I'd have shot them just in case. And my dog is getting a nice juicy steak tonight, he might not be worth much in a fight (he's a small black labrador) but he certainly is one hell of an alarm system! Anyway, it all turned out well. I just needed to vent a bit.