The speakeasy

View the bad guys get

JENNIFER ROSE  wrote a post late last year about security on her Red Shoes are Better than Bacon  blog, and it scared the bejesus out of me.

Up until that moment, we had opened the steel door in the front gate with a carefree air whenever someone rang the doorbell. DHL delivery, potting soil for sale, Jehovah’s Witnesses, it didn’t matter. The door opened.

But Jennifer made us wise, and we decided to take precautions. We had a peephole installed, just like you see in movies about bootleg speakeasies and African dictatorships.

I had been planning to do this for years, but had not gotten around to it. So I went to a blacksmith and ordered a peephole. It was installed within a week, and the final price was the peso equivalent of about 15 bucks. Not a pricy peephole.

We waited … and waited. Finally, the doorbell rang — in broad daylight, demonstrating the audacity of the criminal crowd. I cockily popped open the peephole.

It was the potting soil vendor.

Other side
View from inside

33 thoughts on “The speakeasy

  1. Security is your own responsibility, so I am glad to see you taking steps to insure that.

    It is here where I would show you the view that you would see on the other side of our front door, but the site doesn’t allow me to post the picture of a barrel of a gun.

    Just kidding.


  2. Now you just need to go and get a nice .44 magnum or .357 magnum and you will be set. 🙂 (And a gun safe or trigger lock for when your little nephew comes around.)


    1. Mike: You bring something to mind. About a year or so back, when the kid was roundabouts 9, we went to a fair where there were games to play. One was a stand where you took pot shots at bottles about six feet away. I paid for him to do it. When I handed him the “rifle,” he had absolutely no idea how to hold it, which end was up, down, sideways, nothing.

      He rarely gets out of his mama’s and aunt’s girly world and he has no siblings, so it makes sense, I suppose.


  3. My daughter in Houston is an HR manager for BP. She carries out termination of services for management, when necessary. I’ve told her absolutely not to answer her front door unless she knows who’s knocking. Taking out personal wrath on HR personnel makes it hazardous duty these days.


      1. Help me understand the alphabet soup! I know what HR is; but what’s BP? Oh! British Petroleum?

        Don Cuevas
        PS: the occasional testigos that come up to our house usually have women carrying sombrillas and at least one guy who speaks English. Too bad that I don’t know more Yiddish phrases.


    1. Dear friend, I hope you move away from your home on the beach to more friendly climes. In retirement, one needs friends who ring the bell.


  4. I usually don’t open my front door for strangers, initially. I just talk through the glass. Unfortunately, the truly aggressive need only step a few feet to either side and break through a window to get at me, so any sense of security I have is pretty minimal anyway.

    In Mexico, I’d be tempted to never answer the door. At F’s place on the 3rd floor, we had an intercom and unannounced callers almost never persuaded us to descend the three flights of stairs for a face-to-face. That’s one of the many advantages of living in a really big city.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’re not sure whether to be more concerned about government or private snooping.


    1. Kim: Even before moving south it always struck me as odd that Gringos, including me at the time, had locks on doors, but the windows are all glass and rarely with any real protection. A brick will get you into most U.S. homes.

      Here we rarely answer the bell unless we are expecting someone. It’s just too far a walk, plus it’s almost never anyone we want to deal with.


      1. Over the Holidays, my housemate locked himself out and had to break a window in the back door to get back in. I wasn’t around, but apparently the glass was hardened and very difficult to break (unlike the stuff up front), so he had to bash it quite a few times to get in. And I was somewhat surprised and dismayed that he could be bashing at my back window for a while without anyone calling the police. But ni modo. I live in a very safe neighborhood, thank God!


  5. We have lots of pesky Testigos, too. My dog used to scare them away, but they are a irksome, pesky bunch. My dog now tolerates them. I heard they are afraid if you ask to pray for them with your hands. Apparently, they believe that you curse them if you touch them while praying.


    1. Testigos de Jehovah are the equivalent of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are decreasing in popularity in the States, but oh so strong and fervent in Central America.


        1. The testigos are easy to spot. There are always two of them dressed in their Sunday best and only bother you on weekends. If they get past my defenses, I politely smile and ask them, habla inglés?


  6. Never hurts to beef up security. We meet people at the gate here in Puerto – always have service and delivery people leave stuff at the gate – keep entry into the casa at a very minimum. Stay safe!


  7. Well I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, living in Mexico so I’d like to respond. First, if you guys have any questions be sure to ask the next Witness who visits. Or visit the site. We visit everyone, even if they answer in their underwear. In fact, hopefully they have something on! 😉 But if you do not want to be visited you can ask to be put on the do not call list and then they should only visit you once a year to see if you still feel the same.

    The reason you probably get visited more in Mexico than your home country is either because you are one of the few English speakers so the friends from the English congregation visit people who specifically speak English or because the ratio of Testigo to the population is lower than in other countries, about 1:155. Cities/counties are divided into territories that are methodically visited day in and day out but since the ratio is lower the territory is often covered more quickly, than say, in the U.S.

    We don’t visit to bother people but because we believe we are living in the last days and we do care about helping others know the Bible and Jehovah God. If anyone has any questions we are more than happy to try to answer them with the Bible but we don’t go to people’s houses specifically to pray with them. We only pray if we’re are going to do a Bible Study, and it’s optional. If the person doesn’t want to that’s okay, we won’t do it. Also, most of us aren’t missionaries, we’re just ordinary people who take Matt 24:14 to heart.



    1. Lorie: I know you folks are sincere, and I am sure your intention is not to bother people. But you do bother people, big-time, which is why you are the butt of jokes everywhere.

      My advice: Believe what you want, and let others believe what they want. And quit ringing doorbells.


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