Dick Singer (and his sidekick Three Beer) dish out slices of life.

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Honesty wins out when rediscovering stolen chairs

Someone had taken two folding deck chairs from his backyard. Apparently this theft occurred during the daylight hours while no one was at home. For obvious reasons, he was seething with anger.

Mind you, the chairs were a few years old and one had been repaired with the judicious application of duct tape. Still, they were his property and he was ticked off.

But it could have been worse. In fact, he would have given them away had someone bothered to ask. Despite the intrusion and loss of property, he was joyful. His new lawn mower was in plain sight, as was his portable barbecue. The thief or thieves only wanted the chairs.

To ease his mind, put his venom to rest, I told him of a bit on news that had just come my way. It most certainly put things in perspective.

In recent days, a Ukrainian village came to realize their bridge across the river running beside the town had disappeared. Vanished in thin air or so it seemed.

It seems an organized team of thieves managed to disassemble, truck and cart away the approximately 11-tonne bridge in one day. To do so they needed a crane, cutting torches and other equipment.

Why would they do such a thing? What earthLy reason? The answer is that country's insatiable hunger for steel and metal for reprocessing. The bridge would bring a pretty penny on the market, it seems. Few questions are asked of the vendor when the metal is delivered to a scrap yard.

Of course, the villagers are a touch miffed. Now they have no way to cross the river, unless they travel miles to the next ford. This they do by foot, horse, whatever.

Chances of the thieves ever being caught are slim. The authorities are still trying to find the ones responsible for taking a steam locomotive from a museum for scrap metal. The locomotive in question was the first built in that country and dated back to 1924. Rare? Oh yes, the only one of its kind.

Authorities found the engine, or to be specific, its parts in a junk yard. The thieves had cut it into pieces and, according to the museum officials, it is beyond repair. It seems the metal it contained was worth a few thousand dollars.

History, a thing of national pride, destroyed for a few bucks. Ditto for the bridge. I wonder what else finds its way to the junk heap?

When viewed in such light, my friend shrugged. Besides, what else could he do? We decided to take a walk around his neighbourhood. You know, just nose around, and maybe even spot his chairs.

As it turned out we did discover the purloined equipment.

The chairs were set up beside what was a bonfire. And, yes, there were more chairs there. Six in total.

Delighted, my friend claimed his property and prepared to return home. But as we walked away he turned and looked at the remaining chairs. A few were in better shape than his.

Should he leave his and take the better ones, went through his mind? He pondered the question as we stood in the field grass being bitten by flies and swatting at all that came near.

Of course, he left with his own. Anything else would have been stealing, right?

Sometimes it is a tough decision to remain honest. It must really be hard when a bridge or a locomotive are concerned.