So the other day, my garden hose was stolen.

In the big scheme of things--hell, in any scheme of things--this is no big deal, really. It was a petty theft, and I am out the $35 I spent on the thing. Not a big loss.

But, I am embarrassed to admit, this petty theft bothered me.

First, there's the fact that it happened right in front of my figurative nose. The spigot it was attached to is on the front of my house, inches from my front door and about a foot from my bedroom window. The fact that some thief was that close to me freaks me out a bit. Plus, I'd lived in my new (to me) midtown house for about a week when this happened; what a nice welcome.

Second, there's the context. Every day, it seems, I hear of more residential and commercial burglaries in Tucson--some businesses have even been robbed, at gunpoint, in the middle of the day. What in the hell? Meanwhile, few of these robberies are getting solved by the Tucson Police Department. Yeah, for sure, the department is understaffed. But it's time to ask the question: Are all the police doing as well as they can with what they have? I doubt they are, considering our No. 1 national ranking in crime. The only time I see a cop these days, it seems, is working a speed trap or flying around in that cretin, deafening helicopter.

By the way, the TPD can't blame me and my hose for the crime ranking next year; I didn't even report the theft. I figure it's no use. Instead, I am getting a home-security system, and hoping for the best.

Yeah, it's just a hose that's gone. That, and a little of my love for Tucson.