* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where our national security is of the upmost importance. Of course home security is important too. And in that regard the best defense is a good offense. Just ask the Macomber siblings, Laura and Trevor.

My Wife Isn’t Crazy About Our New Home Security System

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Honey, I understand you’ve been nervous ever since the break-in at the McDuffersons. But you can finally relax now that I’ve personally installed our new home security system.

I know you wanted to hire a reputable company like ADT to set up the alarm equipment and provide 24/7 monitoring service, but once you hear how much money I saved by designing everything myself, I think you’ll come around.

Well, I don’t recall the exact figure, but remember that dress you fell in love with at Filene’s Basement? No, not that one — the one on clearance. Well, let’s just say that you can go ahead and put it on layaway, babe.

Let me show you how to navigate the security protocols. The first line of defense in my multi-tiered approach is a brand new screen door. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any wood screws handy to mount it to the actual door frame — nor do I know what wood screws look like — so I’ve sorta just leaned it against the front door for now. You’ve gotta figure that the confusion factor alone will give us a few extra seconds if anyone does manage to break in.

Now come around back with me. Since we can safely assume that few would-be intruders will be able to make it past the “screening process” — no, go ahead and chuckle, it’s a clever name! — they’ll obviously seek an alternate point of entry. Right: the basement. I figure that a padlock on the bulkhead door isn’t going to cut it, since any attempt to pick it or saw it off will only create a lot of ruckus and disturb the neighbors, so I’ve gone ahead and removed the hinges entirely. But get a load of those mousetraps! There are 223 altogether, which amounts to one mousetrap for every 11 square inches of step — a number I arrived at after aggregating the horizontal surface area of each stair in relation to the exponentially increasing likelihood for trap triggering as a function of the number of footsteps taken during descent (factoring in a mobile uncertainty constant to account for decreasing illumination and gratuitous leg movement), divided by the hypothetical X- and Y-axis coverage as derived from the relative snap-and-scatter plot of each mousetrap compared to the average size of a human foot…sorry, I know you’re not a numbers kind of gal, which is why I spent the afternoon making calculations and not you. Point is, no bad guy stands a chance against these babies! Plus, even if one manages to endure the multiple lacerations to his feet and ankles — depending on the quality of his footwear, of course — there’s no way in hell he’ll survive the overwhelming stench of rotting Gouda.

Here — use this empty planter.

Okay, on to the final and perhaps most important feature of our own personal Rikers. I thought I saw you eyeing the wood peelings in the driveway a few minutes ago, so let me show you what that’s all about. If you’ll just follow me through the woods a little ways…mind the prickers! Ah, here we are. The yurt. Welcome to your new sleeping chambers, sweetie! It’s brilliant, really. See, I’ve moved our bedroom out here so that we are entirely removed from danger should anyone penetrate the previous lines of defense. And I’ve brought all our valuables out here, too, so your mother’s Fabergé egg collection and your grandmother’s antique Russian nesting dolls and those tanzanite studs you spent far too much money on that time we went to the Poconos are all safe and sound in the yurt! Or, should I say, under the yurt. Don’t give me that look — you hardly wear those things. And while we’re being honest with each other, I might mention that if you’d been willing to pawn them like I’d suggested, then maybe we could have afforded a real home security system in the first place…although I suppose it would have been superfluous at that point, because really, beyond the eggs and the dolls, and maybe the flat-screen (which you can see I’ve also moved out to the yurt!), what else would a burglar have taken?

That? That’s the moat.