How I Foiled the Yuppie Burglar

Copyright 1985, 1986 by Gregory S. Swann. All Rights Reserved.
Direct inquiries to CIS I.D. 75115,1341.

How I Foiled the Yuppie Burglar.

        I got home just as the Yuppie Burglar was leaving with my TV.

        Back up. I didn't know =then= that he was a Yuppie Burglar.
What I saw was a well-dressed young man closing the door of my
apartment. He had my new 13-inch Omnitron 2000 tucked under one arm.
        I said: "That's my TV." It pays to be quick on your feet.
        "Your what?" He looked this way and that. "Oh, do you live
        "That's right. And that's my television set." I pointed.
        "Oh, this," he said, regarding the TV with surprise. "This is
yours?! Oh, no, you must be mistaken. This set is mine."
        "Yours since you picked it up in there?" I pointed toward my
        "Then it's mine. C'mon." I grabbed him by his free arm and
shoved him and the set back into my abode. "Put it back where you got
        "I won't!" He puffed up. "It's mine!"
        "You stole it! It's =mine=."
        "I did =not= steal it. It's mine by conquest."
        "Yours by what...?"
        "By conquest." His smile looked like a cipher on a scorecard.
"Where =have= you been?"
        "I've been in the twentieth century. Where have you been, the
        "The Purple is always worn...," he mused.
        "I'm a Yuppie."
        "Would you please talk sense... Besides, a Yuppie wouldn't be
caught dead in purple."
        He laughed. "I speak figuratively, of course. But the Purple
is always worn."
        "You're a Yuppie Burglar."
        "=Please=." He dusted his lapel. "A Young Urban Professional
Second Story Man."
        "Same thing... Besides, what does being a Yuppie have to do
with being a burglar?"
        He winced, but he didn't make an issue of it. "Look at Yuppies
as a group. What are they?"
        "Lawyers," I said. "Doctors, accountants."
        "Dentists, administrators, academics, right?" I nodded. "Where
do those people get their money?"
        "Now I get it..."
        "=Those= people ought to be called Guppies, Government
Professionals. The only true Yuppies are of my type."
        "Which is...?"
        "You're a Freelance Yuppie Burglar?"
        "Free to starve." He polished his nails. "I don't depend on
some wimmpy government to conquer my spoils. I do it myself."
        "By breaking and entering..."
        "By gaining access to the ends of production."
        "By theft!," I growled.
        "By right of conquest."
        "Oh, yeah? Well what would prevent me from gaining access to
the ends of your production--if you have any--and claiming it by the
right of =my= conquest."
        He gave me a look that was part mirth, part pity. "You're not
        Snarl! "Put the television =down=!"
        "Listen," he soothed. "I can understand your reaction. I
really can. But the Purple must be worn. There's just no other way..."

        I went to a drawer and picked up a pair of scissors. Turning
to face him, I said, "You're pretty proud of your appearance, aren't
        "Why, sure," he said. "I mean, I go to a lot of trouble."
        "I'll bet you do..." I snapped the scissors in my hand. "Tell
me, what would it do to your career as a Yuppie to be seen with a
        What I saw in his eyes was fear. He took measures to control
his voice. "Hey, that's a good one..."
        I gave the scissors two sharp snaps. "Put the television
down." I pointed. "Down."
        "You wouldn't do that. You wouldn't!"
        "I think if I kept the scissors in my hand, we'd manage to get
your hair dyed, too. Green. That'd be a first, right? A green-haired
Punk Yuppie?" I laughed.
        "No! No!" His face wore a cornered look.
        "Put ... the television ... =down=!" I swung out with the
scissors, narrowly missing his precious locks.
        He complied. I put the scissors away and began to re-hook-up
the television.
        He'd regained some of his poise. He said: "I don't see why you
got so excited."
        Growl. "Get out of here."
        "No, I mean it. You were out of control. Did you know that?"
        I went back and got the scissors. His hands flew to cover his
hair. I said: "You want to sell simple burglary as a virtue? Fine.
Sell it to somebody else. You want to play Purple Yuppie Guppie status
games? Fine. Just don't do it here. You want to walk off with =my=
televison set? Mister, there's a factor you've left out."
        "Have I?" He'd revovered again. His smile was both tolerant
and smug. "What would that be?"
        "Call 'em Feduppies."
        "And =what= is an 'Absolutely-Hadit'?"
        I smiled, but not nicely. "That's what I'm going to be if I
ever catch you in my apartment again." Snap, snap. He cowered. "And I
won't stop at cutting and dyeing your hair. If you provoke me, I'll
put tatoos on your knuckles!"
        "No! Don't do =that=!"
        "Get ... =out= ... of here!" I charged toward him with the
scissors open wide.
        He ran. I didn't see where he went.
        And I haven't caught sight of him since. If he shows up in
your neighborhood, you know what to do...

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