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A Story a Day # 26: Mark Twain




March 3rd, 2020

"The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm"

Mark Twain


A couple decides to get a burglar alarm installed in their house. Shortly after, the man finds a burglar on their second floor. They have an alarm installed for the second floor, then the third. It appears that it still isn't working as now burglars are literally living in their home. They get it fixed again but now the cook sets it off every morning. They keep trying to fix the system but something goes awry every time and eventually the burglars steal the burglar alarm. The couple pays money to get it back. After many trials and tribulations, they trade the system for a dog.


If you've managed to get through a public school education and never read Mark Twain, you must be an anomaly. I think most people have read either Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer at least once in their lifetime. That being said, this story is nothing like that. Those novels are based on children in the South and rely heavily on dialect, mischief, and at times, racism. None of those tropes really seem to be at play here.


In fact, this story is just a lot of fun. What starts out as a simple project to the house quickly turns into a very large problem that keeps getting worse and worse. You begin to feel bad for the couple but also realize that they don't seem to have an ounce of logic. The things that happen just seem a bit ridiculous and you even start to suspect that the burglar alarm man is just scamming them (he probably is).

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