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I loved this story that appeared in the English-speaking part of ANSA news service this weekend:

Woman, 88, sees off thief

‘I would have chased him if it weren’t for my artificial hip’

(ANSA) – Pordenone, September 30 – An 88-year-old Italian woman got rid of a thief in her house Thursday, telling him he should be ashamed of himself and get a job.

The man turned up on her door in the northern city of Aviano posing as an electricity-meter man the morning after she had celebrated her birthday with some friends, Rina Zorzin told Italian TV Friday after receiving the compliments of Mayor Stefano Del Cont Bernard.

“First he asked to see the meter and when I refused he took out a gun, thinking that would frighten me,” she said.

“But nothing scares me any more, at my age, so I jumped onto his back to stop him.

“He grabbed me round the wrists and forced me to sit down”.

Undaunted, Ms Zorzin taunted the would-be thief: “look all you want, look for gold, I’m not giving you anything”.

Then, when the man was looking elsewhere, she managed to get out of the house and shout for help, crying “thief, dirty thief, you ought to be ashamed, go and get a job”.

The would-be thief gave up and took flight, Zorzin said.

“I would have chased after him, too, if it weren’t for my artificial hip,” she told the RAI state TV corporation.

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What I love about the story is that this is the same kind of lady who will cheerfully elbow you out of the way at the meat counter or bus stop.  What I also love about it is that the thief gave up and ran away.  In the U.S. he might well have shot the old woman.