Monday, April 4, 2011
What I've Learned From My Neighbors, Part 2
This is Jade, you read about her in Part 1 of this post.
I'm hoping you found this morning's post entertaining and informative, because I wasn't nearly done when I had to stop and run off to wrok this morning.
In case anyone is interested, work was lovely today and I actually had decent guests who took good care of me. It has been a plesant change from the last two weeks. It was the most fun I've had on the clock in a while. Incidentally, I local restaurant blogger came in today and sat in my section. This is his digital shout out, if he come by. *waves* You were awesome, thanks.
So, without further ado, more things I have learned from my neighbors.
1. Stealing and Selling Scrap Metal is a Great Form of Income- Unless Your Wife Rats You Out. The neighbors who lived next to us prior to these guys (you know, the one who sort-of mowed my lawn) discovered after the lawn mowing incident that between the lawn and the garage sales they were not going to make enough money. We started seeing him hauling a lot of metal goods around his back yard. This isn't suprising, we recycle, a lot of people in town do, and they pay you a decent amount of cents to the dollar by the pound for scrap metal and aluminum cans. This is convenient to us because not far from our neighborhood is a scrap recycling place.
What we didn't realize for a while was he wasn't coming by this metal honestly. We found out one night as we were crawling into bed. Kitten and I noticed there were little beams of light outside our bedroom window, which is creepy, so we had a peek. It was the local PD. Turns out MowerMan had been stealing scrap from the place up the road, and other places, and then selling it back. It was working out well, I suppose he thought. We noticed the police checking things out and then they went to the front door. Now, I know it's totally classless to spy on your neighbors through the shades while they get arrested. You know what? I don't care. It was funny in a sad way. We saw him sneaking out the back door while his wife answered the front one, claiming he wasn't home. I don't think the PD bought it for a minute. So they note they are going to be in the neighborhood for when he gets back.
MowerMan's wife wsn't too sharp. The minute she shut the door she got on her cell phone and called someone, I think her sister, and started shouting about how he had gotten caught and the police were on to him and he had to sneak out the back door to get away. She also mentioned how she hated our city and wished they had stayed in the country. I'm sure you will gather, her windows were open. I'm pretty sure that since we could hear it in our house, the police could hear it too. When he tried to sneak in later that night they caught him. Alas, he got out on bail somehow.
2. You Don't Have to Be a Responsible Parent if Your Neighbors Are. My newest neighbors haven't been a real treat, to tell you the truth. I wanted to give them a chance, really. Early on, before they had used up their trashcan welcome, I wanted to think they were just a nice, struggling couple who were doing tehir best to get by. I was wrong. Anyway, this was my first clue that maybe, just maybe, they had ridden the Dingbat Express into town with our former neighbors.
Kitten works early mornings, I think I've mentioned. She and I share a vehicle. When the tags expired on my old truck I got rid of it because it got, at most, 13 miles to the gallon. That gets expensive. We'r ein the market for a new car, I like the Prius, but I digress. I drive her to work. That's the point. So one morning last summer I get up to take her to work and we step out on the porch and there is a child outside. He has one of our (very angry) stray cats clutched in his arms and he proceeds to tell me how much he likes our cats. Its 5am. I asked him if his parents knew where he was. He tells me his parents are Neighborguy and Neighborgal and they live at and he tells me thier address. I tell him I know that, but do they know he is out of the house. I can see Kitten, who doesnt care for children, glaring at me from the truck. She's going to be late. I send him back to his house, and when I see him hit the front porch and reach for the door I get in the truck and drive away.
When I return there's no sign of him. I wake Oscelot up at 7 to take her to her (now former) job at Bread World and go out to feed the cats. Now there are two children on my porch. He's gone and gotten his two year old brother. They sure like our cats, they tell me. I tell them they need to go back home. He again parrots to me the name of his parents and his address. I walk them to their front porch and take Oscelot to work. No children when I come home.
Later that day Neighborguy comes over and tells me that the neighbors on the other side of us had called child services and the police, because evidentally the kids had waited until I was out of eyeshot and gone over to play with the other neighbors dog. When the other neighbors found them they took them inside and fed them breakfast while they called the police. Turns out the kids couldn't get inside, they had alarms on the locked front door to keep the kids in. They didn't think to lock the windows, which the 5 year old tore out, and escaped by.
I felt bad until this became a repeat occurence for them, their children constantly escaping from the house to get into our back yard, the neighbors' back yard or some other place they found interesting.
3. Corrolary to 2-Neighbors Double as Awesome Daycare. Neighborguy is unemployed. Surprise. His girlfriend/wife/whatever, does however work at The Devil's Warehouse (walmart). She works the evening shift and he has to go pick her up when she gets off. Like us, they only have one car. Several different times Neighborguy would come over at 11 or 1130 at night and wake us up to see if we would go over to his house to watch his kids for an hour or two while he went to get her. Obviously we said no. One, we get up at 5 most days. Two, why does it take 2 hours to pick up your girlsfriend from her workplace 15 minutes away? Three, they invented carseats for a reason. Just sayin'.
4. Neighbors Can Also Serve as an Excellent HyVee, Netflix or Other Store, When Strapped for Cash. Since he has moved in, neighborguy has come over to borrow the following:
2. The phone (at least once a week)
3. DVDs (we told him no on that one. He finished the request with "all of ours are all scratched up, damn kids")
5. Hot dogs
6. Baby Tylenol (we don't have any)
8. A lighter (Hey, want to sit on your porch and talk to me while I smoke?")
This is just a partial list, but you get the idea. You'd think he would figure out he was annoying us. Apparently not.
5. Old Grudges Can Be Buried by a Crazy Neighbor. The people who live to the left of us are an interesting sort. There are always people coming and going, they have a lot of barbeques in the summer, they get a different car about once every two months. I don't mind, they keep to themselves. They always ask permission to get into our back yard if the kids throw their toys over the fence. Once they apologized for one of the kids throwing a roasted hot dog in our back yard on the Fourth of July.
We don't really relat to them, we haven't bonded, but we stay out of each other's way and life is pretty simple for us. We nod if we see each other coming and going and we don't complain about the noise from their summer parties because they don't mess with us, and ont he rare occasion we have groups of people over, they don't bitch if our friends park in front of tehir house. Its all about neighborly respect.
When MowerMan tried to break into the house on the other side of our Normal Neighbors and didn't succeed, he tried the Normal Neighbors house. We had no idea until the next day when Normal Neighbor Guy came over to tell us. He told us to lock up and night, that he'd be watching, and offered to lend us a gun. He worried about two women living by themselves with 'that crazy loose in our neighborhood.'We told him we had our own. But it was a nice gesture.
The only time we had any problem with them, and it wasn't a huge one, was when Guitar Hero lived with us. For those of you unfamiliar, Guitar Hero lived with Kitten and I for about 4 months between December after our marriage and March of that following year. We were doing it as a favor to her. It backfired. No good deed goes unpunished. This is an axiom we lived by at the time. She parked in front of Kitten and I's truck frequently, because she got home before us most days. In the winter she became lazy and didn't want to mess with asking us to back out for her when she wanted to leave. So she would back through the neighbors front yard instead. We were sure they would notice. We did. Plus the tire tracks in the snow didn't help. We told Guitar Hero to desist, to no avail. The Neighbors never said anything, they just lines the side of their yard with little stakes. I don't blame them in the slightest. We told her to knock it off. She did, literally. She took off her rear view mirrors trying toback in between the stakes, our truck, and a very large bush on their property. She stopped after that.
Anyway, we didn't feel comfortable with the whole situation, but since we don't talk very often we were unsure of how to proceed. I thought maybe baking cookies and leaving them a note. Kiteen said to let it go. So we did.
Earlier this summer one of the neighbors on the right side, about three hosues down, was messed up on something and sped out of his driveway, jumped the curb to our street into another one, turned around in oncoming traffic and hit the electrical pole directly in front of our house. We lost power. I was on my way home when it happened. When I got there, Kitten was sitting on the porch with our normal neighbors talking to them about what happened. They saw it becase they were on their front porch.
We all bonded while we watched them replace the pole (we wanted to not be in the house if it fell)and I offered an apology about Guitar Hero and the yard. He waved me off, noting that he had moved out and we were well shod of her. She was nuts. Did we know she would cry so loud at night they could hear it on the back porch if her window was open? Yeah, we did. We were glad she was gone too. He smiled and asked us if we had noticed how many "goddamn crazies" lived inthe rental houses next to us. We agreed. He expressed a desire for those houses to sell to nice families or nice girls like us. Too right.
6. Cute Old Ladies Can Hae Whatever They Want. Always. Before our crazy neighbors the house next door was inhabited by a semi-homebound lady who had a bad leg. We calle dher Neighbor Lady, because in the 5 years she lived next to Kitten, she never mentioned her name. She didn't bother us often, but if she came over it was usually to buy (we never took the money) a cigarette until her son could come take her to the store. Honestly, as bad as her leg was, if she needed one badly enough to hobble over to our house, she could have it. Once she borrowed our plunger. We told her to keep it. She was a nice old lady, she kept to herself, her yard was pretty and she always had flowers on her porch. She didn'thave many visitors, but they were always courteous when they were there and we were in the yard. A few years ago Neighbor Lady had to be moved into a retirement community with healthcare because of her leg. I wish her all the best, I hope she's smoking with the nurnses and living our her old age in style. I miss her. I would have let her have anything she wanted, she was so polite. Why can't we have neighbors like her again?
So that's life with the crazy neighbors. I'm sure you'll get regular updates when our new ones move in. Lord knows, there's probably one blogging about how his three crazy lesbian neighbors dug a huge whole in the front yard last week and haven't done anything with it.
Treasure your Neighbors, Y'all
PS- as I am sure everyone knows, I do not own Netflix, HyVee, or Walmart. Also, Walmart, as far as I am aware, is not actually owned by the devil.