Crazy Neighbors

2 Apr

I’m not sure that I belong here, blogging I mean.  But I’m willing to give it a shot.  And since you’ve made it this far, as my grandmother would say, “Pull up a chair and make yourself to home.”

She also looked at my husband on our wedding day and said, “You’re wonna us now,” but that’s another story.

So the other day I was walking my dogs in our neighborhood.  It was a beautiful Spring day (and Northern California does Spring like nowhere else I have ever been; cloudless blue sky, brilliant sunshine, shrubs, trees and flowers all bursting in a heady array of pinks and purples), and there was an extra bounce in my step as I headed up the street. It felt good to be outside, surrounded by all of this purity.

I have walked, biked, jogged and driven on this street probably 1000 times since moving to the neighborhood, and one house has always stood out.  The gardens are beautiful, the lawn is particularly well kept, the whole place is very meticulous.  And then there are the signs.  Running along the edges of the property, close to the street, are wooden signs shaped like dogs, all either lifting their leg or taking a dump.  I get the point.  But it made me wonder who was the fuss budget that lived there and honestly, wouldn’t the occasional, random turd be less conspicuous than black and white signs with NO! written all over them?  Anyway, it left an impression, but to each his own.

So, as I’m passing this house with my two dogs, very purposefully on the other side of the street, I happen to notice, sitting in the back, behind his wrought iron fence, an old man.  We make eye contact and I think, “The fuss budget!”  Only he doesn’t look away.  And as I walk by I can feel him watching me, just waiting for my leashed hell hounds to slip up and defile something beautiful with a dump.

And would you believe that’s exactly what one of them did?  Before I even had a chance to turn around, the old FB was out of his chair and leaning over the fence, shouting.  “Hey!  Aren’t you going to clean that up?!  I see you!”  He’s literally screaming at this point, shouting at me from across the street, and I am disoriented at first, the strangeness of it jarring me from my gentle tiptoe through the tulips.  “I see you all the time, walking by here!  You never pick up the mess!  NEVER!”

This is a lie.  I always clean up after my hell hounds.

“You don’t even have anything to clean it up with!” he shouts, “I can see that!”  He’s bouncing up and down, triumphant.  And as the adrenaline rush of the sudden confrontation hits me, I start to laugh.  Because here he is, at long last, the FB himself, and he couldn’t be more wrong.

“You’re full of shit, Old Man!” I shout, my East Coast upbringing surging to the fore like a blood thirsty Spartan, and I smile, knowing that just like on any good tv show, the moment right before the big reveal is best.

What did you say?” he says, flabbergasted at my insolence. I can only suppose he expected me to take his Neighborhood Poo Police rant lying down.  And my hand is getting itchy, eager to pull the pretty roll of polka dot poo bags out of my pocket and swirl them over my head like Gandalf fighting the flame thing on the bridge.

“I said, you’re full of shit, Old Man,” with special emphasis on Old Man. Come on, I’m usually a fan of the elderly, but this white haired ninja had it coming, and besides, I’m a Spartan, under attack.  What if Xerxes had been an old man?  I don’t think Gerard Butler would’ve cared.  Exactly.

He is flustered now, but manages, “You don’t even have a bag!”  And I know that the moment has come.  Like He-Man holding aloft his magic sword and calling on the power of Grayskull, I whipped those poo bags from my pocket and dangled them in front of me, nodding at my opponent, basking in the beautiful glory of the moment.  You know, the moment right before I had to bend over and pick up a big pile of steaming dog crap (it’s so much worse when it’s still hot, right?).

The old man steps back; I can almost see him stumble, his soapbox tips and his begins to back peddle.  “I, I, well,” he stammers, and isn’t this delicious? “I see people do it all the time!”

I take a step into the street, really feeling my power now, and lean toward him.  “Well, not me!”  And it is almost over.  He knows he has lost. I can tell he is defeated by the slump in his thin shoulders and the way he is turning away from me.  He throws a hand up and waves me away, and suddenly I hear my step father in the back of my head, reminding me what must be done.

I narrow my gaze and focus on the old man as he slinks back, farther into his perfectly manicured lair.

“ASS-HOLE!” I shout, gathering my dogs (who are, like, beyond confused) and continue up the street, into the quiet beauty of this Spring afternoon, my blood still racing from my mythical victory over a white haired old man with nothing better to do than sit in his backyard and watch for people who don’t pick up their dog poo.

Awesome or not?  You decide.


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4 Responses to “Crazy Neighbors”

  1. Sweetafrodeity April 4, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Awesome. So glad your here!

  2. suzette April 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    When I’m captain and get to pick my own team, you’re my first choice! I want you on my victorious team! You are awesome!

  3. Aaron April 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    When your mother emailed this to me at work, I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. This is fantastic! I’m looking forward to more!

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