Wednesday, July 11, 2007

There goes the neighborhood

There's one in every neighborhood. The crazy house full of weird people doing strange things. For me, it's the next door neighbors. This demented cast of characters consists of 10 people living in the house who come and go at all hours of the night and day. There are at least 4 kids one of whom is unnaturally large for a first grader. There is a man who wears only business suits, even to mow the lawn (which he does in the dark). There is a guy who "fixes"things around the house (read bangs them with hammers and wrenches and then swears in Spanish when they fall apart). And to top it all off, a parakeet who spends all of his time outside on the porch in his cage squawking like a fiend.

Their house has been for sale for close to 2 years now and so they must have decided that they needed to step it up in the home improvement department. Last fall they "landscaped" the side of the house. This consisted of filling the 20 foot long planter box with cactus and then pouring quick setting concrete around them. It's not mulch people. Also, this is Michigan, not the desert, the cactus will die when we get one of our routine blizzards which dump a foot or two of snow on us in October. To protect the cactus, they placed miniature garbage cans upside down over each plant. This spring when the snow finally melted, the cactus were dead. I mean, bent over sideways, with the needles falling out dead. One of the little girls didn't give up though, every day she goes out there and pours a 5 gallon bucket of water on each cactus. *Water* on the *cactus*. Next Topic.

After the garden tanked, they decided to build a garage. At least I think it was supposed to be a garage. I'm not really sure because it was in the middle of the backyard. The thing was at least 15 feet tall and might have fit a small pickup truck. The structure consisted of a frame of 1x2 inch lumber stapled together. Then it was time for walls. They started with wood but the the frame wasn't as strong as you might think being held together with staples. So they switched to plastic sheeting halfway up the first wall. They had no ladder so they were only able to put the plastic up as high as they could reach on the sides so, there was no roof or sides over the 6 foot mark. They also forgot to leave one side open so that they could get in and out. Eventually, the building inspector made them take it down but they kept the pieces stacked up in the back yard so they could use them later.

Over the holiday, while looking out the window I observed them grilling, in the rain, under two of the walls they had leaned up againsted eachother teepee style. Mr. Fix-it stood there in the downpour with the lighter fluid in one fist, a gigantic spatula in the other grilling hot dogs.

I'm not really sure what they are going to do next, but personally, I'm rooting for an addition!

6 comments:

ROMMIE said...

sounds like a boarding house! that's crazy...

Scott said...

At first I thought you were writing about the movie "Little Miss Sunshine". I'll have to watch out for this merry band of characters the next time we are in the neighborhood. Nothing says happiness like a bent over cactus choking down 5 gallons of water. That's a photo that should be ensconced in velvet along with the always popular dogs playing poker and Elvis.

sara said...

About three sentences in, I started laughing, and by the end, my cat had had enough of me and jumped off my lap.

Good story BB!

Heather said...

You have made me feel better about my neighbors. LOL! I love how you write things...

Rachel said...

Over the holiday, while looking out the window I observed them grilling, in the rain......In his suit I assume...To me I smell a Seinfeld type of sitcom in there somewhere! Obviously with a bigger cast even more than that as I read further I kept wondering "Do you live in Mooseport?"....Northern Exposer!
If I were you I would continue to observe,ejoy but begin writing your manuscript for the next big sitcom!

Estee said...

Some how I thought I had already commented on this, but apparently I dreamed it!

My vote is for a pool. I think that everyone (you and Chris included, naturally) should pitch in and start digging. The, you could start a neighborhood collection for trash bags and duct tape so you could make a liner for the new pool. Hmm... maybe some wooden stakes too for around the outside of the pool. We wouldn't want to do a shoddy job, now would we? Once those steps are completed, all the neighbors would have to do is wait for it to rain. Oh, and maybe the kid could donate some of her cactus water. Voila! Neighborhood swimming pool!