Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The one where I just start typing

I have no idea what I'm going to say today. As if this whole vacation thing weren't messing with my routine enough as it is, we had a power outage last night from 6:30 pm to somewhere around 3:30 in the morning. And this morning, my little natives are absolutely insane. I'm cloistered in the basement with the computer, trying not to listen as they screech and thunder around the house like a herd of rabid hippos.

One of the benefits of last night's blackout was that I got to sit on the back deck in the dying light of a spectacular day, trying to position my book to catch the last rays of visible light before having to go into the house and actually make conversation with Beloved. (Oh TV, how I missed your glowing face!) And while out on the back deck, I was blessed to hear in excruciating detail the innermost thoughts of the 15 year old next door and a few of his friends. Actually, I think I could have been four blocks over and still heard every detail. Apparently neither three year olds nor 15 year olds get the concept of 'inside' voices.

Also, the 15 year olds take just about as long as my three year old to tell a story, because every single noun has to be modified by the word "fucking". Verbs, too. Versatile word, that "fucking". Now, I have been accused of having a bit of a potty mouth at times, but for the love of Christ at the very least they could mix up their curses just a little bit. Show some variety. Please.

I don't envy the woman who is this boy's mother. In addition to him, she has an 11 year old girl and a nine year old boy and she's recently divorced. The younger kids are sweet enough, and they like to play with my boys at the playground or in the driveway on occasion, but the oldest boy is obviously out of control. I could handle the music blaring through the walls at all hours, the smoke from the backyard that drifts into our windows, and the groups of extremely noisy teens who hang around in our shared driveway at the strangest hours... hey, I was a good kid, but we still got into trouble and I remember what it was like to be that age. But I've caught them doing some spectacularly stupid stuff, like standing on the end of our shared driveway and pitching beer bottles into the park across the street - the park where my kids play. And when I turned into one of those suburban mothers and came bellowing out of the house after seeing that, I woke up the next morning to see my car covered in gobs of spit. I'm just glad they didn't take it into their heads to key the paint.

Last Saturday morning, the neighbour on the other side woke to find the downspout from her eavestrough bent and crushed, and the neighbour on the other side said she'd heard a commotion in the middle of the night and looked out to see a young man with a baseball bat smashing the hell out of it - for no discernable reason. He was part of a group of teenagers coming in and out of - guess which house? I noticed some suspiciously bat-sized dents in their garage door the next day, too.

There's not much I can do about all this except hope he doesn't do something incredibly stupid that puts us all at risk - like leaving a cigarette or a candle burning. I certainly don't want to become the focus for his wrath. They just bought the house and moved in last summer, so I'm guessing they aren't going anywhere too soon, and I'm certainly not moving, so I guess we have to live side by side and stay out of each other's way.

Any thoughts for improving the situation, oh wise bloggy friends? Or do you have a neighbours from hell story that would make me drop to my knees and thank god for the delinquent next door?