I live in a pretty decent part of my town, not a lot of cars up on blocks in the yards or glad bags taped around window frames. There aren’t a lot of loiterers on the street corners or people fighting pit bulls, not too many car chases or gang shootings, though it isn’t Perfectville by any stretch, it’s a pretty nice neighborhood.
Which is why I don’t understand why the people who live next door to me won’t mow their lawn. Or fix their broken cars that are parked in front of my house. Or not run an extension cord from their house out to the trailer they have parked in their backyard. Or why the women insist on being as absolutely homely as possible, wearing clothes that obviously don’t match, as if they’re scoffing at the system of “normal people” and our “color and fashion coordination.” They also seem to be protesting the totalitarian concept of brassieres and makeup which is all fine except for the fact that the curb appeal of their house is identical to the scattered and filthy surface of their own physical appearance.
Not only do they make me cringe in pity, the dark economy of them lowering my property value is quickly turning me into that bitter old man who shakes his head muttering while dinking around in the yard.
The place next door was sold shortly after we moved into our house last year and it’s a beautiful old 1940’s bungalow with class and charm and the idiots who bought it somehow thought it would be a good idea to rent it out to a gang (there’s at least 8 of them) of unkempt hippies. Who, upon their arrival, made their mark by unloading a U-Haul half-full of thrift store goods and another other half of just pretty much garbage. Much of it seemed to be broken items of obsolete antiquity and I’m a great fan of antiques but if an object’s purpose and history are lost because it’s essentially destroyed or completely rusted into dust, it becomes REFUSE. Their entire backyard is like their hair, long, dirty and generally unsightly and I downright refuse to think of what might be lurking in its depths. Such mysteries certainly revolt the mind and give me weird feelings of hoarding and visions of being drowned in piles of rubbish while ridiculous wire spool tables and musty steamer chests are used for patio furniture.
It really hit me when I found myself edging my yard along the sidewalk and while finding a bit of satisfaction in keeping my yard tidy, I thought of how they were finding accomplishment in buying more Volkswagen buses to park along the street and dilapidated school buses to refurbish using spray paint and plywood. Seriously, one of these guys (one of whom lives in the trailer) drives a Mercedes. A 1970’s sedan with a bungee cord holding down the hood to the bumper. It makes me want to cry. Another one drives a Volvo, one of those old orange ones that looks and runs like an absolute POS. You’d think that being hippies they’d be concerned about the greenhouse gases they spew or how their backyard garbage dump would be harmful to the local ecology but alas, I’m unsure of what they think beyond remembering Jerry or clutching the money they’re saving by not buying soap and shampoo.
They shop at high-end all-natural stores, expensive whole foods grocers and drive European jalopies but they can’t afford a little time to mow the lawn? Or get rid of the junk so it’s not like Sanford and Son next to the house I had to give my internal organs as collateral so I could afford to buy?
Maybe if they traded in that quaint old fashioned push mower and stopped making dirty little hippie babies they could do what the rest of us do: edge the yard and grumble at the lazy POS’s next door.
I think I’ll run my gas powered lawn mower and shave one single strip through their overgrown front yard like a backwards mohawk.