This sure seems like the week for me to talk about my neighbors doesn’t it? OK, so let’s discuss the people who live on the other side of Chez Karen and are the other half of the reason why I’m building a fence. Let me lay it out for you. There’s a mommy, a daddy, two little boys under the age of five, and two giant German Shepherds. These people are NICE and FRIENDLY and their children are pleasant and non-threatening. Sounds normal, right? Let’s scratch the surface of this seemingly idyllic scenario and see what’s underneath…
Daddy’s a trucker who loves guns. He’s also a conspiracy theorist. And an extreme extrovert with a loud, booming voice who LOVES to talk. Here are excerpts from some actual converstions I had with him just this week:
“…so I told Rachel I didn’t want her cooking the boys’ food in the microwave anymore. Did you know that the microwave makes all your food STERILE? So I said ‘honey, we’re getting rid of that thing’, but she doesn’t want to. Says it’s too convenient. Man, can you believe that?”
“A friend of mine got this big-ass pinecone from a Sequoia tree and he’s gonna give me some seeds – even though they’re illegal – and I”m gonna plant a Sequoia tree in my backyard! Won’t that be fuckin awesome? And when it starts growing up in the power lines and shit, the power compnay won’t be able to cut the tree down cuz it’s PROTECTED by THE LAW! How cool is that?”
” I’d like to get a handgun but I don’t want to do the background check, you know? I think the government is spying on me, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they are cause I’m always talking to people about how crooked Bush is. Anyway, I’ve already got over 1000 rounds of ammo right there in the house. That’s a lot, right? Of course, you know I’m not crazy or anything so there’s nothin’ to be worried about, right?
As if 1000 rounds of ammo weren’t enough, daddy also owns two Nazi patrol dogs – Hannah and Gretchen. They tirelessly stalk the perimeter of the backyard, barking at any and all perceived threats to the security of the family they have been trained to protect. This includes me. In my own backyard. Minding my own business. As soon as I step out of my back door they start – charging the fence, barking loudly. Oh, the mom & dad do their best to make the dogs stop. They yell, “Hannah! Gretchen! STOP BARKING” but soon enough it starts back up again. It’s a never-ending cycle, really. My poor little puff-ball dog suffers the most. He tries to act tough but often just crumbles under the stress of being bullied through the cyclone fence. I often find him huddled next to the back door, high-pitched keening sounds coming from his tiny mouth. This I cannot tolerate. It’s bad enough when they bark at me but Coco really shouldn’t have to put up with that. The dogs are the primary reason I want a solid wall of wood between our yards.
The other problem I have is purely aesthetic. The children own every single brightly-colored outdoor toy that Fisher-Price ever made. They have the red fort with the green roof. They have the green turtle sandbox. They have the bright blue workbench with a million red, yellow and green parts. They have yellow trucks and purple trucks and red trucks. All of these brightly colored objects remain perpetually strewn all over the lawn and it looks like a circus threw up in their backyard. The red fort and the big tool bench are usually on their sides, having fallen down because they’re located on an incline in the yard, and how safe is THAT? Maybe when the fort falls over with the kids inside, the dogs can perform a rescue operation and then we will know their true usefulness.
Soon I will have my little backyard oasis, free from threatening canines and the sight of busy little toddlers systematically moving primary-colored toys around their backyard like a giant game of checkers. The wall of wood will grant me my freedom, and my little dog will once again be able to poop in peace. Serenity now!