Real News

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Once again, I am looking out my window and see a news reporter in front of a camera man. Their truck is parked innocently enough on the side of the street. The reporter is sitting on a chair in the middle of the road as easy and natural as he might sit at a kitchen table. It’s a very strange sight but then again I don’t get out much. Perhaps street sitting is the new thing to do?

The pair appears to be covering the ongoing saga of our city’s road construction, or lack thereof. The city workers, bless their hearts, started on our road, got distracted and moved on with their hard hats and heavy-duty equipment. However, they did not flit away until after they chopped up the street outside of our house and left orange safety cones and blocks in their wake.

Directly in front of our house, they left a particularly attractive pile of sewer tubing and broken pallets. Yes, life must be good for those silly distracted workers who never have to finish a project. This reminds me of my mom’s loser ex-boyfriend who was infamous for the same thing. Once, he pulled the inner panel off of her car door to fix the automatic window which wasn’t broken. Like the construction workers, he found something more interesting and never returned, leaving the wires and inner workings of the door exposed. The thought of the beloved station wagon of my childhood, left used and abused, makes my blood boil at a much higher temperature than the stripped road.

I am holding myself back from going out to the reporter to offer the following real news stories. If broken-up roads and unfocused construction workers are news, get ready to be blown away by my ideas to truly inform and entertain the masses.

First story, I have poison ivy on my hands and arms. He could report what the vile poison ivy vines and leaves look like, in addition to exposing its nasty cousins, poison sumac and oak. He could give natural treatments for outbreaks and creative ways to stop it from spreading (insert series of pictures of people with poison ivy wearing socks on their hands to from scratching).

Second story, how about these mosquitos from the heavy rains earlier this summer? They are practically big enough to carry off small dogs and children. Someone should look into just how they got so big and hungry and full of the West Nile virus.  Could this be related to Monsanto?

Last story, to leave the people with a warm and fuzzy feeling, a close up of the couple who used to always walk their poodle with its bad knees and hips. They continue to walk their poodle, but now the dog rides in what appears to be a custom made wagon, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine for just a little longer.

How is that for real news?

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Oh, Neighbor.

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The neighbors have been quite busy.

They started last week by trying to burn their house down. It was an unsuccessful attempt which only brought other nosy neighbors into our yard to find out details of the situation. If there is a silver lining to the dark little cloud that is their pyromania, it’s this. They now have a good excuse for ordering fast food every day.

I heard Bozo tell the pizza delivery man, “We can’t cook because we had a house fire.”

The pizza man wasn’t interested. “Oh yeah?” he replied and then asked for the money owed.

They Uber’d up and down our street running post-house fire errands all week. I haven’t seen them drag any of their burned junk out of the house or lug paint buckets and other cleaning supplies inside, which is not a surprise.

What has come as a surprise is that the suspicious cars and strangers have stopped visiting with Bozo. Due to smoke damage or a destroyed supply, he had to stop his petty drug dealing biz. I suspect he will need to work more hours at his regular job, not dealing drugs, to make up for this loss of revenue.

This afternoon, I spied through the blinds to see what those two crazy kids, Bozo and Bunny, were up to and made another startling discovery. Neighbor watching takes a lot of time and energy (#workfromhomefail).

Bunny was sitting on front porch steps with their ancient dog in her lap.  The dog is in rough shape; it walks with a limp, holds its old tail straight out like a stick, and has a massive tumor on his snout. Its fur is coated in a perma-grease that stinks. I learned the hard way how difficult the perma-grease is to remove when I petted it after the recent fire. It is possible that the old dog is used as a napkin after they eat their daily dose of fast food. More neighbor watching will be required to confirm.

In any case, Bunny was performing some type of surgery on the old dog’s nose. It was too terrible to describe in great detail. Just know, there was blood, lots of blood. Fortunately, the dog did not seem to mind as much as I did. I gagged and looked away. When I looked back, they were gone. Only a blood stain remained as a reminder that neighbor watching can be rich with rewards.

New Neighbors, Same Voyeur

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The neighbors, Sweetey, Petey, and Baby Dumdum, moved across town with promises to come back for a summer time cook-out. We watched them drive off with the final carload of clothes and boxes, feeling a sense of regret and acceptance that a reunion would never happen. Not knowing their last name, forwarding address or phone number made it clear that we were not the best neighbors.

Next time, we vowed to get it right.

Tears dried on our faces as we looked onto the empty house when a moving truck rumbled up the street, manned by the new neighbors.

Garry and Ginny had arrived.

Has one day ever been enough time to repaint, make repairs and clean the carpets between rental residents? I should think not, but to a slum landlord those are mere inconveniences easily overlooked, likely in the same way that she overlooked their background check and employment verification.

It was a fair exchange of a blind eye for a blind eye.

Garry stepped out of the truck with a cigarette dangling from his lip. His arms and legs were swirls of vivid colors and tattooed images. Stroking his beard with one hand and smoking with the other, he surveyed all that was his by way of rent and nodded. He saw that it was good.

Ginny hopped down from her side of the truck. Points of bright, red hair poked out from underneath of an army hat. She, too, smoked, and agreed that this was going to be eh…whatever.

They flicked their cigarette butts out onto the grass, and hand in hand, the couple walked into their new abode.

From that time, I’ve watched them halfheartedly through the window. The joy of neighbor watching left with Sweetey, Petey and Baby Dumdum. I’ve even listened to them as they like to keep the windows open when they fight their terrible, cruel fights. Neither one drives or walks which doesn’t help the constantly brewing tension between the two. They use cabs or they don’t leave.

However, visitors come at all hours throughout the day and night, parking for only a few minutes while the driver runs inside to complete some type of transaction. Then, the driver usually slinks back to his vehicle with his head down, looking from the side of his eye for witnesses.

Garry, Ginny and their many visitors have yet to learn of the Neighborhood Watch Society of One.

Me.

Voyeur Extraordinaire.

I guess as long as they have visitors, they will have money for rent, and will remain our neighbors until someone rats out the “business” and the police arrive for what will almost certainly be a shootout showdown. I suppose my interest in neighbor watching/voyeurism will be temporarily renewed with the sirens flashing and guns firing.

Another set of neighbors will move in after Garry and Ginny are either arrested or taken to the hospital or morgue.

There is always next time to get it right.

Still, I miss Sweetey, Petey, and Baby Dumdum.

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