“Life isn't weird: it's just the people in it.”
- Author Unknown
Can we discuss my neighbors?
My NEW neighbors?
Yes, I’ve left the Toolson’s behind for a whole new kind of bizarre behavior at my new address.
We have “Crazy Neighbor Joe” behind us. He lives in a house that somehow manages to look like an apartment complex from our backyard. I’m not sure how this was accomplished, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with all the extra living areas he recently built over his garage. There is a balcony up there, too, that has a view of both our backyard and the master bedroom. One morning, not long after I moved in, I awoke to discover Joe on his balcony with his binoculars watching me sleep. We now have blinds on all the windows.
Joe also owns a World War II tank that he plans to one day park in his backyard. He has obtained the appropriate artillery, and told me he has plans to randomly fire shells into north Dallas. Apparently, Joe thinks it would be hilarious to watch the DPD run around and try to figure out where a 60 year old tank shell came from. I’d normally be worried, but I have decided that I shouldn’t be too concerned until he actually figures out how to get his tank into his backyard. Since it will mostly like involve him removing part of our fence, it is not like he could sneak his tank in without me noticing. Until then, I’ll be listening for any breaking news stories about WWII shrapnel in the greater Dallas area.
Joe also has been married several times – mostly to women he describes as “gold diggers”. Apparently, his favorite wife (who didn’t achieve gold digger status) was Mexican. I got the impression that he loved her a lot, and even played father to her two kids. Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted six months because Joe “got sick of eating tacos.”
That Joe. He’s a catch.
I have no idea how many times he’s been married since then, but his current wife should be concerned. My next door neighbor, Becky, told me that she ran into Joe in the alley while taking out the garbage one night, and he spontaneously asked her if she wanted to run away to Hawaii with him. Becky and Joe have lived across the alley from each other for years, but their interactions have been limited to brief conversations in the alley about the raccoons that randomly ransack the neighborhood trash. I guess in Joe’s world, nothing says love like a short exchange over a garbage can.
Before our new fence went up, Joe would frequently head out to the alley to tell us about all the neighborhood gossip. I, for instance, know that the house two houses down from Joe used to be owned by some guy from Lithuania who liked soup and loud parties. I’m not sure why this was on Joe’s list of things I needed to know about the neighborhood, but I am now full of such random tidbits.
Joe also told me about his favorite method of getting rid of unwanted guests. He has a fake grenade that has a removable pin. Whenever he decides he has people around that he’d rather be rid of, he grabs the grenade, pulls out the pin and starts screaming about blowing them up. Apparently, this is a very effective method of clearing a room, and has the additional perk of keeping “those annoying a$$holes away”.
So, yeah. That’s Crazy Neighbor Joe. Luckily, he is also pretty paranoid and told us repeatedly that we needed to get a good, solid, wooden fence to keep us safe from “the crazy people that wonder up and down the neighborhood alleys”. We couldn’t have agreed more. The fence was one of the first things we took care of, and it has had the added benefit of keeping our interactions with Joe at a minimum since its installation. We also have plans of planting a nice, big Red Oak tree to block his view of our house and yard from his balcony. The fall planting season cannot get here soon enough.
And then there are our Naked Neighbors that live next door. Yes. Naked. They are mid to late 40-somethings that like to skinny dip in their backyard pool. A pool, might I add, that I have a perfect view of from my master bedroom. This was reason number two for a good, solid wood fence. Surprisingly, chain link does little to shield blatant nudity.
My favorite Naked Neighbor story was when we had the guy from Budget Blinds over to show us the blackout options for our bedroom. This was a couple of mornings after I awoke to discover Crazy Neighbor Joe watching me sleep, and decided to fast track the window treatments in the boudoir. Anyway, Jim with the blind company was holding up a blackout sample to the window with the view of my next door neighbor’s pool. As if on cue, Naked Neighbor decided to stand up in his hot tub – effectively mooning everyone in my bedroom. Jim, doing his best to act professional, pretended not to notice and continued on with his blind spiel as if he wasn’t looking at my next door neighbor’s a$$. That was, until Naked Neighbor spread his legs and bent over. Poor Jim. He couldn’t help but exclaim, “Oh, God! No! No! That's just...that's just not right! Does this happen often?” We spent the next fifteen minutes in deep Naked Neighbor discussion – during which Naked Neighbor’s girlfriend happened on to the hot tub scene.
It was at this point that Jim told us he was going to do everything in his power to get our blinds installed as soon as humanly possible.
Lucky for Jim, he was out in his van getting the necessary paperwork in order when Naked Neighbor decided to stand up on the elevated wall next to his hot tub and do a cannonball into the swimming pool below. There are no secrets between me and naked neighbor. I’ve seen
In other words, I’ve traded the poster people for bad parenting for Looney Tunes and a couple of nudists.