I had no idea where this month’s post was going to take me. Then “Snookums” struck again. She is our neighbor across the street. She is in her late teens, or early twenties, no idea. She is usually unkempt, random facial piercings, a smattering of tattoos, and always in sweats. For years, she has been up to pure shenanigans, driving donuts in my perfectly manicured suburban lawn, backing into my mailbox, and my favorite, tripping balls on my front porch during my yearly Black Friday extravaganza.
There is really no effective way to organize this blog, so stick with me. It’s a little craziness with a dash of unorganized thoughts, rolled up into a pinch of pure “where is this going?” Much like my atrocious punctuation, this is going to be terrible.
Several years ago, on Black Friday, I went on my midnight madness shopping blitz (like I do every year), then manically decorate with $.99 poinsettias. After the blitz, I passed out from exhaustion. This particular year, at approximately four in the morning, our doorbell rang frantically, there was screaming coming from outside, and the dogs were barking hysterically. We woke up in a sheer panic! I loaded the gun, and braced for whatever ungodly thing was on the other side of the door. I cracked the door, gun in hand, and saw “Snookums”, screaming, wild eyed, dialing 911, and begging for help. My now late husband, Trent, said, “Don’t open the door, it’s a trap!” I passed him the gun saying, “It’s a teenager. Make some coffee.” I went outside and sat with her while she freaked out, continuously dialing 911 until the entire emergency services department arrived, bathing my poinsettias in glorious floodlights. Trent passed me a cup of coffee, locked the door, and went back to bed. I stood outside for another forty-five minutes with “Snookums” while she repeatedly dialed 911 (with all of 911 already there) and waited patiently with her. I thought, “If this were my daughter I’d want someone to be with her.” They eventually transported her to the hospital, but not before my next door neighbors woke up, ran outside, screaming, in their underwear, trying to free “Snookums” from the cop car, thinking it was someone else. Who they thought it was I’ll never know. How they didn’t wake up with all the commotion going on for nearly an hour, I’ll never know. I just know that I love suburbia. I stood there, sipping my coffee, laughing. People running in underwear always amuses me.
Fast forward to today. As I pondered what I would write about, my friend, Mo, brought me a cappuccino (no good deed goes unpunished, Dear Reader). My Wi-Fi is off for several hours while we have our upstairs painted. I’m like a caveman. All I have is a laptop with nothing but Word! I thought by the end of this post my laptop would be on fire with a set of wheels, and crude drawings etched into the cover. If this blog was going to contain anything I should fact check, I can’t. This is the perfect opportunity to make things up, and make up some back up facts, maybe throw in a statistic to make it seem legit.
We are having the bonus room turned into a room we can use. For about as long as I can remember it’s been a storage room. By storage I mean garbage. Everything that doesn’t have a proper place goes in there. Someone is coming over? Quick clean up entails throwing excess stuff into the bonus room stairwell. At some point, the excess makes it way upstairs and just sits in the middle of the floor. Did we go shopping? Buy too much? Was there something on sale I didn’t need but bought anyway? Holiday decorations that used to be organized in the crawl-space? Gwen has too many toys? Put them in the bonus room! We have a trampoline in there! It sits right next to Jimmy Hoffa. Mystery solved.
So the bonus room is getting a makeover, and I have no internet. It’s like being unsupervised! What did I do before 1993? When was the internet invented? Right now I’m going with 1993. 83% of Americans would agree with me.
If it was 1993, I’ll be honest, I’d be pranking someone. I want to do it now! I have mentioned to my friends, and even Mason, that we should buy a burn phone, and just prank people that irritate me, like my crazy neighbors. Of all the things “Snookums” has done, I’ve just stood there, shaking my head, and walking back in the house. Why? Because you just can’t fight with stupid people. It’s like administering medicine to the dead. It does nothing. I might be less uptight and not want to prank people if I drank more, but responsible parenting has to start somewhere, lord knows it’s not with my high level of maturity. These kids always need clean clothes, food, and they seem to think coming to me for guidance is a good idea. I might prank them first!
My best coping skill is staying in my house with the shades drawn. I’m not sure why they are outside, in the center of middle class suburbia, in the their underwear, throwing cheese in the street, but they are! I wish I made that up! I wish I got my phone out to take video before they stopped because everyone who just read that does not believe it happened. Her bra was blue. 83% of Americans will back me up on that. This happened just yesterday!
As I sat, drinking cappuccino, and cabitzing with Mo, I underestimated the power of my neighbor’s endless shenanigans. My doorbell rang. It was “Snookums”, clean, showered, clothed, and apologizing (which didn’t even happen when she turned my lawn into Krispy Kreme). “Da fuck?” I’m already confused. She backed out of the driveway and hit Mo’s car. My face dropped.
Let me tell you about Monique. She is a beautiful person. She is kind, she is loving, she drove all the way over here to bring me cappuccino. She is magnanimous, animated, fun, and just wonderful. She will drop anything to help a friend in need, a stranger in need, she may also drop “Snookums” like a WWF smack down and my kitchen just became the Gorilla Position. Mo does not take shit.
For all the times this girl has done something goofy, and cursed people out, driving off, tires flaming, she is standing on my porch looking truly contrite. Mo is intuitive, picks up on it, and comes outside as the kind, understanding person, not “Mo the Masher”. She tells the young lady it will be OK, we’ve all done it, and begins to exchange insurance information. “Snookums” tells us she should have known better, she was nervous, on her way to take the GED test, and didn’t even think. We begin to wish her luck on her test and enter stage left, her mother. “Snookums’ Mom” is German, the kind of German from actual Germany with a German accent; not like I’m German because four generations ago my family came over on a boat and we speak perfect New Jersey.
Mama starts yelling that it’s all Mo’s fault, she shouldn’t have parked her van where she did. My thought process goes something like this: “Why is she in a mumu? Why is she in a short mumu? I’m going to start calling her Mrs. Roper. I hope Mo starts yelling in Dutch. Oh shit! Are we going to reenact WWII?” I look over at Mo and she is calm and breathing. Mama is still yelling, now at me. “Beth you better tell your friends that they can’t park there, this is all their fault! Your husband parks there too! I’m going to park there to prove how hard it is to back out with a car parked there! This is all your fault!”
Since Mason and I aren’t married yet my thought process continued on, this time down the line of, “I didn’t know Trent could drive? He’s been dead for over two years. If he could drive, I’d sure like him to run to the store for me, I’m out of milk.”
She continued to yell and take pictures from the porch, in her mumu, while her daughter, embarrassed and apologetic, left for school. We wished her good luck, more so with her mom than her test.
Mo and I came inside to call her husband, the insurance company, and talk to the contractors for a minute. Mama moved her car to the end of her driveway in silent protest of our audacity to park in the street. She’s really teaching us a lesson there. If only I had a burn phone, I could teach her one too! Because man, if her refrigerator is running, she should go catch it!