Tag Archives: neighbor kids

Stop, Drop and Roll

I’m hoping this fall wreath I put on my door says “Festive/I will dive behind the couch if you knock on the door and I’m not expecting you.”


The truth is that I might be a Publisher’s Clearing House million dollar winner if not for the fact that I perform a death roll behind the furniture the second I hear the doorbell.


Because I’m most likely not wearing any makeup and smell like garlic hummus, which means even if the UPS man is hot, it won’t do me any good. But also because there’s a chance someone is selling something—be it cookie dough or religion—and I don’t have an interest in either.

It’s bad enough that a couple weeks from now a gang of cute little ghosts and skanky tween witches will come begging me for chocolate covered cavities, but the appetizer to their desperate pleas is to show up on my doorstep with an 80-page catalog full of overpriced things that make the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog look like a Walmart flier.

This just in: I don’t need a $14 roll of wrapping paper that covers about one small shoebox.

I don’t blame them for being forced to raise money. When I was little we went door-to-door selling sub sandwiches for a class trip that probably included name tags, room mothers trying not to lose kids/their sanity and someone puking on the bus coming home.

But back then the business of fundraising was different. We were motivated to sell for little trinket rewards and bragging rights and neighbors could get five sandwiches for a 10-spot.

Now the parents take this catalog to work with them and leave an order form passive aggressively on the break room table, the result of a) an understandable fear of sending their kids out to strangers b) laziness on the part of the kids or c) the fact that a 1st grader can’t carry the weight of an 80-page catalog.

And while I think the exposure to rejection would be good for the kids to get used to—welcome to the real world, my friends—I think a better way to teach them responsibility would be to send them around selling things we actually need like mini bottles of alcohol or coupons to clean my gutters or the cat’s shit box.

That I might pay for.

The point is that while I have no problem telling them I’m not interested, I don’t want to have to hear about how someone from their church needs a kidney that she’ll only receive if I buy six tubs of cookie dough and donate the kidney myself.

Plus, if you actually know me, you’ll come to the back door first. This means whoever is at my front door is a semi-stranger I’ll be forced to yell through the glass at because I secretly fear they’re casing the joint—even if they are 5 years old.

Spoiler alert: Unless you want drawers of rubber bands and incense, you should probably loot down the street. You’ll be much more satisfied there.

So I feel like sprinting across the living room and diving into the kitchen to hide out of view is actually a quite reasonable response, despite the eye rolls the cat throws my way. While I realize I could be missing out on a hot UPS guy or millions of dollars each time, it’s a price I’m willing to pay for not having to pay $14 for fudge.

And I still think the wreath’s a nice touch.

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Basket Case

The other day I was planning on working out in the yard, but knew I had to change from my “good” workout pants to my outdoor gardening pants. So I ran upstairs to my room to ditch the good workout pants, knowing my other pants were downstairs.


I ran back downstairs, grabbed a piece of gum, laced up my dirty shoes and walked out my back door—without pants. While I openly admit to forgetting certain beauty tricks, I think forgetting pants is a first for me, at least accidentally.

At any rate, I’m going to blame this temporary lapse in clothing as a direct result of an interruption in my sleep as of late due to external noise disruptions.

Because along with it now being “Camping Season”, it is also apparently “let’s make tons of ridiculous noise late at night season” as well.

Let me preface this by saying that I love sleeping—especially sleeping in the summer with the windows open. What I don’t love is when I get into bed only to be jolted five minutes later by a sonic boom.

Considering my suburban neighborhood is not under attack from anything other than those damn white fuzzies from the trees, this means people are lighting off fireworks.

In June (and July, August and September.) 

At 2 am.

I’ve written about this before, so I will save you an additional rant and simply refer you to the post in which I opine with the explosiveness of 1,000 M80s being lit by groups of amateur pyromaniacs.

Let’s move on.

The pyromaniacs usually only surface on the weekends, so I can deal with it a little better. But what I have a harder time dealing with is the fact that the neighbor kids have recently started to play basketball at midnight.

On the weeknights.

Their hoop is on a parallel line from my bedroom window, so I hear every dribble, every argument, every “if you miss this shot you have to eat that dead thing we found in the garage” clear as day.

And no, I’m not making that part up.

Again, I can tolerate the noise on the weekends and during the day. But during the week when I get up at 5am, manic ball dribbling and plans for worm consumption keeping me awake are no bueno, mi amigos.

I’ve shut my window at times to try and muffle the noise, but that doesn’t always work. 

I’ve considered going over and talking to them, but I’m too lazy to get out of my bed at midnight to catch them in the act (and apparently they’re now nocturnal, as I haven’t seen them during the day as of late.)

I’ve even thought about taking up a collection to send them to a summer-long camp — not because they’re poor, but because I fear I might become the crazy neighbor that takes their basketball and deflates the bastard, leaving it on their driveway with a warning ransom note.

But instead I’ve decided that if this crap doesn’t stop, I will make a conscious effort to intentionally forget my pants the next time that I garden and streak across their lawn at midnight in the middle of their game waving sparklers and laughing maniacally.

If that doesn’t traumatize them into submission, I’m pretty sure nothing else will.

Wish me luck.

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CSI: Pond/Fountain thing

For the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying the soothing sounds of a gentle waterfall. No, I have not neglected to fix my runny toilet once again, but rather I speak of the fountain/pond in my backyard oasis.

We—and by “we” I mean my mom—got it running once again with the help of a new pump and some elbow grease, and the gentle tinkling of the streaming water has been providing a relaxing background as I swat off the bugs of summer.

Well, that went down the crapper.


The damn things sprung a leak—again—and has since emptied itself out to reveal a new spot for annoying white fuzzies and tree debris to congregate. I’m not quite sure why it happened, but I would like to blame something other than the fact that it simply sprung a leak.

Enter CSI: Pond/Fountain thing and the short list of suspects.

The Diva Chipmunk

When I left for work the other morning, there was a chipmunk frolicking near the crime scene. Due to my excitement at getting to work at 6:30 a.m., I failed to inform him that I was not running a private spa for small woodland creatures. It’s possible that if he chose to swim laps with unpedicured nails, the liner of said pond could have been torn.

However, I feel the small woodland creatures enjoyed the pond as much as I did and doubt this was an impulsive act to display disappointment in my failure to supply little fuzzy robes, acorn appetizers and complimentary slippers. I have eliminated all diva chipmunks as suspects.

The Masked Menace

While I have a soft spot for small woodland creatures, I have no such feelings towards large bastard raccoons that destroy my birdfeeder and refuse to fear me.


The first time I looked out my window and saw this thing climbing up the stairs, I thought it was a bear. (Never mind the fact that we don’t really have bears in my area.) This beast is huge, and when I ran out flailing my arms and making crazy sounds, it simply moved one step lower and looked positively bored. I swear I heard it sigh before slowly retreating, only to return the second I went back into the house.

So while I would love to nail this sucker to the wall for the crime in question, considering there is no food involved, I don’t think it would have the motivation—other than to piss me off.

Ernie the Gnome

With Ernie, jealousy could most certainly be motive. Uncle June gets a fair amount of mini-face time on the blog, whereas Ernie only appears in warm-weather situations.


It’s very possible that these feelings of inferiority could have manifested themselves into a vindictive act of vandalism, but alas, he would have been destroying his own little humble abode. I feel he must be eliminated from the suspect list as well—along with the turtle.

Long Shots

I thought about blaming the neighbor kids, seeing as they have been wandering around the neighborhood with their improvised nunchucks and potent pellet guns. But they haven’t really ventured into my yard since I moved in, at which point in time the  little mouth breathers rode their bikes across my front lawn and dug holes in my backyard because the old owners apparently allowed that.

I calmly told them that I didn’t allow that behavior and was not above installing an invisible electric fence to prevent a repeat occurrence. I then added that both Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy had died tragic deaths as a result of their reckless excavation and bicycle operation through my yard.

With that said, they now call me “Miss Abby” and only come over when selling overpriced products for various Scout troops and cults they belong to.

So they’ve also been eliminated as suspects, leaving me right back where I started from—an empty pond and empty leads. But this investigation has not been for naught, as I’m thinking the neighbor kids might be included as possible allies in the war against the raccoon.


Let’s put those nunchucks and pellet guns to good use, shall we?

*No animals were harmed in the writing of this post, nor will they be harmed in the future. I can’t speak for any psychological damage that may have resulted from finding out the Tooth Fairy is not real.