Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our Neighbors

Long ago my husband and I decided it's in our best interest not to become too friendly with our neighbors.

Maybe it was because our previous neighbor, Jim, liked to walk down the alley behind our houses with his scotch and cigar and into our garage to stink it up with his cigar smoke that smells like burnt poop and chit chat with my husband while he was trying to work out after our kids would finally be in bed asleep and he had a brief moment of peace.


Or maybe it was because of the time when Jim's wife, who we referred to as 'Mrs. Robinson', was really drunk and barefoot and mowing her lawn and her mower broke down so my husband, who happened to be outside mowing our yard, kindly offered to finish mowing hers.

She thanked him by (slurringly) inviting him inside her house to see the furniture she was selling since they were moving.

It sounds harmless except that her husband wasn't home and she was wearing a snug-fitting tank top with no bra.

My husband was not flattered.
She was at least 20 years older than him and shoe leathery-looking because she laid out in her swimsuit on her driveway suntanning and drinking her husband's scotch all the time.

I think I have a pair of shoes made out of you.

In order to avoid Mrs Robinson, our yard went un-mowed for the next couple of weeks until the moving truck arrived and hauled them off along with all of their stinky, scotchy, adulterous furniture.

We also moved shortly after they did and, even after 7 years at our current home, we still feel it's best to limit our interaction with our neighbors to a polite wave or a "Howareya?" and then go inside and allow our imaginations to construct the details about the details of their lives while we observe them safely through our windows.
And we've decided that one of our neighbors is probably a drug dealer.

Here is some evidence as to how we came about this conclusion:

1) Different people come and go all the time and at all times of the day.  The cars are not very fancy so it's obviously cheap drugs he's selling.

2)  They have frequent garage sales and often sell fancy baby toys.  I'm pretty sure they had an in-home day care at one point which was probably a ruse and how they smuggled drugs to buyers.  You pick up your baby and your drugs at the same time.  Easy.

3) They have a Great Dane. Their kids play with it in the front yard sometimes but I'm pretty sure it's their getaway ride in case the police come knocking.  That thing is the size of a horse! 


But the main reason is this...
His name is Hari (pronounced 'Hah - ree' , not 'Hair - ee').
When we met him he said specifically, "as in Hah - ree Potter."
Very clever, Hah-ree, but the reference to marijuana did not go unnoticed.
(POTter is not his real last name so obviously it was a secret code for trying to offer us drugs.)

Despite the numerous clues about his sketchy profession, we have always been surface friendly and have waved when we see him or his wife when we all happen to be in our front yards at the same time.

But recently things took an odd turn...

My daughter and I had been out running errands and upon arriving home we pulled to our front curb rather than parking in the driveway at the back.

Upon exiting the car I heard someone exclaim, "Hello, how are you?"

Completely caught off guard, I turned to see who had spoken and realizing it was Hah-ree I quickly replied, "Oh, hi, I'm good, thanks.  How about you?"

To which he replied, "Good.  I don't think I ever see you without sunglasses on."

Um, what?  All of a sudden I'm thinking, 'That's really odd to comment about my sunglasses.  Oh, my gosh! He thinks I always wear sunglasses because my eyes are bloodshot or my pupils are dilated because he thinks I do drugs and he's trying to feel out the situation to see if he should try selling me drugs again like he did when he introduced himself as 'Mr. POTter'!'

And since I'm such a quick thinker, I immediately launch into this explanation:

"Well, I have this really odd fear that I'm going to get squint wrinkles if I don't wear sunglasses.  It's when you squint and the sun tans your face and all around your eyes but when you go indoors and your face relaxes then you see all these white lines inside the squint wrinkles that AREN'T tanned while the skin all around them IS tan and it looks really weird.  So I always wear sunglasses."

Smiling and feeling very proud of my completely intelligent and logical response I wait for 'Hah-ree, the POTter' to say something.

"Um...ok....well, it was nice to see you." He says apprehensively as he quickly scampers into his house.

I walk inside my own house and say to my husband,
"If Hah-ree Potter IS actually a drug dealer we no longer have to worry about him trying to sell us any."

"Why is that?" my husband asks.

"I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm already stocked up in that department."

À la vie et à l'amour

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