I bought my parents’ house about nine years ago. I like the neighborhood I live in but hate the vacant lot and crumbling boat storage building across from me. To cross the street is to go from a middle class neighborhood to a post-industrial wasteland.
The vacant lot is the worst part, as it’s become a magnet for hillbillies and idiotic teenagers. This was the case when I was a kid, too. I remember being chased through my front door by a Doberman let out of some redneck’s truck. It got hit by a car while coming after me and the owner stared hate my way as he carried it back to the truck. I guess I should’ve come over so it could tear my throat out in safety.
This Saturday, the Trudeaus were in our front yard when another crazy scene went down. A couple hillbillies were using the lot as a staging area for a move or something. All I know is it involved moving a couch and generator into the back of an old, red truck manned by a middle-aged woman and her twenty-something kid. Walking to the passenger side, the son let out a loud “aaow” for no reason. You know you’re in trouble when a guy is making David Lee Roth noises to himself.
They both got in the car and she slammed the gas, tearing onto the street with tires squealing and the muffler-less exhaust roaring. The noise was so great neither one noticed both the couch and generator flying out the back, where I assume a flap once existed to stop such a thing from happening. She peeled around the corner, in a hurry to get to their next location.
My neighbor, Bill, and I walked out to view both the couch and generator sitting in the middle of the road.
“Did that really just happen?” I asked him.
“Looks like it,” he said.
He pulled the generator into his garage and I pulled the couch up on the curb. The woman and her son must’ve been very focused on where they were going because it took them almost fifteen minutes to return.
They spotted the couch immediately and she slowed down enough for him to jump out and run over to it. Once he was clear, she took off again in search of the generator, never checking to see if we might know where it is.
The son ran to the couch, letting out a stream of profanity. I asked him to cut it out as my two kids were standing there but he didn’t hear me over his own voice.
“Where’s the generator?” he finally had the sense to ask.
Now I just wanted to answer the question so he could leave but Bill decided to mess with him.
“Some guy took it,” Bill said.
Well, this sent the guy over the edge and he started cursing up a storm again. Once again, I told him to cut it out and that yes, his generator was still here. Bill took him over to get it.
While they headed that way the woman came ripping around the corner, stopping in the road and running out.
“Where’s the generator?” she said. She wasn’t asking me but yelling it out into open space. I tried to tell her but she was hyperventilating. Her son came out to tell her but she was now on her knees howling. He couldn’t get her to calm down enough to understand he had it.
“I live in the middle of the woods and it’s muh power!”
Finally she chilled enough to understand her generator was safe and began sobbing and thanking Jesus. By this point I needed the whole scene to end. I hate yard work to begin with and didn’t need the supporting cast of Justified complicating things. I was also afraid something else might happen to freak her out even more.
After what seemed a lifetime, they got the couch and generator loaded back up. He apologized for all the swearing and they pulled away, much slower this time.
I sometimes go to sleep at night wishing I could wake up to find the lot and building replaced with nice new houses. It has yet to happen just like the Kmart down the street has yet to turn into a Target. At least there’s a nice restaurant right next to it. Oh, that’s right. Someone burned it down.
I need to move.