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Hades, Hades, we all fall down! - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Hades, Hades, we all fall down!
We live on a quiet street.

No. That's an understatement. We live on a virtually invisible street. It's one of three roughly-equal curves making up a circle which is only accessible by two other streets- one from the north, one from the east- which, in turn, are themselves at least a turn away from anything resembling a major highway. If you're back here, therefore, we conclude that (a) you live here (Hi!), (b) you're lost (How can we help?), or, as the case was tonight, (c) you're weird.

Eleanor got home a bit past three, me a bit past five. In between, Theo the electric mower* arrived on its UPS truck, and we hauled him out and started him charging. All six of us then sat down to eat, but a seventh life form appeared in a late-model Buick which planted itself in front of our yard.

Twenty minutes or so later, Dude was still out there. As the above analysis indicates, it's rare for anyone to be back here unless they live here, they're lost, or they're weird. We quickly answered that quiz with a solid "C."

We both approached the curb to ask if we could help the Dude.

I'm working! was his reply. And evidence supported that- his person-empty passenger seat was full of forms from some kind of concrete company.

I began to sniff the scam. Homeowners do not "own" sidewalks and driveway aprons on their own lots, which are deemed public rights-of-way, but they are responsible for repair when they deteriorate on their own, or when, as often happens, underground roots bump them up- roots from either the owners' own lots' trees, or the "street trees" on the grassy stripes between the sidewalks and the street. Usually, every decade, code enforcers come through to demand repairs at owners' expense; we got hit with this maybe 10 years ago and replaced our most egregious violators. But Dude, I suspect, was scoping out potential business in the 'hood, either because the inspector has already been through or because he's going to put in an "anonymous" complaint later this week.

So, yeah, he's working. But if that work is connected with our specific lot, we have absolutely no interest in him continuing to do so. We therefore suggested that he "work" someplace else.

Attitude ensued. I have a legal right to be here, he said. And we have a right to be left alone and not having you creeping us out, Eleanor replied.

It started to escalate. I rather deliberately looked into his passenger compartment and rattled off the name of his company. Eleanor, in turn, headed to the front and got his license plate number. We know who you are and will call the police if you don't leave, she said.

But she touched his car, his beautiful beautiful car. If you touch my car again, I'M gonna call the police, he replied.

We stood our ground- not with guns but with the right to be left alone. Finally, he started his engine....

And headed back to whatever evil empire he'd come from, uttering the epithet at us,:

You're a couple of devil worshippers!

Well. You don't get to say that kind of thing around here without getting a suitable response from me, so I used the one I've been using since I first heard Zonker Harris invoke it 40-odd years ago:


I could pretty much hear his tires screech at that point.  He scared us, but gave us a night of comedy gold that will last a lifetime.

Unmentioned to him, but I will to you, is that our cross-street neighbor is the recently-retired dispatcher for those selfsame police we were all gonna call.  If Dude makes any more trouble, he'll be rounded up in no time.

Now back to sacrificing small rodents;)


* The new cordless electric mower needed a name, and it was inspired by a novel we've both been reading recently, in which the protagoist is named Theo Decker. Since this mower is from Theo's relatives Black and Decker, it seemed a good fit;)
4 comments or Leave a comment
symian From: symian Date: June 19th, 2014 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I never understood the "You don't own it, you can't regulate who uses it, but you have to pay for it if it breaks" thing.
mac_arthur_park From: mac_arthur_park Date: June 19th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Zonker. My hero.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: June 23rd, 2014 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
My all-time favorite Doonesbury moment (I had it in my head as Zonker, but it's Mark):

likethewatch From: likethewatch Date: June 20th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is this related to the other shenanigans in your neighborhood that warranted a call to the agricultural police?
4 comments or Leave a comment