It was actually the squirrel’s fault.
One minute we were walking along a street in Glasgow. The next moments seemed to flash by. FLASH! A squirrel ran in front of us, and the dog leaped after her. FLASH! Her leash wound around my legs and pulled. FLASH! I was up close and personal with the pavement. Spreadeagle, hoping nobody would notice if I just waited there. I didn’t think anyone was around and…
“Mummy, why is that lady bleeding all over the pavement? Could I stroke her doggie?”
I looked up at the circle of shame surrounding me, accepted a paper napkin from a woman who unwound it from her ice cream cone, wrapped it around my drippier bits, and assured everyone I was just fine. No problem. We’d just limp on back home now…
I covered the variously oozing bits with about a box of bandaids (plasters for my UK friends), and realized that more typing was not in the cards for today. So while I take the world’s longest bath for the second time in a matter of weeks (last time my garden tried to kill me), here’s a ThrowbackThursday blast from the past.
With Halloween coming—and despite how nice my neighbors were today—I wonder who your creepiest neighbors are?
“There’s a Situation, Maam.”
My daughter and I were heading home from the movies when the polite police officer stopped us at the street leading to our little slice of Seattle McBurbia.
I explained that I absolutely had to get home or in about nine months there would be a Situation at my house. My son and his girlfriend had left the theater before us and were undoubtedly back at the house already. You could practically see the hormone clouds from the bottom of the hill where we were stopped. In fact, I could look uphill and see that the only lights on at our house were in the spa room. You know, the one with the hot tub that I tried to get the last owners to take with them because we were from the Midwest. (We do hot dish, not hot tub.)
I tried to tell the nice officer I wasn’t ready to be a grandmother. Almost two hours went by. The spa room dimmed, as if the only lights left on were those under the water surface in the hot tub. I started picking out baby names. When we finally made it back to the house, two innocent (but slightly damp) teenagers insisted they had just been sitting around wondering what kept us. And hey, how weird was it that neither of their mobiles had registered incoming calls. Or texts. LOTS of texts.
Next day I discovered that our next-door neighbor had met some process-servers at her door with a display of the weapons her gun-dealing current gentleman caller kept around, resulting in our neighborhood lockdown. Now, you have to understand: our neighborhood was like some Walt Disney version of ultimate suburbia, where everyone joined the neighborhood association, voted in school board elections, and knew the names of everyone’s dog and most of their kids. So this neighbor was a bit… different.
The day we moved in, she came over to make sure we weren’t anything undesirable like Asians or Jews. (I told her she’d hit paydirt– we were both, and were thinking of renting out the basement to a black and hispanic gay couple.) In my defense, I didn’t know she kept an arsenal in her house. A week later, we met again when we arrived home to discover that she was just cutting down the last of our row of beautiful old trees on one side of our yard. So she could keep an eye on us.
A few weeks went by after she ran off the process servers. I was over in the next town picking up my daughter when my husband called and casually suggested we might want to stop and grab a latte somewhere. Could this be the same husband who would wait in Burger King’s interminable line for a crap cup of coffee rather than pander to my addiction to overpriced caffeinated beverages with fake Italian names?
“Who is this really?” I asked, figuring that pod people had also mastered the phone system.
Just then my phone buzzed a text from my son. He said people with automatic weapons and SWAT signs on their backs were pouring through our bushes toward our neighbor’s house. He wanted me to tell his father, who was standing in the picture window, drinking a cup of awful coffee and watching the show, that maybe he should get down.
Sadly, they took my poor neighbor away and some accountants moved in instead. There went the neighborhood.
Who was your scariest neighbor ever, the one who lived in THAT house nobody ever went to?