Sunday, August 3, 2008


Having recovered from whatever this last illness was, one that like the others before it failed to kill me, despite my pleadings, I am able to resume my proper role in the universe. Which is to say I am again shoveling money into the gaping maws of my children.

Saturday wasn't too bad. We tried to buy new shoes for the middle kid only to find the ones in stock weren't expensive enough. Ergo, that purchase has been deferred.

Today, though, today was special. Four tickets to the ballgame. I didn't pay for them out of pocket, I got them from a vendor. Ask anyone who has a job, vendor tickets are not free. My kids don't have jobs, of course, so that lecture went unheeded.

On top of it, tickets are really only a part of a game nowadays. There are hot dogs and peanuts and pretzels, all of it marked up to the prices necessary to pay for a few $5,000,000 annual contracts.

But I knew that going in and I was fine until I got home. That's when the neighbor beckoned me over.

As I recently explained to my oldest and several of his friends, one of our neighbors is a "fucking pain in the ass. There's nothing I can do about so keep away from her and don't give her a reason to complain." They all found this hilariously inappropriate on my part, which I suppose it is, but truth is a defense. She threatens to keep their basketballs when they roll into her yard. She called the cops once because the kids were playing Wiffle ball in the cul-de-sac. The officer got out of his car, saw what they were doing, and pitched for a while. So that didn't work out so well for her.

The neighbor who waved to me, on the other hand, is a nice guy. I walked over and we chatted for a while. Finally, almost apologetically, he pointed to his rear tail light. The broken one.

"Hey, could you check with your boys and see if any of them maybe hit the car with a baseball?" he asked.

"Lord, I'm sorry," I said.

"No, no," he said. "I'm not even sure it was one of them. Besides, I'd rather see them outside playing ball than inside watching TV." Like I said, he's the nice neighbor.

"Let me know how much it costs to replace and I'll write you a check," I said.

"You don't have to do that," he said.

"If it wasn't one of my kids it was probably one of their friends. If they didn't do that, they did something else. Or they will. I'll write you a check."

He thanked me and we talked for a bit more, about his own kids, now mostly grown, his wife's job, the brain tumor he had removed last year.

I got home and asked my kids if it might have been them. They all denied it, swore up and down it wasn't them and it wasn't any of their friends. I believe them, I guess. When one of them broke a light on our garage last week he told me the truth so I'm inclined to trust them on this. Still, I told them, I was going to pay the neighbor for his taillight.

"Why?" one of them asked.

"Because we're always throwing stuff in his yard by mistake and he's never complained. This is the first time he's every said anything. Even if he never said anything, he wouldn't be very happy if we didn't take care of this. And I wouldn't blame him."

"Makes sense, I guess," said one of the boys. "How about the other neighbor?"

"She's still a fucking pain in the ass."

"Works for me," said my son.


Jennifer said...

By the way Snag... we've got a broken tail light as well.... You can make that check out to either Grizzled or me.

Anonymous said...

If they didn't do that, they did something else. Or they will.

lol. Ain't that the truth?

BK and three of his friends were in our backyard Sat evening, walking around in the rough area near the back, just checking stuff out. The people directly behind us called the police on them. (!!!!) God only knows why. But, I'm going to have a little talk with them today about it.

Last weekend, BK and the same friends went fishing down at our neighborhood lake and a guy came out and just stood there and stared them down. Making sure, I guess, that they weren't doing anything wrong.

Made me so mad. Here I've got four boys BEHAVING THEMSELVES on the weekends -- not out drinking or doing other rotten stuff -- and I've got these "responsible" adults pushing them to the point of vandalism because they're being harrassed for no good reason.

F***** pain in the a** is right, Snag.

Anonymous said...

The officer got out of his car, saw what they were doing, and pitched for a while. So that didn't work out so well for her.

now that's a good police officer :)