Note: This little nugget is from way back in the day when I was flailing around on another network. I was still trying to figure out my voice, but there are glimmers of things to come…
1. The overwhelming layer of dead leaves in the front yard.
I’m sure the depth of the deadness is violating some type of municipal regulation. We’re not talking a couple of cute little drifts. We’re talking “how the hell does the mailman get to the front door”? We have 4 billion trees that Jesus apparently planted, ancient things, each of them capable of producing enough fallout to fill a football stadium. It’s basically a losing battle, trying to keep up with the output.
So, I don’t even try. I just let them keep falling until April. Because they will. It takes that long for all of the leaves to break free and make their way downward through the criss-crossing network of branches. This makes our yard the trashiest one in the neighborhood, because all the other lawns on the street are pristine. (To be fair, most of those people are retired, having enough free time to individually name each single leaf before tossing it into the mulcher, so the competition is a little unfair.) Still, I should do something about the leaves. Maybe next year.
2. There is still something odd going on in the house at the end of the street.
We’ve never figured out exactly why, but there are always at least 5 cars parked in front of this house. Always. And sometimes that figure goes up to 10 or so. A few of the cars are the same, but the rest vary. We’re convinced that this dwelling is either an illicit daycare facility or a drug den. It’s got to be one or the other, no in between. Trouble is, since we’re not sure which it is, we don’t know which number to call to report these people.
But we DO know that it’s a pain in the ass trying to navigate that end of the street. Whoever these visitors are, they just park wherever they want to while they run in to pick up their child and/or dime bag, leaving the people who actually live on this street to carefully roll through the war zone at two miles an hour. I really can’t stand that house. When my car is paid for and the insurance is caught up, I’m driving through the front window and finding out just what the hell they do in there.
3. There’s a warning light on the dashboard that one of the tires is low.
Hmmm. I don’t feel anything. Do you?
4. Some people two streets over are getting a new driveway poured.
Making mental note to sneak back later tonight with the body of that person who wouldn’t stop asking “is it cold enough for ya?”
5. There’s something rolling around under my seat.
I suppose I should reach down and try to figure out what it is. But that journey always ends in confusion and dismay. It’s usually an item that mystifies me as to its origin and purpose. A can of Aqua-Net hairspray? Seriously? And how did it get here? I didn’t know they even made that stuff anymore. Who the hell is driving my car when I’m not paying attention?
6. One of the radio stations is still playing Christmas music.
Then again, I still have Christmas leaves in my yard, so I really shouldn’t judge. But I won’t let that stop me.
7. The traffic signals are blinking at one of the intersections.
Great. These people can’t even handle it when things are working correctly, so this should be a real funfest. During rush hour, no less. This is going to take forever. Some would say that this is God’s way of telling me I shouldn’t be on a quest for demon alcohol. I know God better than that. He wants me to drink. We’ve spoken about it. Otherwise, I would be in jail for murder, and that burns up taxpayer dollars. Yes, kiddies, I drink to save you money. You’re welcome.
8. Why is there a cloud of thick, black smoke blowing across the street I just turned on?
All of the cars around me slow down to take a gander. We see nothing to indicate a source. We all peel out at the same time as the realization hits that we could be blamed in some way or held as a witness. This is the South Dallas instinct. Get your ass out of there before somebody recognizes you or writes down a tag number.
9. The cashier at the beer store hollers out my total before I am fully in the door.
On the plus side, this is convenient and expedient. On the down side, it’s clear that I have purchased the same set of goods way too many times in one establishment. I’m probably even part of the training curriculum for new employees. (“That smart-ass guy driving the Toyota RAV4 with tires that need air and crap that falls out from under his seat when he opens the door? Michelob Ultra, 12-pack. Got it?”)
10. The lady in front of me in line is actually purchasing a feminine hygiene product.
Really? What took place in this woman’s life that would lead to this? Granted, I understand that you can’t always time things. But this is a beer store. There’s a drugstore right next door. And all she’s buying is the box of maxi pads. She chose to come in here first? I think I finally understand what happened with the last national election…
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 01/07/11. Slight changes made. As this post is nearly a decade old, much of the situation has changed. (I’m now retired and have the time to name my own leaves, we have a lawn service that whisks away the leaves before I can do so, and I was never implicated in whatever burned down on that one street.) But the daycare meth-lab at the end of the street? It’s still open for clandestine business and is probably on the verge of being designated a local landmark…