November 15, 2007

The strangeness that surrounds me

Yesterday I returned from my fun-filled business trip. As I was unloading the car (suitcase, coat, trash, briefcase, etc)the mailman made his appearance. He dropped off my mail and drove straight into my neighbor's trash cans. Instead of getting out of the white USPS truck, he backed up and hit the cans at an angle to push them into the street. He then backed up and weaved between the two cans to get to my neighbor's mailbox. He proceeded onward with his duties. "Not, rain, nor snow, nor trashcans"...I guess.

Some acquaintances moved in on the street behind us, but on the same block as us. These people are not exactly friends, but we have known them for a long time. Our sons have played on the same baseball team almost every year since they began baseball. They have been on the same all-star and football teams. We know them pretty well, but we do not hang out. The wife is a loon. The husband is a know-it-all, but they are basically tolerable people.

This morning the wife calls me around 6:45. She said her husband is travelling and she is doing her practical nurse training at a hospital some 50 miles away. She wanted me to go over to her house and make sure her two kids were up and getting ready for school (6th and 8th grade). WTF? Who would leave two middle school-aged kids alone all night? Who would trust them to get up and ready? How do you say no to such a request? I got dressed and drove around the block and rang the doorbell. I told the kid who answered that his mom was worried and to call her and reassure her they were up and getting ready for school.

Of course, I get another call around 7:10, the boys did not call her. I hope this does not become a regular occurrence. What do you do? Further, I can envision this neighbor slinking across the backyards every time he sees me on the deck in the summer -- boring me with his tales and mooching my beer. I have made it my lifetime practice to avoid knowing and socializing with my neighbors. A twenty year habit is not going to be broken now.

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