Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why We Will Never Just Get Along.

It must suck being old. You might wonder how I can form such a conclusion, and that's understandable. I believe that this must be the case because certain old people are so difficult to be around. My personal plight is to be sandwiched in between elderly neighbors. On our right we have the most bitter and crusty man that I have ever met. Everything out of his mouth turns to shit as soon as it hits the air. It doesn't matter what subject he gets on; he is always hateful and resentful. Meanwhile he's married to what must be one of the longest-suffering women in America. Granted she's no plum herself, but I am compelled to feel sympathy for her lot in life. She's joined to an asshole, and I can only imagine how much that stinks.

Not that she's immune to transforming into a monster at the slightest pretext. I've written about such an episode in another post. But regardless of her lapses in sanity, I'd prefer to deal with her than her cretinous husband. In fact I recently made the mistake of crossing the white line at the front of their handicapped parking space. I was absolutely in the wrong, and ready to admit it when it was pointed out. Instead I had to fire back when the decrepit fool started yelling at me over the shoulder of his wife. Later I made a point of telling the woman that she should come to me alone with any problems she has, and that I'd make sure to resolve them quickly and courteously. I also reinforced my position that I will never deal with her mate.

So on that side of my homestead, all I can do is wait for the glue factory to come and take my neighbor away forever. One of these days he'll be screaming at his poor unfortunate subject/wife, and he'll have a massive coronary and die on the spot. In response the entire block will throw a week-long celebration to honor his absence. Until then I'll simply try to ignore him. I have my hands plenty full with the old lady on our left. At least she makes the occasional effort to be the solid citizen. I know she has great affection for Baby E. Even so, she is doddering and addled, both in her expression and her decisions. She once tried to give E. an old abandoned shoe she had found in the street... just tried to pitch it next to him in his stroller.

Our relationship (such as it is) has actually improved a bit over the years. One time we went on a trip for a week, making sure to provide for someone to come by and check on our cats every other day. When we got back the old dotty hen told us that our cat had been mewing out the window whenever it saw her. Besides wondering why our nosy neighbor was peeking in our windows, we were stumped about her point. Our cat likes people, so what? Then the lady told us that she was tempted to call the ASPCA on us for "neglect". M. absolutely loved that one, and she made sure to dress the old woman down. Apparently M.'s language was strong enough, as things immediately cooled down and a d├ętente was quickly struck.

Now ol' dotty hen has to direct her energies elsewhere. This evening I was amused to see her jawing with a middle-aged man who was visiting his daughter a few doors down. It seemed that he had taken our neighbor's handicapped space, and she was trying to exert some sort of territorial imperative. Even after the man pointed out that he had "disabled person" plates on front and back, she continued to insist that she could call the police. Her reasoning (evidently) was that they were Maryland plates, and somehow not valid in front of her house. But the funniest thing of all was that she didn't need the spot, and would not have parked there even if it was empty. Tomorrow is street cleaning, and she never forgets to remind us several days ahead of time. Her car is across the street and will stay there throughout Monday.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gemini Method.

7:42 PM  

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