Monday, December 10, 2012

Meet the Neighbors

So I have hinted, gentle readers, that I would eventually introduce you to my neighbors.  Not the neighbors that called the cops on me when I was cutting bamboo with a large knife in the middle of the night (which, seriously, I still think was an overreaction), but my favorite neighbors:  A and W.

Now why, you might ask, am I not referring to these neighbors by name?  Are they secret agents?  Romulan spies?  Tea partiers?!  Fear not, my friends, A and W are lovely people, and I just want to protect their reputation by not using their first names which are, in fact, rather delightfully unusual, but would inevitably reveal their identity and, unlike me, they are respectable figures in Our Fair City and do not deserve to be associated with this blog.

Oh, alright.  I admit it:  I like calling them A and W because it makes me think of root beer. 

In any case, I have to admit that A and W are not entirely, well, normal.  Mere moments after I bought my house, even before I had realized just how far I'd put myself into debt, A trotted across the street to introduce herself and beg me not to move away any time soon.  Since she had never met me before, I found that rather oddly affectionate, but, hey, sometimes I make a good first impression, and they had no idea at that time that I would be one of those neighbors who takes five days to pull the empty trashcan away from the curb after trash pickup, thus lowering everyone's property values.

Also, I don't rake leaves.  Or pay other people to rake leaves.  So after A and W have their leaves in neat piles, my leaves spend all week drifting over to their yard where it's nice and neat with plenty of elbow room.  

But in spite of these obvious deficiencies in my character, A and W have become bosom friends and cat sitters, and I love them dearly.  And when you love someone, you must, according to all the sappy love songs and writers of Hallmark cards, show them how you feel.   So this past weekend, I snuck over to their yard and left them a gift:

An Unexpected Flamingo

This is Bill.  Bill the Flamingo.  You see, a few years ago the chair of my department, Vivian, gave each of us a flamingo as a parting gift when she retired.  I was a little disconcerted, but the more I looked at the flamingo, the more I loved him.  I named him Wordsworth and stuck him proudly in my flowerbed.

Wordsworth Showing His Christmas Spirit

Wordsworth clearly improved the neighborhood with his stoic presence.  I mean, no matter what happened to him, he stood there with quiet dignity, and he never complained about rain or snow or empty trashcans in front of the house.

Wordsworth Freezing with Dignity  

Alas, poor Wordworth was crushed two years ago when a giant poplar tree fell on my house!  All that was left of this fine gentlebird were shards of pink plastic.  After a suitable mourning period, I went shopping for a replacement, and you'll be happy to know that Wordsworth, Jr. is now standing proudly in front of the rosemary wearing an elf hat.  But...and I was not prepared for this...when Wordsworth, Jr. was delivered to my house, he Did Not Come Alone.  No!  He was accompanied by his cousin, Bill.

And, as is perfectly obvious to everyone, when it comes to pink plastic flamingos in one's yard, there can be only one.  So I scampered across the street and bestowed Bill upon A and W.

Now not every neighbor would greet the arrival of Bill with open arms, but A and W are not ordinary neighbors.  They were delighted with the unexpected arrival.   In fact, I was a little disconcerted by their enthusiasm.  That was, of course, before I saw what they had, themselves, of their own free will, added to their living room that very same day:

A Most Unusual Reindeer
Yes, my friends, that is a plaid reindeer.  Plaid.  I mean, I thought I was pushing things with Bill, challenging the standards of good taste and neighborly tolerance, neighbors have a plaid reindeerIn the living room.  Clearly, I am overmatched.  So all hail, A and W! Beloved friends, matchless neighbors, and masters of decorative animal-shaped objects!  Wordsworth, Jr. and I are humbled by your presence.

And I promise to think about moving that empty trashcan any time now.

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