Monday, May 4, 2009

Neighbors New and Old . . .

I was walking my dog the other day . . . because I'm trying to be the pack leader, thank you Cesar Milan. ANYWAY, we were ending our walk and were crossing back over to my little street when I saw something strange down at the end of my block by my house. There was a large, old, shirtless man with a towel around his neck. He wasn't "big boned" large but "lots of beer and bacon" large. And he was waving his arms around to air out his armpits. This was mildly interesting to me. There were three others with him and, although I have no idea what their relationship was, I have decided that they were his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law. He was not walking with them but it was clear that they were all together. They were clearly on a mere stroll so it seemed overkill for him to be shirtless . . . with a towel . . . airing out his armpits. But to each his own, right?

As I got closer to him, I wondered if they might be new neighbors and if this fantastic display of old man belly might be an everyday occurrence on my street. My dog was getting more excited as we approached him and he started to drift toward the man, wagging his tail. I noticed that as we got closer to him, he moved to the other side of the street, as if I were a car and he needed to give me room to pass. He was clearly not going to be friendly but I said hello anyway . . . because that's what I do. His response? It was a cross between the bleat of a goat and the fit that Sloth pitched when he couldn't reach the Baby Ruth that Chunk threw to him. And he never stopped waving his arms. My dog quickly retreated to the other side of my legs and we all kept walking in our own directions. I quickly realized two things: 1) they would clearly not be inviting me over for dinner and 2) my dog would be no help if I ever got attacked by a man waving his arms and grunting unintelligibly.

It got me thinking about how my family has had some interesting neighbors in its time. We've had some AWESOME ones, of course but we've had some crazy ones, too. For instance, there's the lady on my mom's street who walks her big American Standard Poodle over to everyone else's yards to poop and won't say hello when you try to talk to her. Or the guys next door to us in college who kept their windows covered in foil . . . why? But I think the best bad neighbor we've ever had was Kevin Carnes.

Kevin was a bully who lived on our street in Garland when I was 5-7. He was horrible. When I was 6ish, he and his brothers turned a hose on me and knocked me off of my bike and then proceeded to rip my shirt off of me. I hope you're as horrified as I was when this repressed memory came back to me a couple of years ago . . . :)

I remember one day, he ran over my sister's legs with his bike and we ran in to tell my mom. She was admittedly a little crazy back then so this was a bold move on our part - would we solve our bully problem or lose our mom to a federal prison? As we expected, she was seriously DISpleased to hear that this boy was, yet again, bullying her kids and she went outside to take care of the situation. I remember watching her walk across the street to where Kevin was standing, her muu muu blowing forebodingly in the wind. Kevin's face went white and a shout of victory went up from our side of the street. We had pulled out the big guns and had won the battle! A mad mom in a muu muu is TERRIFYING.

For years I have reported that my mom told Kevin that if he ever messed with her kids again, she would rip his arms off and beat him with the bloody stumps. However, my mom recently corrected me . . . it turns out that she told him that if he ever came near her girls again, she would rip off his arms and stuff the bloody stumps into his ears and then, if he ever wanted to ring a doorbell, he'd have to lean in with his head.

That's much better . . . don't you think?

Well, I better get some sleep. I have a walk with my dog in the morning and I need to be alert . . .


Emma said...

Ahhhh, memories!! That family was the Devil inCARNEate!! And you're quite right, Catch, I don't think there is anything more terrifying than a mad momma in a muu muu!!!! It is probably internationally recognized. And what is up with that sweaty new neighbor??? You never really thought Jacques would be much of a back up did you?

Keep 'em coming, Catch! :)

Alana said...

Im sitting here laughing out loud again... and tiffany says, "Are you reading Catherine's blog?" I reply, "yep"- and she responds, "Are you addicted to Catherine?... or should I say you are her stalker"

Its true!... My name is Alana Bookhout, And I am a Catherine-chronicle addict.

thanks for being my enabler.

Unknown said...

I KNEW I shouldn’t have read this at work this morning. Here I am sitting at my desk chuckling. TRYING not to get too loud as my body is convulsing. And we all know that my jello figure …. Well you know what happens to jello when you wiggle it. So I am trying to keep the jiggling to a minimum, the laughter to a low giggle, as I am wiping the tears out of my eyes. Thank goodness you have only written three of them so far. First, I agree with the whole dying naked thing. I mean what if you were in the shower when you decided to leave this earth? How long would you have to be in there before someone would realize you weren’t just taking a long shower? Would you completely run out of hot water and then turn cold? When someone found you, you would already be cold and slippery. Would they try to dry you off before they began dragging your slippery body out of the shower? How would that work exactly? Don’t tell me they wouldn’t look! Come on. EVERYONE looks!! And you KNOW that image would haunt them for the rest of their life. I’ve got an idea just so this never happens to any of my loved ones. I won’t take showers anymore. Ok, that won't work. Secondly, the pictures at that restaurant, come on really? Why? I kept waiting for that girl to walk towards me dragging one leg as saliva comes out of her mouth and she moans like Igor. Yesp mathster. And the guy with one hand in his pants? You have been a prosecutor too long already to make such comments. So yesterday Joley told me she read your blog and she is hooked. She loved it so much she pulled it up at her mother’s house and read it out loud to her. She and I both agree. We are ready for M’elpya’ to be written….. ok but don’t spell it that way…..

Unknown said...

Lots of Moms in muu muus or otherwise proclaim "no one messes with my kids". But, I'm probably the only one who threatened bloody, bodily harm to anyone who dared to hurt my girls. In case anyone harbors such a plan now, just know that I still have that muu muu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emma said...


I had never heard the "lean in to ring the doorbell" ending. That just shows how far she was willing to take the threat (as if it hadn't already gone far enough)! Cold. Calculating. Evil. And then to have her comment that she still has the foreboading muu muu -- LMAO! Is there anyone who wears a muu muu who isn't foreboading?