My neighborhood – redux

I tell people that if the real estate boom had just continued a year longer, my neighborhood would be fantastic. The houses would have fresh paint, lawns would be bright green and flush with rich fertilizer, not brown and decaying, and fences would be standing, not leaning and cracking. Butterflies would flutter from manicured yard to yard, and hummingbirds would drink from flowers, not puddles of radiator fluid.

Two of my nearest neighbors dream of running me over in their cars. Or another way to dispose of me where I suffer a slow, painful death while they watch, delivering a kick to my kidneys when needed. One of those neighbors parks his cars on his lawn. A classy sight. And I ask: What two houses have the police visited the most in my 15+ years of living here? Hmm, let me think.

What’s black and gray and cracked all over?

Can you blame me for wanting to build a wall around my house?

Police helicopters find my neighborhood enjoyable to visit. Maybe I need an opaque bubble, not a wall.

At over 1,800 square feet, our house is well below the national average of 2,480 sq ft in 2011. I want a bigger house so I can fill it up with junk and long for an even bigger house.

The city recently replaced the corner curbs with handicap-friendly tapered corners. I’m happy they did. Unfortunately, they forgot to fix the broken sidewalks, which are cracked and raised, making it a Disneyland-like adventure to charge down them in anything with wheels. Scootering requires one’s complete attention to avoid the 6-inch raised sections of concrete that come out of nowhere and cause your heart to skip a beat when you fly off of your scooter like a circus-cannon performer.

Empty shopping carts litter the streets. Neighbors play a game at night and move them in front of someone else’s house. Good one, you got me, Mr. Joker. This goes on until the day the basket-wrangler shows up and herds them back to the store.

My neighborhood reveals an ongoing recession, not recovery. Where there used to be large construction waste bins in front of every other house, there is only one now. It’s reminds me of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It stands out, the giant, ribbed-metal container, a reminder of more prosperous times. I threw a stick high into the air, but it came back to earth and missed the dumpster. Bad shot.

People in my neighborhood don’t say hi when you walk past them on the street. (Or, they don’t say hi to me, which kind of makes sense, especially when I’m wearing my “I’m contagious, stay the f**k away” shirt.)

People half a mile beyond live in larger houses with green lawns and park their cars in driveways and garages not filled with items for 10 year’s worth of garage sales. Okay, it’s a not a scientific study. I’ve fixed it to support my case. I admit that. Maybe. I’m not sure. I can say this: the houses a half a mile away are in better shape. The ratio of brown lawns filled with dandelions and weeds to nice houses with maintained grass is 1 in 30 houses. In my neighborhood, it’s closer to 10 in 30.

This may not look like much, but hitting one while riding a Razor is like hitting a wall. And this is a mild one.

“Romney for President” signs grace many of the lawns cluttered with car parts and rusty lawn furniture. I don’t have the heart to tell them they will be in the 47% of us churned into Soylent Green when he becomes king. They pray for the second coming of Reagan, at least that’s what one of them told me today. Mitt Reagan or Ronald Romney? I like the latter name. Catchy, like Richie Rich.

On the upside, there is not one plastic pink flamingo to be found in my neighborhood. Garden gnomes, yes. But pink flamingos, no.

Life is good after all in my neighborhood, though I suspect if someone did place a pink flamingo on their yard it would get stolen.

(BTW, please visit my eBay page. I’m having a sale on Pink Flamingo lawn ornaments. Mention this blog post and get 5 for the price of 1. You’re welcome.)

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