“Here’s another one, Marcie. Can you believe this? Here I thought we lived in a nice, law-abiding neighborhood. Next thing ya know there are gonna be vagrants setting up tents in our backyard!” Herb shook his head in disbelief as he walked to his garage.
“I just don’t feel safe anymore, Herb. My nerves are all frazzled. You know, my horoscope said that I would encounter misfortune today and that I should just stay inside and wait it out… why didn’t I listen!” Marcie moaned as she followed her husband into their garage.
“If the home-owners association refuses to do anything about this continued harassment and degradation of our property, I might be forced to take matters into my own hands. They wouldn’t like that, I’ll tell you that much,” Herb ranted as he searched for a scrubber from the top of his step-ladder.
“I honestly don’t know what this world is coming to when parents can’t control their brats and law-abiding citizens are forced to suffer the consequences of their lackadaisical parenting. It’s not right, Marcie. I tell ya, it’s just not right,” Herb climbed down from the step-ladder and threw the scrubber in a plastic bucket along with some soap and a few sponges. Picking up the bucket, he hauled it to the front of his driveway and hollered for Marcie to turn on the hose. Looking down at the newest up-cropping of vandalism, Herb shook his head in disgust. “You know what I ought to do. I ought to march down to city hall and demand an officer be sent to patrol the area… that’s what I should do. That would get those little buggers’s attention, I bet,” Herb walked over to where the head of the hose was laying under an azalea bush and brought it over to his bucket. Pouring a decent amount of soap in, Herb held the hose over the bucket and filled it with luke-warm water.
“I just can’t believe no one will help us,” Marcie said as she fanned herself. “Is there no decency left? I mean what kind of people do this,” she continued as she pointed at the sidewalk in front of their house. “I mean what does it even mean? It just looks like gibberish to me,” Marcie paused as a thought she had never considered popped into her brain. “Herb… you don’t think… you don’t think it could be gang signs,” Marcie whispered the last part. “I honestly don’t know, honey. I’m ready to believe anything at this point,” Herb answered as he dunked the scrubber into the sudsy water. “I saw it on Dateline… these gangs go all over town and put up their secret codes and symbols and whatnot… I think they called them ‘tags’ or some such nonsense. Anyway, there were some neighborhoods that were completely covered with the stuff. Business owners couldn’t clean it off quick enough, homeowners just gave up… it was very upsetting,” Marcie had taken hold of the gang angle and was beginning to get worked up.
“Take it easy, Marcie. We don’t know if it’s gang related. What I do know, is that it doesn’t belong in front of my property and I aim to remove it this very instant,” and with a huff, Herb began scrubbing and scouring the sidewalk.
About three hours later, a sweaty, dirty and half-exhausted Herb entered the house and walked over to the fridge for a cold beer. “Well, it wasn’t easy, but I got most of it off. I figure with a little rain, a week or two of foot-traffic, it’ll be completely gone,” he said with satisfaction as he took a big swig from his beer and sat down in his chair.
“Oh thank God! I really don’t know how much longer I could have suffered through, knowing that that heathen gibberish and scribbling was outside my very front door,” Marcie wrung her hands for a moment before settling in to the identical blue micro-suede recliner next to Herbs’. Comforted by the knowledge that their property had been purged of the odious vandalism, Herb and Marcie clicked on the TV and reclined their chairs for a nice night in.
Outside however, in the twilight hours, the vandals had returned. Armed with their preferred mode of self-expression, they set to work on the sidewalk and eventually the driveway without so much as a second thought. The blatant disregard for anything other than their ‘art’, as they called it, was obvious. Soon the sidewalk was freshly covered with jargon and scrawlings and as the light began to fade, the band of vandals gathered their supplies and disappeared into the darkness, their ‘art’ the only evidence they were ever there.
The Not So Fantastical Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Have you ever tried to be creative (or functional) when you are under-the-weather? It’s not so easy. Coming up with something interesting enough to write about has been quite the struggle these last few days (so I apologize if the last couple of stories have not been up to snuff). Today my inspiration took the lazy route. As I sat on the couch wishing for energy to go explore our great big world for something that would jolt my imagination, I crapped out and turned on the TV. One of the shows I was sucked into featured the sidewalk art of some neighborhood kids. I love sidewalk chalk… even now I have a bag of it in the trunk of my car (never know when you need to write a message on cement). I wondered though, if there were people out there who weren’t as fond of this delightfully messy medium as yours truly. I immediately conjured up this quirky, somewhat cantankerous older couple who were ‘terrorized’ by what they saw as graffiti or worse ‘gang signs’ as Marcie put it, when in fact, they were dealing with just a few kids and some sidewalk chalk. Perception is everything I guess. Just to add a bit of color to the story, I decided to break out my chalk and doodle a bit… it’s no Pissarro but it sure does make my driveway look purty.
Ok, well I’m calling it an early night tonight, popping a few Tylonol PMs and getting to bed early… hoping I can sleep away some of this cold.
Love & Squirrelzzz..zzz..zzz..zzz..zzz..zzz…zzz……….