“Well, I’m not sure what we should do, Marci, I just know something must be done. I can’t keep living like this,” Eleanor said with a huff and nervously wrung her hands. She wasn’t the only one who was sick and tired of how their once modest but safe neighborhood of Wimberley Park had steadily been on the decline, ever since they arrived.
Marci, the president of the homeowners association, knew Eleanor was right and it wasn’t the first time a homeowner had brought this same complaint to her. While she had not personally experienced any negative dealings with the new ‘tenants’ she was well aware of the general opinion held by the residents of Wimberley Park- they were riffraff, trouble-makers and most importantly, they were unwanted. Despite her designation as president, there was little Marci could actually do, and the title more or less meant she organized the annual barbeque and the hanging of the neighborhood Christmas decorations. For any matters outside of those events, she was president in name only.
“Maybe we could write them a nice note, asking them politely to, erhm…” Marci wasn’t sure exactly what they could put in a note that would convey the sentiment felt by the neighborhood and hoped Eleanor would jump in.
Known as the town busybody, Eleanor was pushing 85 and had just a little too much time on her hands for her own good. Not one to disappoint, Eleanor pounced on the opportunity to finish Marci’s sentence, her face lit up as she said, “To move! To get out! Pick up and leave! Hit the road! They can have their pick. You know as well as I do that they are bringing down the entire neighborhood. Good people are moving out, parents are afraid to let their children out of doors and worst of all, in my humble opinion, they are just downright… unsightly,” Eleanor spat out this last word like a watermelon seed.
“I understand your frustration, Eleanor, I really do. But like I’ve told you, there really isn’t anything I can do,” Marci replied and tried for the third time to climb into her SUV, she really was running quite late now.
Taking the hint, Eleanor backed away and let her climb into the driver’s seat, talking to her the entire time, “Well, I can see you are in a rush, so I won’t keep you but I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to just sit on this, no ma’am. I’m headed over to Doris’ next and we are completely prepared to go march over there and give them a piece of our minds. I’m too old to be intimidated like this and I refuse to live out the few days I do have left being uncomfortable in my own neighborhood,” and with that she gave Marci a dismissing wave and stomped away, presumably to Doris’.
Letting a small sigh escape, Marci backed her SUV out of the driveway and began to drive down the oak-canopied street. Coming to a stop at the intersection, she looked to her left at the home where all the hubbub was originating. While it wasn’t exactly in keeping with the other homes on the street, it wasn’t exactly awful either. Sure it was a little crowded, and it wasn’t her taste but she could hardly understand what had people up in such arms. “They’re just plants…” she mumbled to herself before continuing on her way, “how can plants cause so much trouble?”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Celebrated Christmas a week early tonight, with my family in town from Colorado for the week. The night was filled with ham, and pecan pie, novelty t-shirts and thoughtful gifts, football and sparkling cider. It was also filled with some interesting stories, as family gatherings tend to be. One story, in particular, tickled my interest, as my Mamaw recounted the trouble she had been having with her garbage disposal. Having backed up on Thanksgiving, it had apparently backed up again yesterday and in addition to spitting out a bunch of bits of food, it also shot out… dirt. Seems that the pipes to my Mamaws’ condo are the same as the condo above hers’ and she is convinced it’s her upstairs neighbors who are the culprits of the clogged up disposal. She believes that when they purchase new plants for their digs (and they have a ton, you can’t even see in through the curtain of leaves and vines and trunks up there) they rinse out the temporary pots in the sink before taking them out to be recycled. At one point someone, I think it was my mom, made the comment, “Well, those plants have caused trouble before,” or something to that effect and my mind immediately went to this image of a gang of trouble-making plants, dressed like thugs, kicking over garbage cans and carousing around the neighborhood just making trouble. The idea still cracks me up.
Love & Squirrels.