“I just wanted it to stop! I didn’t mean to… I just wanted it to stop…”
“Good evening, I’m Juliet Freemont and those were the words uttered by George Douglas as he was led away by police today in a small suburb of Dallas, having been charged and arrested with the attempted murder of his next door neighbor. We’ll have live coverage of this developing case later this evening, but first… the Dillyworth 65th Annual Cat Parade. Correspondent Doug Vickers is reporting live from the Dillyworth High School Gymnasium where the event will kick off tomorrow, Doug what can you tell us about this year’s parade?”
Justin clicked off the TV and tossed the remote on the coffee table, barely missing the porcelain figurine of a black and white tabby cat. If there was anything Justin hated more than watching the local news in their two stop light town it was the God-awful Dillyworth Cat Parade. Having lived his entire seventeen years in what he considered the most boring town on the planet where absolutely nothing interesting happened, Justin also had the distinct pleasure of being the son of Silvia Trentbotham- ‘Master of Ceremonies’ of the Dillyworth Cat Parade for some twenty years. “Stupid parade…” he mumbled to himself and slumped down further into the couch.
As if intuiting her beloved parade was being slandered, Silvia whirled into the room like a bagless vacuum, as was her fashion, and placing her hands on her hips scowled at her lay-about son. “What are you doing in here, sitting in the dark? Are you depressed? Justin… are you high?” Silvia asked, her tone going softer at the mention of narcotic use.
Justin sighed heavily. Ever since he had turned thirteen, him mother had got it in her head that her son had somehow become a habitual drug user and interpreted any type of ‘odd’ behavior as confirmation that he was without question- a dope head. In reality, Justin was just acting as teenager boys do and he had never even been inclined to try drugs, let alone abuse them. This juxtaposition usually amused Justin, but today it merely annoyed him.
“Answer me, young man,” Silvia said after several uncomfortable moments of silence, her voice taking on that ‘assistant principal’ sternness that she always tried but rarely pulled off- Justin was convinced she learned it by watching too many After School Specials.
“I’m not high, mom… I’m just bored. Nothing ever happens in this dumb town,” Justin saw his mother’s face fall and quickly added, “other than the parade, of course.”
Silvia’s disposition immediately improved at the mention of her cat parade and joining her son on the couch replied, “Well that simply isn’t true, Justin. Lots of things happen in Dillyworth. There’s the farmer’s market every Saturday where you can be sure to find the best honey in three counties, then there’s Ms. Harmon who won top prize for her wisteria last year, hmm… let’s see, what else, oh yes, the new uniforms for the boys’ volleyball team at DHS and remember last Thanksgiving? That armadillo that somehow found its way onto the holiday table and ruined Mrs. Rodriguez’s lace table cloth and then there was…”
Justin could feel his eyes grow heavy as his mom chattered away about the nonevents of their small town.
“…and then there was the time in my twenties when I accidently killed that young man who was going around pressure washing driveways, wow that was something, oh and the Stanton twins being born in ’88…”
Justin’s eyes popped open, had he heard that right? “Wait, what was that about killing a pressure washer?”
“What dear? Oh! Would you look at that? I’m sitting here gabbing away like an old maid and the dress rehearsal is starting in less than twenty minutes! Gotta dash, honey… there’s chicken in the fridge and I’ll be home around 8:30. Love you!” And with that Silvia disappeared out of the room.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Have you ever had a neighbor who you assume are perfectly nice and normal but for some reason you hate their guts? Something about their hanging flower baskets or perfectly edged lawn or the boat parked in the drive despite not living anywhere near a body of water just rubs you the wrong way and after months and months of sharing a property line every little thing about them makes you hate them a little more. Yes, I’m a crazy person… just stay with me here… So for the past two days just to make sure I was serious about my hatred, these neighbors of mine decided to pressure wash every flat surface they could think of: driveway, sidewalks and the coup de grace- the entire backyard fence line. For two days, from sunup to sun’s-been-down-for-hours-now-please-shut-the-BLEEP-up I’ve had to hear the throbbing mechanical sound of this pressure washer. There were times I thought I was going to lose it- I could feel the vibrations in my teeth it had been going on for so long. The thought of violence did do a slow salsa across my mind for a minute but thankfully (for my neighbor) I am still too sick to act upon this inclination to do bodily harm.
Love & Squirrels.