Tuesday, 8 September 2015


These Are the Pinheads in Your Neighbourhood

The trouble with a neighbourhood is the neighbours.

Our house is sandwiched between the homes of unhinged, elderly solitaries who seem to have declared a demented race with one another toward the murky realm of utterly batshit crazy. Get those walking canes on the marks, folks! It’s amusing until it becomes annoying. The shrill voices of these unremarkable, regressing lives are angry, full of insane and incoherent complaint. And frankly, to be uncharitable, Ann and I are sick of hearing it. Scream ‘Fuck!’ at your blind poodle or the night sky inside, please, maybe from the furnace room?

Ann guesses our house was built in 1954 as the blueprints date from December 1953. This place was built solidly utilizing quality materials and proper workmanship. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore. A little over two years ago, Ann decided it was time to upgrade the original cedar exterior planking. Since the skin was coming off, the contractor suggested fortifying the bungalow with an additional layer of insulation, essentially doubling or tripling the integrity of the barrier between us and seven months of nipple-erecting cold.

Perhaps unpatriotically, we’d no issues with being warm and comfortable. Four or five rolls of foiled bubble wrap were subsequently dropped off on our driveway. My first thought was, ‘If I was still a kid, I’d so be making myself a Martian spacesuit.’ The bonus bales of insulation caused some consternation on our street. The next morning when I went outside to collect the Journal and the Globe I found a desktop printout, timed 12:17 am, in our mailbox. It was a screed from a bean-eating, gun-polishing, Vermont-based, off-the-grid (though blogging), eco-warrior, purporting to rip the lid off of the manufacturer’s conspiratorially inflated R-rating claims. I stood on the porch a moment gazing up and down the street. I thought, ‘Fuck. You fucking pinhead whoever you are, thank you for your valued input.’

Somebody in the neighbourhood last night changed out three General Electric four-foot fluorescent light tubes. I know this because a trio of burnt out casings were neatly sequestered behind our trash bins in the back lane this morning. I hissed ‘Fuck!’ at the weeds sprouting through the fissure in the concrete. Ann and I will drop them at one of Edmonton’s eco stations on our next visit. If I had any idea who left them for us I would hurl the tubes at their car or house because those glassy vacuums POP! pretty good, as I recall from a long ago bout of juvenile vandalism or one of my first part time jobs.

Dog owners are a special breed, aren’t they, kissy-kissy with rescued, flea-ridden, feces machines. Only drug runners are comfortable carrying bags of shit. Our household garbage is collected every Thursday. I often come across gifts from neighbours a few days later when I haul out a new black sack. There’s a doggie bag fermenting at the bottom of one of our damp and fetid plastic bins. I mutter ‘Fuck!’ and re-bag it because the garbage man has too much dignity to pluck it out and because nobody should ever, ever have to stoop to pick up somebody else’s shit.

I smoke 25 cigarettes a day. That means I have a lighter, a spare and a book of matches. If I ever find out who our doggie donor is, I will take their bag of shit and set it afire on their front step. I will ring their doorbell. And because I’m all grown up now, I will not run away.

No comments:

Post a Comment