Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Good Fences

They say that good fences make good neighbors! Here's proof!
The following story is mostly true (with a tad bit of embellishment), but the names have been changed to protect the innocent:
My friend, Tess, is an avid gardener- or at least she used to be. She loves gardening so much that she founded and became the President of our local gardening club. She has a huge backyard and the first time I saw it I was inspired to go home and weed & seed! It was incredible-- huge azaelas, elephant ears, calla lillies, ginger, irises, tulips, etc. Beauty was found in every square inch of the yard. Tess used to spend all of her free time working in the backyard- meditating and relaxing as she felt Mother Earth in her hands.
The complete opposite type of yard could be found just next door at Leo's house. Leo and his family have lived in their home for years, and it shows. The backyard is overgrown-- not a flower in sight. This didn't bother Tess- she had some hedges that were tall enough to block out the view, and Leo and his hillbilly family mostly kept to themselves-- staying indoors, drinking their beers and passing out early in the afternoon.
Then one day, everything changed- Leo's son, Bubba, won the lottery-- $600,000! White trash with money is pretty bad, but white trash with money living right next door became Tess's downfall. At first it wasn't too bad. New cars started showing up next door-- Camaro's, Trans Ams, pick up trucks. Then they invested in an above-ground-pool for the backyard. They spent all of their time on the deck by the pool, overlooking Tess's backyard. No matter what time Tess went into her backyard "sanctuary", Leo or one of his boys would be sitting on the deck- just above the height of her boundry line hedges. "Hey, Tess, you working in your yard again?", they'd holler at her. Tess would try to retreat into her serine gardening atmosphere, but it was useless-- "Is them petunias your planting there, Tess? We gotta get us some of them", as if petunias would grow in soil that was covered in empty beer cans and cigarette butts. "You wanna come swimming with us? The rule is 'No bathing suits allowed'-- hahahaha!". It got to the point that Tess could no longer go into her backyard, at any time of the day or night without one of the hillbilly's commenting on her every action, so she gave it up. Her backyard became overgrown, her peace of mind and sense of tranquility had vanished. Tess turned her attention away from the backyard and focused on potted plants for her front porch instead. And every night, Tess prayed to God that termites would infest the deck that her rich, white trash neighbors valued so much.
After a few months, Tess's prayers were answered. We had several big storms and after-effects from the hurricanes that bombarded the east coast. The above-ground pool overflowed, folded and collapsed, taking most of the deck with it. It looked as if peace would finally be restored and Tess thanked God for lending a helping hand in her time of need. As Tess lay in bed, dreaming of retaking her backyard again, Leo was online ordering lumber from Home Depot, using up the last of his son's lottery winnings. The lumber was delivered a couple of days later and Leo & his boys undertook a huge task-- building a bigger, better deck than before. They didn't even consider replacing the pool- they never used it anyway because no one would ever join them in it. Who in their right mind wants to go skinny dipping with a bunch of drunk good-old boys? But they loved having a deck and decided they wanted one the size of their backyard. They spent days and weeks building-- hammering and sawing all day and night. They ended up with a deck that was bigger than their house. This time it was a few feet higher, just so they could get a better view of Tess's backyard. They filled the deck with white plastic lawnchairs, all situated to look towards Tess's once beautiful backyard in hopes that she would fix it up again soon.
These days Tess only visits her backyard occasionally-- just to water the boundry line hedges with extra strength Miracle-Gro, in hopes that they will someday hide the view from next door. She's a patient woman and she feels confident that within 10 -12 years, she will regain her privacy and she'll once again be able to work in her yard unnoticed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

leo is my mamma's cousin's baby's daddy twice removed.
i remember the day they got that darn lottery ticket. they took that dollar from arlene's bra strap bank account and bought the ticket. arlene was madder than a wet settin' hen in a winter freeze. least ways, she was until they actually won some money. lord, then did she cry about how that was her money and she was a going to call f.lee bailey if they didn't pay up. so leo, smart ass that he is, gave her the dollar back and says, "we're even". now you think that might have made her happy but it didn't (although she did re-pin that dollar bill back under her left tit like it was gonna run if she didn't). she was so jealous about everything that leo and them did that she tried duplicating it in a way that she could afford. when they built the deck, she made one out of cinder blocks, tire rims and milk crates. when they put in the above ground pool, she lined the bed of her pick-up truck with visqueen and filled in with water, arranging the milk crates and cinder blocks to make a little sunbathing area so she could lay out with jimmy ray jr. while she was nursing him. it made for a peculiar sun tan i can tell you. some catholics down the street saw it and thought it was a miraacle appearance of the baby jesus and arlene the holy mother. lord, the only thing sacred to that woman is the missionary position. it got so bad with the flocks of worshippers that she had to quit for a while. until she figured out she could charge admission. so she pulled in another truck and filled in with ice and beer. she laid out with little jimmy ray jr., drank herself into a stupor (it helped ease the sunburn) and had sissy take up the collection. soon enough, she made enough money to put skirting on the trailer, screens in the window and have her front teeth capped. leo got mad that she made out any how and thought maybe she had done something to cause the hurricanes to blow away their deck like their beer drinking habits had blown away their cash. but arlene said, "never you mind. if the good lord won't provide, then fema will." in the end, they made up. leo has been in better spirits since the new deck went up and arlene is content with her baby jesus tan. next thing she buys is going to be a bigger pick-up truck. that way, she'll have the biggest pool in the trailer park.
looks like the good lord and a healthy dose of sunshine does provide.

7:22 AM


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