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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gifts for Gab

The doorbell rang at about 7 p.m. I was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on dinner so my husband went to greet our visitor. When he opened the door I heard the voice of our across-the-street neighbor. I peeked through the dining room to see her standing on the front porch facing my husband. She held a zip-loc bag with unidentifiable contents.

Now most people wouldn't get at all suspicious about such things, but most people don't live in my neighborhood, on my street. Most people have never had their crepe myrtles trimmed by the neighbor's yard man. Most people have never been accused of not only owning but somehow producing stray animals from the crawl space under their house. Most people have never had neighbors complaining that the fleas in the neighbor's yard came from their yard. Most people have never endured the thrill of being awarded yard of the month in the newspaper then being stripped of it the very next week.

I feared the neighbor now on our front porch had a chipmunk or a bird in that bag; that perhaps she had found it dead on her lawn and was seeking restitution. Likely, she believed our cat had shredded it or one of our children had popped it off with his BB gun or it got lost in our lawn and in its confusion ran out into the road in front of a car, then laid up in her yard to die an untimely death. Neighborhood scapegoats, such as us, come to fear and expect situations like this.

A known coward, I went back to the kitchen and let my husband handle it. Shortly he closed the door and came into the room carrying the zip-loc baggie with the meaty creature all wadded inside. "She made you keep it?" I exclaimed.

"Yeah," he said, tauntingly. "I'm going to put it in the fridge for later."

"For what?!" I squeaked.

"For Kerksey Belle."

"That dog catches plenty of her own chipmunks. We don't need any of the ones the neighbors brought by," I huffed. "What did we do now anyway?"

"Nothing." He looked at me sideways. "It's steak scraps for Kerksey Belle."

"And?" I asked, knowing there was more to the visit than that.

"And," he laughed, "she wanted to know what exactly we're doing in the front yard with those columns."

"So she came bearing gifts so she could ask nosy questions about our architectural elements and get away with it," I summarized. "And then report back to everyone else."

"She wanted to make sure that it's just for Halloween and not permanent."

"Then we'll leave it up until Christmas," I vowed.

I never said we didn't bring this stuff on ourselves.

1 comment:

bbhinds said...

Let me tell you those columns would be coveted here in Chevy Chase, MD. These people take their Halloween decorations seriously. I think They will look great with a couple of wreaths and some garland! Happy Holidays.