Monday, June 29, 2009

Do I Take That as a "No"?

Another beautiful Sunday morning starts on T, L & C's schedule. Even with fans in the window and door during the night to keep the bedroom cooled off, the icemaker easily penetrated the "white noise" at 6:40 a.m. In a virtual repeat of two weeks ago, I again decided to enjoy my breakfast al fresco and as far away as possible from my neighbors' noise - icemaker rumbling and squealing through its cycles, yard radio blaring (this time on KJOY), the two little dogs yapping, and the Harpies hollering at each other across the gravel business yard.

What I didn't know was that I walked right into another drama that spilled out onto the street and across the way. Balancing the bowl of cereal with milk and the insulated cup of iced spiced cider, I set up the folding chair in the morning shade just outside the yellow gate. Moments later, Corky and a woman named Gail came out the neighboring driveway and crossed the street diagonally from 810 Fishback to 785 Fishback, which house is directly across from mine. Lynda followed them as far as the sidewalk and hollered (bellowed is too big a word for such a miniscule person) some other things at them, still trying to impose control on everyone and everything.

The subject of the front yard entertainment, which was now disturbing my hoped-for peaceful breakfast, was Cody, a dog resembling Lynda in age and in his propensity to bark at everyone and everything. Corky kept Cody in the front yard of the vacant house, vacant for more than the two-plus years I've lived across from it. Old Cody's purpose was to guard the unoccupied house, and he did a very good job of barking at every cyclist riding by, every dog out walking its master, and every group of noisy kids sauntering along this street behind the high school. He was a great watchdog, his barked warnings often taken up in chorus by the neighbors' pack of hair-trigger junkyard dogs.

Anyway, Gail was acquiring Cody. She walked him away on a leash with instructions to call Animal Control for his registration information. A couple hours later Corky and Lynda were in the yard across the street loading up the dog house and plastic pools (for water) into one of their big, shiny, black pickup trucks for delivery to Cody's new owner. My guess is that the owners of 785 Fishback decided they want to prep the old place for sale, so Cody had to go.

What a sight that was of Lynda and Corky in their summer daytime uniform - small black sports bras, khaki shorts, and boots with scrunched down socks. I considered taking a picture of them out on the public street - especially after what took place earlier - but I couldn't find my camera because I was scrubbing my corneas with sandpaper, trying to remove the image burned there. You know what I'm talking about - some women just ought not wear certain things after certain physiological changes take place (if you dare, see the cartoons of "Maxine," drawn by John Wagner, or "Granny," drawn by Robert Brown.)

Oh, yes, earlier. . . During Cody's removal, Lynda edged closer and closer toward me inside the chain link fence by the sidewalk. Of course, she wanted to be party to the happenings across the street, but my mere presence was thwarting her almost irrepressible desire to verbally interject in the proceedings. Her attention was obviously split, judging from the frequent, furtive glances my direction. She retreated southward when Gail and Cody took off northward. Within a few yards, Gail realized she dropped her cell phone somewhere in Cody's former pen during the jostling of the excited dog and the two of them returned to look for it, Lynda joining them in the search. The phone was found, cell phone war stories were exchanged, and cell phone features compared before dog and mistress again left.

Now, mind you, Lynda is the sharpest cookie in the kitchen utensil drawer. I had finished my Grape Nuts and was nursing my iced cider while contemplating the just completed tableau, when my photophobic neighbor came along the sidewalk to stand directly facing me - with her camera phone open and ready. Without my permission, she took several images of me taking my leisure over a Sunday morning breakfast on my own lawn. The exchange went like this:

Me: Good morning, Lynda.

She: (No answer, but proceeded to take several images on her camera phone.)
Me: Do you want me to smile?
She: I wish you would. (Finished taking a few pics, she turned to go.) By the way, I'm not moving the ice machine.
Me: Not yet.
She: I'm not moving it. I tried working with you. . . (Classic Lynda communication style, letting her sentences trail off as she walks away.)
She: (yelling from her driveway) You sit there, no friends, no family. No wonder you're so ugly!

Poor, desperate, black widow, Lynda S Allen, had shot her wad. I did not respond to her verbal ejaculation.

That brief dialogue (which sounded very much like a monologue) indicates that Lynda rejects my counter-offer of moving the icemaker PLUS a two-year business sunset provision. The signs were there. In the week after the counter-offer, there was not a single preparation undertaken to move the icemaker. Quite the opposite, a pile of 4x4's, 2x4's, and fenceboards appeared and, over three days, a new, taller section of fence went up. Additionally, the section rebuilt earlier, close by the icemaker, acquired a new layer of old fenceboards mounted horizontally, and every knothole, chink, and crack blocked to the height of seven feet on my side.

Talk about paranoia! What do they think? That if I can't see the commercial delivery trucks coming and going, or Corky's 3:00 a.m. Ice Bucket Shuffle, then I cannot HEAR those things - and much, much more as they broadcast their business noise over the fence night and day? The yard radio gets louder and louder in an effort to camouflage the operations, substituting their unfortunate taste in music for the hellish noise of the icemaker.

Taking Lynda's response as a "No way!" it appears we are still playing for ALL the marbles.

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