Neighbors and Other Suburban Wildlife

Good morning everyone and welcome to today’s installment, “Neighbors and Other Suburban Wildlife”. I’m joined by TV legend, Mr. Rogers, and editorial intern Melanie Williams, quoting from her book, “The Reader’s Digest Practical Problem Solver”, circa 1991, page 142, column 2, “Neighbors”.

 

**canned applause**

Jolie: “Thank you both for being here with us. I’d like to begin with an obvious question for Mr Rogers. In your expert opinion, Fred, would you consider a good neighbor to be elderly, retired, and nosy…or young, raising five children, and cranky?”

Fred: “Thank you for asking. Is the elderly neighbor wearing a cardigan? Does the young mother have her lace-up shoes on?”

Jolie: “Mr Rogers, the question is more about which house on the street produces the most stress on the neighborhood. For example, in order to be a good neighbor, would a house full of bachelors need to invite the young mother over for a beer when they throw their monthly motorcycle club soirees?”

Melanie: “Excuse me, but neighbors need not be nuisances. Invite your neighbors over occasionally. Make sure they know the layout of your house and make an effort to learn theirs. Such knowledge could be important in a crisis.”

Jolie: “Sorry Melanie. No can do. My grandmother did that once and the minute she left for vacation, the neighbors cleaned out her house. Left a bit of wire on the wall and that’s it. Took every clock and cabinet. The cops were all “smh” over it.”

Fred: “Must’ve lived on Sesame Street.”

Melanie: “To smooth year-round relationships, establish a council with the authority to consider such neighborhood problems as roaming dogs, loud parties, and unkempt lawns.”

Jolie: “That’s called an HOA and most neighbors find them the biggest nuisance of all. Most of my hood want the right to throw a quinceanera into upwards of three in the morning and we replaced our lawn with tidy flat dirt years ago because of the drought. I mean. My neighbors did. Um. Fred?”

Fred: “Bob Dog was a dancer. I wouldn’t describe it as roaming. Melanie, if Bob Dog was dancing in your front yard, wouldn’t you think he was a good neighbor?”

Melanie: “Some people prefer to keep their distance from neighbors….”

Jolie: “Of course, if you live in an apartment complex, you might have neighbors stomp around overhead while you’re trying to sleep or throw your laundry right out of the washing machines to make room for theirs…”

Fred: (pulling out a puppet) “Is this the Neighborhood of Make-Believe?”

Melanie: “Why not start a neighborhood newsletter? The kids can be reporters.”

Jolie: “Um, yes, Fred, it must be. Melanie, if you see kids roaming the streets with paper, it’s toilet paper and they are on their way to TP their rival football team captain’s front yard. They are going to pick oranges from the next house over and throw them at passing busses on the way home.”

Fred: “Officer Clemmons would have to think about that one.”

Melanie: “If fruit has gotten overripe, don’t throw it away. Puree it in a blender with a little lemon juice and spoon the result over ice cream.”

Jolie: “Melanie, you’ve skipped over to page 93. And why do you sound like Siri? Reader’s Digest doesn’t pay their interns very well. I’m afraid we’re out of time, Mr Rogers, if you could just queue up the trolley? Thank you. Gentle readers of the blog, if you have any pesky neighbor questions for Fred or Melanie, please leave them below in the comment box and they will reply as soon as possible.”

Fred: “That’s one thing that helps to make good friends: playing together.”

The Forgetful Files is a safe, supportive space exploring different life challenges and big questions with courage, kindness, humor, and practicality. Please join the conversation by offering your unique perspective!

Comment (4)

  • Andrea| February 25, 2019

    Haha! Fun(ny) one!

  • Ingrid| February 25, 2019

    Haha! No..
    Once inside I dashed upstairs to get baby ( ..fast asleep:), then into the car seat , grabbed keys & phone & we made it just in time for 3pm pick up.
    Once we were back to the driveway I retrieved the kitchen knife with flyers! from the mailbox lol..

  • Ingrid| February 24, 2019

    Since I am the younger cranky one with a bunch of kids, I’ll say the retired, nosy one makes the better neighbour. Here’s why:
    Just the other day I was doing my thing in kitchen, chopping with a sharp knife & i realized it was time to pick up the kids. I stepped out the door in flip flops knife in hand to get crazy dog in pen. Door would not open. It was jammed, not locked, no hope. No other way back in. Babys upstairs on the bed. I have no car keys, no phone, just flip flops track pants & tshirt on. Its winter here, & a skating rink outside. After trying for a bit, I walk out the driveway, throw knife in mailbox, & head down the road to the next house. A pick up truck comes & it’s the neighbour whose driveway I’m standing in. Older, retired, not sure if he’s nosy. I borrow his phone & make a quick call to hubby but then decide to hop in. We drive in his lane, he grabs a wrench from his garage & we head back to my place. He prys open the door. Problem solved.
    Another youngish cranky woman with a bunch of kids wouldn’t have been coming along in pick up truck & likely wouldn’t have lived next door.
    If she did however, I likely wouldn’t have gone knocking.

    • Jolie Tunnell| February 24, 2019

      That is such a great story! Yay for neighbors with wrenches! But I REALLY need to know….whether you still have a knife in your mailbox?! :~)

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