Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

By now, you all must know about the love I have for my brotha from anotha motha, I'm Not Benny.

Well, the other day I had a moment that seemed to suggest that if we are not cosmically related, then maybe his antics are actually contagious.

(In summary, either we're super awesome, or I'm Not Benny needs to be quarantined.)

Right. So, this weekend I noticed that a neighbor had put out some furniture by the road with a FREE sign attached to the grouping. At first, I didn't look too closely; we've pretty much got enough shit to sit on around here.

But on my way back from the store, I realized that the chairs they'd set out match our dining set perfectly. Who doesn't need some extra chairs? FREE ONES?!

I told my mother to remain behind since the kids were asleep and generally, it's good for children to remain supervised. There were only three chairs. SURELY I could manage that on my own.

Well, getting a grip on three pieces of furniture is remarkably challenging, as it turns out. For me, anyway. I weaved some fingers around two chairs and grabbed the remaining one with my left hand. After about five steps, I realized that this was a stupid, stupid idea as my hand was simultaneously feeling broken and asleep. Should I set them down and reposition?

No. Of course not. Instead, I started to run. It seemed better to just get the whole ordeal over with. It's kind of weird to be taking someone's stuff, anyway, right? What if he came out proclaiming, "WE'VE CHANGED OUR MINDS! THAT WAS GRANDMOTHER'S FAVORITE!"

So there I am, jogging down the street with someone else's dining room chairs clanking about my thighs, all the while muttering "ouch, mother fucker!" under my breath. It was at this point that I think I heard the neighbor shouting behind me to see if I wanted some help. Perhaps THIS made me stop? Pause? Reposition?

Nope. Not a chance.

I was too far gone people. Too. Far. Gone. So I kept running down the road, up my driveway, and directly into the garage. Where I hid until I was certain he went back indoors.

I should let you know that later, my mother decided she wanted the table. THIS predicament involved a neurotic dog, a FREE sign taped to my mother's back, and more nervous, hurried shuffling while fingers broke free from our hands.

This time, we were caught red-handed:

Neighbor: Hey! The dog was going crazy in here...need some help? I think I saw you with the chai--

Me: [Clearly needing help. Also, denying/ignoring association with chairs.] Oh, I don't think so! Gosh, this feels silly, huh? I'm not stealing am I?

Neighbor: [Noticing sign taped to my Mother.] Is she free, too?

Mother: [Nervous laughter.]

Me: [Nervous laughter.]

Neighbor: [Awkward, forced laughter.]

Mother: ...

Me: ...

Neighbor: ...

Me: [Thinking I can make a quick exit with a 200 pound table and an ailing mother.] Alrighty then! Thanks so much for the stuff! See you around! [Hurried shuffle. Mother complaining. Me biting at her under my breath.]

[After moving about 3 inches.]

Neighbor: SURE you don't need some help? I mean, I can...

Me: Nope, good as gold! Thanks! [To mother, whispered] Get a damn GRIP woman; let's MOVE it!


Listen, my mother's strong-like-bull so don't get all weepy on me. Plus, it's good to work for something that's free, right? Don't want her to grow up just EXPECTING things to be handed to her! But, really, the neighbors are moving soon, so I'll be in my garage until the whole thing blows over. Could someone check on the kids for me?


  1. Wow, that is so cool that you get to take free stuff from your neighbours! Until Sunday I was pretty sure that all my neighbours had all died in their houses because I haven't seen then in like five months.

    And then yesterday while I was in my driveway I ran into my neighbour and we both kind of had this awkward moment while thinking "Huh, so they didn't die alone in their house".

    Boy was that awkward.

  2. Nice one. Guess that's why they say nothing is free.

  3. i can imagine it all. my favorite part is when you yell at your mother. that could've totally happened to me.

  4. I, uh, have a recliner that I may or may not be setting out by the street this weekend.

    Do with that as you will.

  5. I LOVE free stuff on the road! That's where I got my favorite t-shirt!

  6. AHAHAHAA! Embarrassing! I only take free shit from my neighbors under the cover of darkness...or with a really thick pair of black pantyhose yanked over my head.

  7. The picture of you running down the street with chairs bumping into you made me CRACK UP!!

  8. Holy crap, this made me laugh until I teared up. I'm pretty sure that we are the coolest people on the entire planet.

    My couch I had before this one was totally taken from the side of the road. That was my ex's sole contribution to our relationship. I just came home from work one day and there it was: the garbage couch. I have to admit that it was a pretty kick ass couch, though. Way more kick ass than the ex, it turned out. She left. I kept the couch.

    The couch I have now came from an estate sale. I think an old lady might have died on it. So I'm not sure which is better- the garbage couch or the dead lady couch. Still pretty comfy, in any case. Possibly haunted.

  9. Mom needs to learn to move her ass. No time for dillydally when free shit is to be had.

    P.S. INB is da bomb.

  10. At one point my entire house was furnished in garbage pile chic. Those were the days! If you're going to dumpster dive, do it proudly! (Even if it's at your neighbors.) Just smile and say, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" and they'll think you're all noble and shit.

  11. One time I set out an old coffeemaker. Between the time it took me to put it on the curb and walk back to my front door - a walk that took maybe 30 seconds - it was gone. Vanished. I heard and saw nothing. Perhaps Keyser Soze took it.

  12. here in my town (Philadelphia) there is free stuff outside all the time! I swear every time someone gets something new, they will tell you whose garbage it came out of!

    I love that system. So much better than buying new stuff.

  13. I do this all the time. I wait till dark to take the stuff so no one sees me. One day the cops are going to shoot me for stealing free stuff.
    Also, I try to carry all the groceries into the house in one trip.