Thursday, April 26, 2012

Neighborhood Watch

I'm somewhat known in my culdesac for being...um...how do you say....lame? That is to say, I'm generally in bed by 10pm, eat dinner at an embarrassingly elderly hour, and, now that the mean temperature in DFW is above 80 degrees, am typically hibernating indoors, huffing the freon.

So, when I was babysitting a friend's kids last week, things were atypical in my house. The place was LOUSY with kids. TVs were blaring, squirt guns were pissing me off, and the cats were well hidden for fear of their very lives. It was a regular jumping-jack jubilee. Whatever the hell that is. The kids were laughing and breathing, so I suppose it's all a very good thing.

As things wound down for the evening, I ordered some pizza, watched five pint-sized boys and girls inhale twenty pieces of pizza, and plopped them in front of the TV for movie hour. It was bedtime for my brood, but the girls' mom was at a concert, due back much later that evening. After only about an hour of National-Guard-worthy-WHYDOTHEYGETTOSTAYUP-riots, the house was finally quiet. My boys were strapped to their beds and the girls were curled up in front of the TV, resisting the urge to doze off so I could watch my age-inappropriate programming.

By the time their mom made it back, it was about 12:30AM. (And it should be known that I have not seen that hour since "tube tops" weren't synonymous with "sausage casing.") SO. When my neighbors happened to stroll by the house around that time, they were kind of alarmed to see lights ablaze and a woman in a gold minivan parked in front of my house. When she made her way to my front door, their alarms (which are basically very similar to my own internal PANIC! system) went off.

The first one (we'll call her E) walked toward the woman at my front door. The second (we'll call her J) recalled our conversation about babysitting from earlier that day, realized everything was kosher and tried to call E off.

E, of course, wasn't having it. She once told me she had my back during a conversation about blunt objects, and DAMN IT ALL TO HELL if she was gonna let me get attacked by a benign-looking mother-of-three at 12:30am on a school night.

E: [To my Mom friend.] Um, excuse me?

Mom friend: [Knocking on my door, now turns and looks, probably wondering if she is about to be kidnapped and taken to Tennessee for organ harvesting.] Yes?

E: Are you here for Kristine?

Mom friend: Um...yeah?

It was around that time that I opened the door. Instantly, because this is motherloving TEXAS, moths and Japanese beetles started swarming into the house.

Me: [Flailing arms at insects.] What the FUCK?! Where'd all these BUGS come from?!


Mom friend: [Looks at both E and me with utter confusion and dismay.]

E: [Seeing my gesturing and discerning a signal for help.] DO YOU KNOW THIS WOMAN?

Me: [Unaware of my neighborly possee, still pissed about the GODDAMN BEETLES] What? E? What are you doing here? What the hell?

J: [Waving from the sidewalk.]

Me: [Snapping at friend] Can you just come inside? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?

E: [As I close the door in her face] Okay then, just making sure everything is---

It wasn't until later, when I received a flurry of texts asking about my well being, that I was able to piece together the details of what happened that night. It may have involved some beer, sleep deprivation, and a general fear of death, but none of that is important.

What IS important here, kids, is that my neighbors are fan-fucking-tastic. With their nightly prowls, slow-minded pitbull, and innate sense for danger, and MY cache of blunt objects, I'm pretty sure I can cancel that order for sharks that I was gonna put in the moat I just dug around my house.

It's gonna be a good summer, I can feel it.