“Powerful lot of mendacity” Big Daddy from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

I really need to get the doorbell fixed. I heard knocking yesterday afternoon and saw a young Latina standing on the porch. When I opened the door she immediately started talking without introducing herself about complaints she’d received about her property next door.  The front yard is overgrown with weeds, a tire is in the middle of the weeds. A stripped out truck sits in the driveway next to an engine on a stand. A dark purple Pontiac Sunbird from Nevada sits in front of the house, unmoved in the last three weeks. I interrupted her by asking her name, I introduced myself and then opened the door and joined her on the porch.

She was wearing a maroon uniform, such as one wears at a fast food restaurant. Little charms decorated the breast pocket. Small crude tattoos adorned her hand. She was short with long black hair and an argument readily made in her defense about how the state of their property was getting them into hot water with their “realtor” and that I should have come to them first if I had a problem with what was going on at their house.

Her husband, still in his mechanics uniform, looking like the glum gorilla he always looks like, came over and silently glared. I extended my hand and greeted him. At length, Ericka, said that she knew the people who had lived in my house before (?), that her boys had played with them (?) that I was new to the block (?) and why pick on her property when others were in bad shape as well. She said that the truck in the driveway does work (?) (although she didn’t mention the engine that sits along side the truck). She also went on to say that they don’t have a lawn mower, they work long hours and they hope to buy the house by the end of the year.

I stopped her at that point and pointed out that: I had been born in the house I was living in; I grew up on the street we were both looking at; I rattled off the names of the owners of the houses around us back in the 60s; I was trying to keep my place looking nice; I picked their place because it was next to mine; and I had a lawn mower and weed wacker they could borrow if they wanted.

Her fabrications about my history on the block, who had lived in my house up until I moved in in 2015, and other attempts to justify her position to maintain the neglect on their property were laughable. I could have refuted them willy-nilly but I focused on what might be accomplished: get the weeds cut down and make the front yard looking presentable. They both strike me as being dumber than rocks but as nasty as wasps.

Will they fix up their property? I doubt it. Irrigate the yard? Hah! The backyard is an absolute wasteland. She did mention that a raptor once lived in the tall branches of the dead cottonwood tree in the backyard. I allowed that, as a kid, I had climbed it’s branches.

In the end, I thanked them for coming over. I repeated my offer to use the lawn mover and weed wacker to cut down their growth of weeds in the front. They said they’d be getting to that this weekend. I’m not holding my breath. They said if I have any further problems with their property, to come directly to them.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to fix my doorbell.

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