Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Downstairs Neighbors

Our townhouse is set up so that there's a one bedroom flat underneath it. So, when you go in our front door, you have to go up 16 steps to get to the 1st floor. Living in that flat is a couple that fights constantly.

At first glance, they seem nice enough. A little white trashy, but nice nonetheless. They've always been cordial to the kids and don't complain when the Reesey Monster decides to use the couch as a turnbuckle to try out his WWE moves on G-Dogg. They look very, very young and if you were to ask me at gunpoint, I'd say that they're both not much older than 20.

They have all of the classic symptoms of "the couple that fights." One, they're extremely young. Two, whenever they're out in public (be it at the pool, clubhouse or just hanging out on their porch), they're all over each other - especially her. Three, she's very vocal and he barely utters a word. Actually, until the other day, I don't think I ever heard him put a complete sentence together. And, four, he's rather slight (I'd say 5'6" 130 lbs. soaking wet) and she's a little bigger - not exactly overweight, but not slim by any stretch. I'd say that she has him by a good 30 pounds. We'll call him Clueless and we'll call her Willow (I don't know why, but she looks like a Willow to me).

The first sign of trouble was last Tuesday morning around 9. I was making the boys some eggs, bacon and pancakes when we heard Willow yell, "WHY THE HELL IS HER PHONE NUMBER STILL IN YOUR PHONE? YOU PROMISED YOU WEREN'T GOING TO CALL HER ANYMORE!" Nothing like waking up to the smell of yummy food and a potential brawl. Clueless said something back that we couldn't hear and then slammed the door on the way off to...well...somewhere. Curiously, I've never seen either of them leave for a job. How do people live without having an income stream? Anyhow, he was gone the rest of the day and didn't come home that night. I bet I can guess where he crashed that night.

Fast forward to Wednesday early evening - around 6 p.m. Again, I'm making food (dinner this time - beef stir fry) - maybe they're just enraged by the smell of good home cooking? Unbeknownst to us, he had come home, probably reeking of "HER" perfume and Willow (justifiably so) lost it. "GET OUT!! GET OUT!! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!" was our first clue that something was amiss in paradise. G-Dogg and Reesey immediately bolted to the porch to see what was up.  It was as if they could smell the asskickin' coming.  That was followed by someone pounding on the walls and a huge crash (kinda like a plate getting thrown against the wall). Then it came, "SOMEONE HELP ME! HE'S BREAKING EVERYTHING IN THE PLACE! GET HIM THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" Now, if you've been reading for awhile, you know we live in "Party Alley." There's always at least 15 people hanging outside drinking beer on their patios every night. Well, ten of the guys (eight of them were of the larger variety) come scampering across the street to their house. I wasn't about to leave the boys in our place alone or have them come with me to help out. The first thing we hear is Clueless yell "You motherfuckers stop right there! If you come in, I'm pressing charges for trespassing!" One of the guys told him, rather calmly I might add, "You need to leave. If you're this worked up, walk away and come back another time." Clueless pressed on, "Leave my house. I'll go when I'm good and ready!" I lost sight of one of the bigger guys then realized that he had entered their flat and was pushing Clueless out the front door. "You're not going to do any further damage here tonight," he said. Clueless, now mind you he's about a buck thirty and the dude that's pushing him out the front door looks like he could be a linebacker in the NFL, tells him, "You better get your fuckin' hands off of me before you draw back stumps." At that point, I laughed right out loud. I wanted to see that happen. I wanted to see Clueless take his best swipe at Linebacker. However, I didn't want my boys to see someone maimed, so I was glad that Linebacker kept a cool head. After Clueless realized that not only was he outweighed by at least 100 pounds, but outnumbered 8-1, he left in a huff, muttering something about revenge. I think Linebacker double dog dared him to try something to his stuff, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Anyhow, Clueless left and didn't come back until the following morning, when Willow wasn't there.

That's when we ran into him, on our way to the pool. Now G-Dogg is honest. He rarely lies. He's very up front, which is a good thing most of the time, but he just doesn't realize, as most little kids don't, when NOT to say anything. I guess it was my fault for not making sure he knew not to say anything about what we heard going on downstairs, but the instant he sees Clueless he says, "Why do you guys fight so much down here? And why do you use the 'f' word so much?"

I stopped dead in my tracks and was probably white as a sheet. I knew what was coming. I felt it. Clueless looked at G-Dogg, with whom he's never been anything but nice to (I mean this guy has played countless hours of football in the pool with G-Dogg) and said, "You need to mind your own damn business and not ask so many stupid questions." Ok, you may be able to talk to your girlfriend(s) (there really must be a shortage of men on the planet, for that guy to have not one but TWO chicks!) like that, and maybe some random Linebacker dude that doesn't feel like waxing your ass all over the street, but don't talk to my kids like that. I looked at him and simply said, "No, what needs to happen is that you need to check the way you talk to people. I don't care if my kid asks you the stupidest question in the history of questions, you don't talk to him like that. As a matter of fact, from now on, don't even address my boys. If you have something to say, you say it to me. That dude last night may have not wanted to wipe your ass all over our street, but I have no problem doing it. And another thing, you may want to act your size. Dude, you weigh about fiddy pounds. You might not want to pick on people who are quite a bit larger than you. Grow the fuck up and figure out that if you are cheating on your girlfriend and she busts you, she's not going to be too happy. Also, figure out that if you two start screaming and breaking stuff around here, people are going to come running and you're the one that's going to get your ass pummeled if it comes to that. Nobody's going to back you over your girlfriend when you're the one that's out of control."

All that was met with a, "Fuck off and mind your own business."

I looked at my boys and said, "C'mon, let's go to the pool before he gets some of his stupid on us."

Clueless was still muttering something to me as we walked away. Later on, after the boys had a chance to process the confrontation, Reesey said to me, "Dad, were you gonna beat that guy up?"

G-Dogg said "Yeah, dad would have waxed his ass all over the street."

Suppressing a laugh, I looked at them and said, "No, I wasn't going to beat that guy up. I was just letting him know that how he acts has consequences and those consequences affect more than just him."

G-Dogg said, "I guess I shouldn't have asked him that question."

I looked at him and said, "Buddy, you didn't do anything wrong, he did. You just have to know what questions to ask and what not to ask. That will come with time. I'll try to let you know next time not to ask questions like that to people."

He looked at me and said, "I'm glad you're here, you make us feel safe."

Now how do you respond to that? If you figure it out, please let me know.

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