Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's Like Living In Middle Earth. Except Instead Of A Ring, There's A Plunger.

When Captain Carl and I contracted to build our house, we were pretty nervous about it. It was much bigger than the place we were renting at the time and it was in a suburb on the outskirts of the metro…which meant a much longer commute to work and more distance between ourselves and our family who lived here. The only restaurants near us were McDonald’s and a donut place. There was one gas station and no shopping. Not even a Wal Mart, y'all. I mean, I thought a Wal Mart was a prerequisite for a new suburb in the south?

So one day we drove out to see how construction was coming along. The walls were almost ready to go up and we stood out in the street in front of our new house and contemplated brick color and tree selection and ohmygodwhatarewedoing???? And then I heard someone yelling behind us “Are y’all our new neighbors?”. When we turned around, I saw two teeny tiny old people walking towards us. This couple barely came up to my chest, they were that short. And gosh they were sweet! They told us their names were Fanny and Reggie and how happy they were to have a young family moving in soon and how wonderful the neighborhood was and how it was lonely with only two other houses built so far on our street. Captain Carl and I left that day feeling wonderful about our home selection. I mean, everyone wants good neighbors right? It would be so great to have such a friendly and sweet couple across the street!

And then moving day arrived. We closed on our house in August. In Texas. Because we’re geniuses. We hired movers, who could only fit ¾ of our crap into their truck. And so we spent our first day as new homeowners hauling loads of the remaining stuff from the old place to the new. We did that about five times. And then, hot and sweating and exhausted, we began unpacking the essentials for our first night. I worked on the kitchen while the Captain worked out in the garage. Our front door was propped open to allow the movers easy access. And so I didn’t notice when our neighbor lady walked in and sat down on our kitchen window seat.

Fanny: Ya’ll are getting all moved in, huh?

Me: *jumping* Uh, yes. Ummm, when did you get here?

Fanny: Oh I just came in. I figured it was okay since y’all had your front door open.

Me: Oh. Well. Actually, we have it open for the movers.

Fanny: I see you’re cleaning the refrigerator.

Me: Uh, yes I am.

Fanny: Y’all brought your old fridge from your other place then?

Me: Yes.

Fanny: *swings legs back and forth* Y’alls fridge don’t match your stove.

Me: No, we’ll probably buy a new one soon that matches.

Fanny: *kicking heels against our newly painted wall* Huh.

Me: *staring* Is there something I can help you with?

Fanny: No. Just stopping by to say hi.

Me: Oh, well okay. I’m ahhh, a little busy right now.

Fanny: *laughing* I can see that!

Me: So ummm…maybe we could get together sometime after we’re all moved in.

Fanny: Sure! *walks around the kitchen touching things*

Me: So yeah…well….

Reggie: *yelling from outside* Fanny! Where are you, woman???

Fanny: *yelling from inside* I’m in here, for goodness sake!!

Reggie: *walks into house* Well hey there! Cleaning your fridge, huh?

Me: Well, I’m trying to.

Reggie: Well, I ‘spose we ought to let her get back to it, Fanny.

Fanny: Oh you go on. We’re having girl talk.

Me: Ahhh, ha haa….well actually….

Reggie: Come on now…leave her alone. The poor girl is sweating right through her shirt. *stares at my chest*

Fanny: Fine then. I’ll come back later to visit.

Me: Ummm, okay. Well…bye.

Reggie: It’s so nice to have y’all here. Now we’re not the only white folks on the street!

Me: What?

Fanny: *stage whisper* Everyone else is black. One of ‘em is from Nigeria or Africa or something!

Me: Oh, that’s nice.

Fanny: Well sure it is. But you know, it’s nicer when you have some of your own kind around you.

Me: *open mouth stare*

And it pretty much continued from there:


Reggie: *after walking across the street to watch me trim the front hedges* Doin’ yard work, huh?

Me: Yep.

Reggie: Fanny was watching you out the front window and told me she can’t believe you’re out here doing man’s work.

Me: Excuse me?

Reggie: She says yard work is a man’s job and Captain Carl should be out here.

Me: Well, I don’t mind.

Reggie: Well, you’re doing a good enough job I guess.

Me: Gee, thanks.

Reggie: Pretty hot out here, huh? *stares at my chest*


Reggie: *stopping us while we are out for a walk * Hey ya’ll!

Captain: Hey Reggie….gotta keep moving, we’ll talk later!

Reggie: Yep yep, I can see y’all are exercising. Good idea, ya’ll probably need it!

Me: What?

Reggie: Well, I tell y’all what. We sure do like our neighbors here on our left side but *stage whisper* them blacks sure do things differently.

Captain: Ohmygod. Let's go. *starts walking away*

Me: Wait, what does that mean?

Reggie: Oh, I don't mean nothing by that. They just seem to do a lot of things backwards. It must be their culture or something to do things wrong.

Captain: *grabs my arm* Ha, well we really gotta go!


*Doorbell rings*

Me: Not it!

Captain: Oh come on, I answered last time!

Me: I’m not talking to them!

Captain: How do you know it’s them?

Me: It’s always them!

Captain: Fine. *opens door* Hey Reggie.

Reggie: Hey there, Captain. Listen, I don’t suppose y’all have a plunger I could borrow?

Captain: Ummm, what for?

Reggie: Well see, my grandson’s over this week and I tell you what, that boy has some intestinal problems.

Captain: *horrified face* Uh huh….

Reggie: Well, he left the biggest load I’ve ever seen in our toilet and it’s all backed up. You would never believe that it came out of an 8 year old.

Captain: Well…ummm..

Me: *yelling from my hiding place* We don’t have one!

Reggie: What’s that?

Captain: Yeah, believe it or not we don’t have a plunger.

Reggie: You don’t say? Well, alright then.

Captain: This is just a thought, but maybe you could drive over to the hardware store and pick one up.

Reggie: Well I guess I might do that. Y’all need me to get you one too?


*doorbell rings*

Me: Not it!


Me: Well shit, I’m the only one home. *answers door* Hi Fanny.

Fanny: I got my grandson with me today.

Me: I see that.

Grandson: *stares at my chest*

Fanny: *walks into my house* Come on Davy.

Me: Ummm, is there something you need? Why does he have that big stick?

Fanny: Oh who knows. He just picks things up outside. One time he came home with a dead snake and a pair of ladies underpants.

Me: *stare*

Fanny: I wondered if I could have some sugar.

Me: Okay, how much?

Fanny: You got a bag I could take?

Me: A whole bag?

Grandson: *swinging giant tree limb around my kitchen*

Me: Be carefully with that please!

Fanny: Oh he’s alright. Yeah, I need a whole bag.

Me: Well, I can give you a couple cups.

Fanny: Oh nevermind, that’s not enough.

Grandson: *banging giant tree limb against my wall*

Me: Hey, stop it!

Fanny: Not to worry. That’ll touch up with a little paint.


And this is why we never answer our door or walk around outside in the daylight anymore. On account of our redneck racist hobbit neighbors.


Erin said...

Aren't neighbors the BEST? We've got these two who are always passive-aggressively telling us what color we should paint our house and what plants should be in our yard and how much they hate our tree that blossoms once a year and drops petals on their lawn. Which makes me want to plant about 14 more of those trees.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Oh f*ck. I laughed so hard at this I actually hurt. I mean I know it's no picnic living next to people like that but man, it is FUNNY. I'm going to come back and read this again later when I'm pissed off about something. :) Holy shit.

MomOfThree said...

That made my blood pressure go up!

Chris said...

OMGosh! I can see these people in my head!! I grew up in the DFW metroplex and knew many people like this.

Only in Texas I think will you find older people who whisper someone's race or ethnicity when talking.

One Blonde Girl said...

And this is why I don't stick around long enough in one place to get to know the neighbors. Yikes!

Heather said...

I live in the country. My closest neighbor is my grandma. When she stops by she brings cookies or food. I'm always okay with that.

Moooooog35 said...

Nice to see all your comments were left by white people.



Megs said...

We used to have an old guy living across the street that I'm pretty sure was trying to kill me.

Or he just really, really liked sneaking up on me and scaring the crap out of me.

Cassie said...

If my kid ever comes home with a dead snake and a pair of ladies underwear, I'm going to be more than a little worried.

Fragrant Liar said...

Yeesh, people like that drive me crazy!

The good news is, your neighbors probably NEVER have to associate with them!

Twisted Susan said...

It's nicer when you have some of your own kind around you.

Ed said...

How funny is it that Reggie has a black name?

Just me then?



You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

omg... fanny and reggie are giving me an anxiety attack.

and by anxiety attack, i mean making me polish my gun.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Jees-sus. I'd put up on of those big screen doors with all the bars on it and a great big deadbolt lock. Then I'd put up a sign that says "Protected by Smith & Wesson - Trespassers will be shot". That or I'd have a great big bbq and invite all the black neighbors over.

Your neighbors are crazy-- but they do make for a very funny story.


Lady World said...

This is too hilarious, but I totally feel for you! My boyfriend's neighbor is an old, racist bastard himself. His wife had money hidden in the house to run away from him, but she died before that ever happened. He's always trapping the boyfriend and ignoring the not-so-subtle, "Hey my girlfriend just got in an accident, I have to go NOW" hints... I can't help but laugh, though, since I know I would never put up with it. In fact, I won't even smile or wave to the man. Why should I? Just because he's old doesn't mean he deserves anything from me...Especially if he's racist. He can suck it! But I feel for you. I'm sure it's harder to be straight up cold to somebody when it's your own neighbor.

Beta Dad said...

This reminds me of a spontaneous discussion that erupted when I was teaching high school. One girl just said to everyone in class, "Are your grandparents racist? Mine are." Pretty soon everyone was nodding and telling stories about the racist stuff old people say. This was a class that was about 30% black kids, 30% latinos, 20% white, and whatever percent is left over (I'm an English teacher) other miscellaneous minorities. It was an ironically galvanizing moment in which we all celebrated the our common humanity by mocking our racist ancestors.

Jules said...

Well, there goes my theory about people in Texas being the friendliest people on Earth.

Next state.

kate said...

Our new house came with our very own retired-ex-Marine neighbor who sits in his driveway at all times with a case of PBR while "working on" (read: staring at parts scattered across the lawn) the random cars propped up on cinder blocks...and we're in the "nice" area of town. Go Kansas!!

erin said...

Oh my dear lord.

That was a really great post.

I kind of hate them though. I'm not a fan of old people in general but those two are just atrocious.

Didactic Pirate said...

Holy Crap. We're moving in three weeks, and now you've got me paranoid about the possibility of redneck racist hobbits living next door. Maybe I should've vetted the area before we signed our lease.

Lindsay said...

Hahahaaaaa - Mooooooog35's comment was CLASSIC.

diane said...

The good news is: they might have passed on in the time it took you to write the post. Lets just hope the nephew's not in the will.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Funny, this reminds me of all the kids that live in the apartments at the end of the block.

I made the mistake of welcoming a couple into my backyard and suddenly my property is the neighborhood playground. WTH?

And yup, aint Tx grand w/ its hotter than blazes summers and short racists? I can say that b/c I married a Texan. Right?

Rebekah Mae said...


And I thought my redneck four wheeling into the wee hours of the night neighbors were bad! Holy crap! At least as far as we know they're not racist!



Though I act so white I probably don't count....damn

Solanaceae said...

I would glad take redneck racist hobbit neighbors over the idiot renters that always seem to end up next door. Seriously. They tried to light a charcoal grill 3 feet from my open window and when it wasn't going to their satisfaction they poured more lighter fluid on the open flame. My house was filled with smoke and smelled nasty for hours.

nova said...

Our elderly neighbors up the hill watched us build a wall in the backyard. Like for three days they just watched from their kitchen. And they'd come down and passively aggressively hint that they REALLY needed a wall pretty much exactly like what we were building up in their yard.
Finally my boyfriend was like "You can have the leftover cement sand if you want" and the old man was like "Okay just bring it up that gigantic hill to our house."
Um, no.

Also, last week he walked by the three neighborhood little boys and called them "Young ladies" which I think is so funny!

Leslie said...

My neighbors are Russian. They hate us. My husband is constantly waging war against them.

Just.Kate said...

They have to die at some point, right??

VM Sehy Photography said...

You have got to go and rent Extract. You will love the neighbor in that movie. And perhaps it'll help you in case you ever get the urge to tell them where to put it. Patience. I'd tell you they'll die soon due to their age, but they sound like the kind of old people that live forever.

justmakingourway said...

Wow. Suddenly I'm totally psyched all of our old neighbors basically ignore us. Course, that might be because we never mow our lawn...but whatever works!

Maria said...

OMG, that story is so great. It just illustrated to me why my husband hates neighbors. I'm always trying to be friendly, and he said, "before you know it they're here asking for sugar!" I thought that was a joke, but man oh man. That sucks though because you want to be able to go out and do stuff in your own house.

Soda and Candy said...

Oh no! We have slightly nosy neighbors but we're in the Deep South so they're too polite to be that pushy!

Also, people here lower their voices when they're talking about people and have to use the word "gay" like thee is some kind of shame in saying the word. Gross. I combat it by just being super matter of fact about it, especially since I come from Gaytown, Australia (I lived just off Gay Street).

nova said...

So...I'm too lazy to find your email address but I thought you'd like this:


Kurt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kurt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mel Spillman artwork said...

Fanny and Reggie! Too funny :)

Nej said...

Your neighbors are giving ME heart palpitations. :-) :-)

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bleedingheart said...

Well, at least the kid didn't use your bathroom.