I’ve been asked a few times this week, possibly because of this suicidal rant, “Are you like this in real life?” I translate this question as, “Do you have no shame? Do you just say whatever pops into your head out loud? Would you say these things to someone standing in front of you?” I’ll answer this with a true-life account.
Exactly two Thanksgivings ago, the following transpired. No names have been change because I am the only guilty party.
November in Alabama isn’t known for its cold weather. This particular Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving was no exception. It was tolerable. Long sleeves were appropriate for dress. Short sleeves if you were exerting any energy. My new neighbors were expending their energies.
This young couple only knew me as the helpful guy who owned the house next to the one they purchased 2 months ago. He and I had talked, but she and I had only waved. This left her unprepared for that Wednesday when I returned from work to find her holding a ladder and him stringing Christmas lights on their virgin home.
I whipped into my driveway, slammed my car door loudly, checked my mail loudly and marched single-mindedly down the sidewalk and up their driveway to announce loudly, “Hi! I’m not only your neighbor, but I’m also with the Neighborhood Watch Committee. I MUST inform you, the rules of the neighborhood FORBID the hanging of Christmas lights before Thanksgiving. I know y’all are new, but I must INSIST you take these lights down. I’m happy to help you take this all down, if necessary.”
Her protest began immediately. “Are you serious?”
“Yes’um. The neighborhood rules are quite firm on this,” I deadpanned.
“But we’re going out of town tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. We won’t be back until Monday and we just wanted to decorate before we left.” Her husband was sliding down-ladder like a sailor onboard a ship. His motion was an involuntary, instinctual movement brought on by stifled laughter.
“Honey, I think he’s kidding,” he said trying to hang on to his hammer.
“No. This is a serious offense. We can’t let the neighborhood get out of control,” I said as he and I exchanged glances.
Her confused and questioning eyes darted between her husband and her new, obnoxious neighbor about half-a-dozen times before we men could not contain our smiles any longer.
In answer to the question, yes, I’m just like that in real life. I take every opportunity to laugh, love and enjoy life. I believe I could make chocolate out of mud, if I gave it a good effort.