02 December 2006

Shadow boxing

Mr Stapler and I used to live next to this crankypants nutjob, Tim, who had, according to other neighbors, been a nice guy until his wife left him 10 years before, at which time he decided to take his heartache out on the rest of the world by being a jerk at every opportunity.

One of Tim's pet peeves was barking dogs. Thankfully, Goldie was not much of a yapper. But the beagle down the street met with Tim's frequent ire. The dog would start that stupid baying that beagles do and Tim would yell "Stop barking! Stop barking!"

You can guess how much good that did.

Today is the Big Game, So Cal style. USC and UCLA meet for their annual football match. If you are a rich BMW-driving dick, you usually root for USC, or as we of the proletariat like to call it, the University of Spoiled Children. State-college types hope for the brave Bruins of UCLA to put a stop to USC's juggernaut.

I don't really care, to tell the truth. But the game is on and it is a fine So Cal afternoon, warm and breezy and all the windows are open (sorry, Chicago). The guy behind me has chosen this opportunity to try and mow his grass with his temperamental old lawnmower. He starts it with a roar and in a cloud of blue smoke and manages to mow for a minute or two before it conks out again.

Of course the neighbor on the left is going apeshit. "Turn that shit off!!" he yells, while the mower is blasting.

Then it dies and he is quiet. Then it roars again and "Turn that shit off!" always the same phrase, over and over again.

I don't suppose it would occur to him to walk over and speak to the guy. Especially when the mower is off. No, that would be too simple.

I just hope no one gets shot.

Speaking of stupidity, my landlord came over because I was complaining that the door on my 1947 O'Keefe and Merritt stove (love it) won't shut tight and it takes forever to bake anything and the kitchen gets soooo hot. He could fix it if he bought a part, but that would take money and the one thing my landlord loathes above all is spending a buck.

"I had this same problem," he said. "It's going to sound strange, but maybe we could fix it the way I fixed mine."

He wanted to wedge a board between my oven door and the wall. This would require a six-foot length of board that would bisect my kitchen.

I looked at him, stunned. "That ain't gonna happen," I said.

I'm still shaking my head about it. Wedge a board between the oven and the wall. Every single time I wanted to bake something. Yikes.

As Mr Stapler would say "That's not the cowboy way."


super des said...

I'm so lucky I have good neighbors and a good landlord. Sure, one upstairs neighbor started a crack-induced fire at 3 am and we were awake while my boyfriend called 911 and watched the firemen break down the door, but that only happened once. I can't handle bad neighbors and bad landlords.

meno said...

I am in awe that he suggested that with any hope at all that you would go for it.
Next he'll suggest duct tape.

Anonymous said...

First, I can't conceptualize Super Des having a "good neighbor" who is also a crackhead, unless Super Des is really a pseudonym for Rick James.

Tim was quiet this afternoon until UCLA intercepted the ball in the 4th quarter, thus killing USC's chances for a shot at the title. The name Eric McNeal will live forever in USC infamy, and UCLA lore.

If you know any USC fans, call them up and say the words "Eric McNeal" to them. And watch their reaction.

Ms. Stapler, I promise you that I will fix your door for you. Your landlord is a boob.

Lisa said...

Your landlord IS a boob. Geez. The University for Spoiled Children. Heehee. LOVE it!

MrsFortune said...

Hah! That's not the fire marshall way, as I would put it.

And your apology is accepted, as I had to wear a coat today when I went out! Damn Chicago weather. It's a good thing I've a fiery constitution.

Mignon said...

My stepdad had me convinced for 5 minutes that UCLA grads called their schol uck-luh. That was a long time ago, but I still think it. Uck-luh. And they won despite that. As my sister-in-law from LA said, either you went to USC or you hate USC.

Anonymous said...

If you paint the board a pretty color...? It could be cute!

Anonymous said...

Yes! Wedge a piece of wood behind a HOT STOVE! Start a fun FIRE! What an idiot. He needs to pony up the money.

Also, I assume you were also apologizing to me here in Michigan, where I had to let the van run for about a half hour to warm it up enough to chip the ICE off the windshield. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I know, I know! All you need is an asbestos wrapped bungee cord. Wrap it around the stove when you bake! Easy! Nearly quaint!

And, um, I'm really not Holly. I can tell you that my thermometer says 8 degrees this AM in NE Kansas. Have I done morning chores yet? Well, I did the one that involves bringing in more firewood. Duh

super des said...

Mr.Stapler -My crackhheads are the nice quite kind. Exceptfor the one fire, they don'tbother bobody.
And also, I'mRick James. Bitch.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm thinking that whole board solution would be a major building code violation. Who knows what other "fixes" your landlord's put in place that might be violations...

I had a former co-worker who was a USC grad. To her credit, she seemed pretty normal. But I always wondered why all those rich kids chose to go to school in South Central.

Anonymous said...

Your neighbor sounds hilarious. In an insane asylum kind of way.
Is he related to your landlord..

Mom101 said...

Ooh, see we out of staters don't know from this rivalry. Now I have a better assessment tool for my LA office peers based on who they root for.

I am now wringing my hands together nefariously.

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