We used to have some neighbors we called The Screamers. Everyone in that family screamed at each other, especially the dad. He was a fat man (about the same size as me actually) who always wore black shorts and a black t-shirt. I always wondered if he was as stubborn as I, refusing to buy new clothes until he lost weight, and then realized there was nothing left in his closet. But I digress.
Mr. Screamer yelled the most at his oldest son who he worked like a slave. That teenager was the hardest working young man I have ever seen, quite unlike his father. When Mr. Screamer wasn’t yelling at the oldest son, he was yelling at the two younger children. And unlike the hard working teen, they were always out in the backyard screaming at each other, or screaming back at him. I never saw Mr. Screamer putting them to work at anything.
The Screamers also had several German Shepherds who barked all the time, and the family also screamed at the dogs. We were so happy when that family sold their house and left, only to find out that the new family was also a family of screamers. Thus their name is also The Screamers. And wouldn’t you know it, this family has German Shepherds too? The exception is their dogs don’t bark constantly.
We have another set of neighbors who let their dogs run loose. We call them The Dog People. Sorry, we’re not very original. When they first got the dogs, or dog (it was only one then), we found the dog in our yard, looked at it’s tag and called the owners. The Dog Woman came to get the dog, apologizing profusely that her gate was broken. That was about six years and two loose dogs ago and still the gate is open.
I don’t know how these dogs stay alive. Not only are they always in the street, either lying there or just sitting, but they get into trash and eat any and everything. They must have cast iron stomachs, or maybe they throw up in their own yard everyday where no one can see them. It’s sad too, because one of the dogs is particularly friendly and pretty.
There were The Walkers, named so because they walked all the time. And I do mean all the time, morning, noon, and night – late night. They didn’t wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight after dark either. I was often afraid I would back over them when I left our driveway at night, so many times they were right there when my tail lights shone on them. I finally gave them some flashing lights to attach to their belt when they walked at night to give me, if not them, peace of mind with their night walking. They have since moved, and I actually miss looking out for them as I still back slowly out of the driveway at night.
Then there’s The Crazy Lady. Every neighborhood has to have a crazy lady, and ours is no exception. I don't call her that because I have met her, know her name, and I like her. But she is outspoken, in a neighborhood where most try to turn a blind eye to problems. She also walks, but not at night. What makes her crazy, in the opinion of some of my neighbors, is her persistence at yelling at speeders and other drivers who don’t meet her strict driving standards. At her insistence, the city put up a speed limit sign of 20mph. Everywhere else around us, the residential speed limit is 30mph, but on our street, it was 20mph. I said was because that sign didn’t stay up very long, and then one night it mysteriously came down. For a long time, we didn’t have a speed limit sign, but we now have one again, and this one is 30mph.
We either know the rest of our neighbor’s names, or they live too far away for us to bestow a moniker on them. And that brings me to you, and to myself for that matter. What name have you been dubbed by your neighbors?
Until next time, may you have blessings and interesting neighbors,
My ordinary life