Monday, January 5, 2015
Do you have THAT neighbor … ?
The other night, it went like this:
Arizona (peering out a front window through a decent snowfall): Is the German Shepherds' house is on fire?
Me: Now *that's* something you don't hear every day. (Comes in from the kitchen to hunker at the window beside him. Sees flames licking up alongside the brightly lit house, which is a river and a street away, but clearly visible through the winter-bare trees.) Wow! Maybe? Or could it be on their TV? In a fireplace?
Arizona (grabs binoculars--which are never far away, and make Darwin smile at his preparedness--and stuffs his feet into a pair of flip-flops--cause, yanno, Arizona--and heads out onto the front porch for a better look)
Me (starts pulling on a parka, hat, gloves and snow boots--cause, yanno, New Englander--makes sure I have my cell phone and realizes I don't know their street number, then sticks my head out front): What's the verdict?
Arizona: Well, *something's* burning, for sure.
Me: Let's go take a look. Dinner'll keep. (Heads back inside to put our dished-out turkey and rice in the microwave--cause, yanno, cats.)
(A minute later, with him having exchanged his flip-flops for boots and thrown on a parka, we stand out in our driveway. Which, for the record, could double as a ski-jump and is wearing a layer of fresh, slippery snow, leading down to unplowed roads.)
Me: What do you think?
Arizona: We'd probably get the car down okay. Not sure about back up.
Me: Let's hoof it.
Arizona (eyes his could-deliver-baby-any-day-now wife): Um.
Me: I'll be careful. Promise. And if I fall, I swear I'll aim to land on my ass.
(A minute later, safely down our driveway and trudging through the snow up our street.)
Arizona: Did you bring a flashlight?
Me: No. I can see fine.
Arizona (Shoots me a 'but the cars can't see *you*' look and produces the flashlight he almost always has on him, along with a pocket knife and cordage.)
Me (defensive): I've got my cell phone. And my keys.
(Somewhere, Darwin shakes his head and wonders if I was the best choice for procreation.)
(A couple of minutes later, having dodged two plow trucks and one SUV going WAY too f-ing fast on the snowy back roads, we get in range of the house in question. The lights are all on, but we don't see anybody inside, and certainly no sign of an 'eeeee, fire!' response happening.)
Arizona: Smell that?
Me (wrinkles nose): Wiring. Or at least burning plastic. Maybe vinyl siding? Think their electrical box committed suicide?
Arizona (comes around to far side of house and peers down driveway): Nope. Barbecue.
(Sure enough, there's a BBQ on the porch, smoking away. The flames have burned down, but it's clearly the culprit. And it smells awful.)
Me: What were they doing, the ceremonial New Year's burning of the ex-husband's things?
Arizona: Sure doesn't smell like hot dogs. Come on, let's head home. (As we turn onto our road, he glances back.) Glad everything was okay. Also glad we didn't just call the fire department without checking. You never know with those guys.
Because, you see, the house in question is rented by THOSE neighbors--the ones with a bunch of big, ill-trained dogs that, up until a recent Facebook spat with a couple of other neighbors and input from Animal Control, would bark 24/7 in their yard and routinely roam free, chasing cats (see above for picture of Lucy stuck fifty feet up after they had come and gone), jumping fences and muddying up pools.
In fairness, things have been soooo much better since said FB altercation, but the dialog got pretty heated, and it wasn't like Arizona or I felt like we could call over and say, 'Hey, everything okay?'
So we hiked over in the snow to see for ourselves. Because that's what neighbors do, regardless, and we hope that if the situation was reversed, they (or someone) would do the same for us!
What about you? Do you have one of THOSE neighbors? Do tell!