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Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas Came Early

Yesterday I was given an early Christmas gift. It was the best gift I could have ever asked for. I'd thought several times how badly I wanted this but never spoke the words aloud. My gift was given by a mysterious force. Someone, somewhere was looking out for me.

I looked out of my living room window early Sunday morning and there it was, a moving van. I've never been so happy to see a neighbor move away! Before you begin with preconceived notions that I'm evil for wishing away a neighbor during the holiday season, I'll share some background.

She moved in five very long months ago. She was the neediest neighbor I've ever come in contact with. My first encounter with her should have been a neon sign, warning me of what I was in for. She saw me on my deck barbequing. After saying hello, she complimented the aroma coming from my grill. She hinted at being hungry after a long day of moving. As the food came off of the grill, she had visible drool hanging from her mouth.

"That looks as good as it smells," she said, standing tiptoed, stretching her neck to see while licking her lips.

Even though she was a good 400 plus pounds and could have lived off the fat of the land, I considered offering her something. But before I could open my mouth to speak, she had the balls to ask if I had any extras. I handed over two pork chops and some pasta salad and this broad had the audacity to ask if I had any soda. I went in the house, reluctantly grabbed a can of Diet Pepsi (hint, hint Orka) and a glass of ice.

I never saw my plate, fork or my glass again. It was a small price to pay to get rid of her for good. This lady isn't your average neighbor, she is psycho.

As time went on things became weirder and weirder. One of those times I was outside minding my own business watching and following Lane 1 and Lane 2, as they took turns cutting our grass on the riding lawnmower. She had just backed out of her driveway. Two minutes later, the County Sheriff pulls into my driveway, lights on. She called the police on me!

All of us stop what we are doing and approach the squad. First he asked a lot of questions. "Have you seen anything unusual in the neighborhood? Has anyone been at your neighbor's house? Have you seen any unfamiliar cars? What times of day and night are you home?" Then he asked the kids to go play so "the grown ups could talk".

My mind raced along with my heart, damn my parents for raising me with Catholic guilt! He said, "Your neighbor (I call her Lulu since she looks a lot like Boss Hog's girlfriend, only bigger) called us and said that you have been sneaking into her house when she isn't home and stealing from her."


The officer said, "Well, she said you took all of her frozen food out of her kitchen freezer."

"Her... frozen food?"

"Ma'am, you understand I have to respond to all calls." I think I saw a tiny smirk on his face.

"Yes, but sir. I mean, well, I just..." I couldn't contain myself any longer and busted out laughing. I tried to apologize but was laughing too hard. Before long, Officer Friendly was laughing with me. He said she has a history of calling in crazy reports. He also said he was disappointed to find out her latest move was on his beat.

I was glad the officer didn't really think I'd stolen her frozen food by tunneling through the side of her garage as she reported. After he assessed her house and took his report from me the officer turned back to his squad. I waved goodbye and reminded him to put an APB out on that bag of Pizza Rolls.

As Lulu and her moving van pulled out of her driveway, I couldn't contain my smile. I thought briefly of It's A Wonderful Life. Clarence said, "One man's life touches so many others, when he's not there it leaves an awfully big hole." And then I thought, hole schmole! Merry Christmas to me!!!