Hubby and I have lived in the same house for forty years. When we put our roots down, we sink them in deep. We’ve thought about moving, but the thought of cleaning out the garage attic, just makes us shudder. After all, there’s forty years of crapola up there. The neighborhood is generally made up of older couples who, like us, enjoy the quiet life.
That is until “they” moved in across the street. By “they” I mean the under twenty- five year old renters.
It started out subtly enough. We thought it was a house warming party, so of course we told ourselves that it was ok. No need to complain, as they were just new neighbors. That escalated into middle of the week parties, and since the young men worked night shift, those happy times wouldn’t start until two or three A.M. Night after night the drinking and partying continued, until I was almost ready to crack from lack of sleep. This went on for months, and my eyes were slowly acquiring more bags than the checkout at Walmart.
A steady stream of revelers appeared every evening right on cue, and as if to make a statement, they moved the excitement to the street opposite our bedroom window. Laughing, and chatting, swearing and fighting, that scene became the late night movie I watched through a slit in the curtain. Apparently, their house didn’t have a toilet because they liked to pee on the street. Inclement weather did not deter this bunch. They were more reliable in their quest for fun than the postal delivery system ever was in getting the mail to our door. Pouring rain, sleet, wind, heat, mosquitoes, freezing temperatures and six feet of snow could not weaken their resolve.
Last night was the last straw.
Me: (climbing into bed) “Let’s hope there are no shenanigans tonight. I’m beat.”
Hubby: “You’d think by now they’d have partied themselves out”.
Me: “It’s pouring rain tonight, so that might put a damper on the festivities.”
We said our good nights and settled in for a long overdue night of blissful sleep.
Somewhere around three A.M. I hear giggling and whispering. Surely I must be dreaming, and yet my rational brain says “wake up and find out what’s going on!” I’m a light sleeper so any activity within one hundred yards will ring my alert buttons. Jumping up on my kneecaps to peer out the window, I can see the party animals standing out behind my large spruce tree. They’re obviously inebriated and are under the impression that they’re being quiet. I’m listening to them plot their crime, and watch them as they creep up my lawn toward the flower beds. Timing is everything here, and I wait until the perfect moment when they grab for the solar lights.
“DROP THOSE LIGHTS!” I shout at the top of my lungs. Pandemonium breaks loose, and bodies are running and skidding everywhere on the wet grass. Two of the miscreants take off back across the street, and one of them slips on the wet grass and does a few cartwheels before landing square on his rump. My solar lights are lying everywhere, lighting up the street like an airfield runway.
Me: (shaking Hubby) “Wake up” those rotters across the street have gone too far. They just tried to steal my dollar ninety nine solar lamps. I’m calling the cops.”
While he’s trying to pry his eyelids open, I dial 911. Sure enough, a few minutes later a cruiser pulls up out front and, full of righteous indignation, I meet the officers at the door. After a brief conversation in which I am told there is not much they can do, they suggest I call the by-law officer if it happens again. (Like he’ll show up at three a.m…..NOT!)
Well, all was not lost tonight. I didn’t have to get dressed and go out in the rain. At least the cops picked my solar lights off the street. Yup, that’s what I like to see…. my tax dollars at work.
Tomorrow the first thing on my agenda is a little chat with my young neighbours. Maybe I’ll be able to reason with them. If not, I just may have to join them and party too!
Author Val Enders resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard, and they’ve been together for over 40 years. Val doesn’t consider herself a writer by profession, rather she writes more for her own enjoyment. An accomplished artist, Val’s a member of the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove. Visit Val’s “Journey Into Art” website at www.vals.webs.com