Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crazy Comes A-Callin'

Strangest thing happened to me today.

I was home alone, working on some research for one of my stories, when the doorbell rang.

I wasn't expecting anyone, but this happens quite often. Our neighborhood gets lots of solicitors who think it's funny to ignore "No soliciting" signs. But my husband also has family in the area who think it's a hoot to drop in unexpectedly.

They're wrong. No one likes uninvited guests. If you do this, stop it now.

When I opened the door, I found a grizzled, middle-aged woman standing in my flower bed with her dog on a leash.

"Where'd you get this edging?" she asked as soon as she saw me.

No, "Hi, my name is..." or "I was walking by and I noticed your lovely edging..." Nope. Just a demand to know where I'd procured it.

Something about her raised my hackles more than a bit. Perhaps it was the hint of accusation in her tone. Or the way she allowed her dog to poop on my lawn while she pointed her gnarled old finger at my quaint little cobblestones. Whatever the case, I didn't take to the cut of her jib.

"Uh, Home Depot? Yeah, Home Depot."

Even before I felt the lilt of my voice rise, I knew I'd made my first tactical error. I'd answered in the form of a question. Then answered my answer.

What the hell was I thinking?!

What should have been, "Home Depot, bitch! Get off my bark chips," became a sad, meandering excuse for a non-answer wrapped in answer form.

Stupid, stupid, stupid...

"You don't know for sure?" she pounced.

"Yes, I do know for sure. I loaded and unloaded enough to remember."

Ha! Take that. This chickadee ain't going down that easy.

"I don't remember seeing them the last time I walked by here," she said.

I shrugged, really wishing she'd get to her point and falsely accuse me of short-edging her lawn already. Instead, she pointed at my house numbers and ominously intoned, "I'll remember."

And she left.

I'm still scratching my head.

There are 106 cobblestone edgers in my yard, each weighing 10 pounds. If she thinks she'd going to come "reclaim" them for herself, I welcome her to try. That should make for some awesome bloggin'.


Emma Sometimes said...

That is hysterical?!

No. It IS hysterical.

She has a roof, too. Are shingles going to go missing?

Kimberly said...

Umm...that is more than a little disturbing. Don't you love how the right/funny/confrontational things to say don't pop up until hours later? Annoying, that.

If they go missing in the night, I'll so come down there to help you whup her. And her little dog too.

Stephen said...

Do you own a gun? :/

Two Write Hands said...

Forget the need a hidden camera!

Caffeine Court said...

If she offers you an apple the next time you see her, DON'T TAKE A BITE!

You have been warned.

Huckdoll said...


..."Home Depot, bitch! Get off my bark chips,"...

You're funny!

Natalie said...

You darn edging stealers. GET OFF MY LAWN.

Sugarplum's Mom said...

proof that there is life from other planets living among us dressed up like neighbors. Trouble is they haven't learned the finer points of acting human yet and we always spot them.

Fooferoo said...

I'd take a picture of your lawn with all 106 edgers in it in case one goes missing... I bet she'd try to take one at a time and hope you didn't notice. Trying to distract you with the dog poop, evil evil woman.

clairec23 said...

What the hell?? That's just...wierd. The big wierdo. Seriously though, watch out for her, she might start haunting ya, after all, she knows where you live...and that you open the door and talk to strangers, tsk!

holly said...

good FENCES make good neighbours. not good edging.

AND i think you owe *her* lawn a good poopin'. tit for tat!

she obviously doesn't know you will throw eggs at your OWN house, and is thus unaware of what *worse* you could do to hers.

Immoral Matriarch said...

That's hysterical - but weird and creepy nonetheless. Especially the 'I'll remember' part...

Oh! And I wanted to share - that I could take on 26 5 year olds. MUHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

R said...

What in tarnation was that?

And she disturbed you from writing for edgers? She didn't even deserve an answer. I think your initial response was great because it showed how insignificant the subject was---"I don't know, Home Depot? Yeah, Home Depot." WHO CARES!

suchsimplepleasures said...

seriously...move! get out of that neighborhood! fast as you can...

loveyh said...

Wow. Just wow.

So..did you make sure she cleaned up her poo?

Rima said...

It's OK to admit you stole the cobblestones, Avery. Who among us hasn't pilfered part of a neighbor's landscape design at one time or another?

meleah rebeccah said...

Jeez.... That lady sounds a little OUT OF HER MIND....

You however are hilarious.

Dapoppins said...

Old people are fun.

Did you notice that I didn't comment on the post with the f-bomb? I mean, what the heck am I suppose to say to that?

Lis Garrett said...


Stealing edgers (the ones we have each weigh 20 lbs) is just as crazy as my husband proposing that we steal firewood, one log at a time, from the neighbor's pile. Um, yeah.

missburrows said...

Perhaps she had really just needed some help, but then she was dazzled by your rack and could only blurt stuff out about your "pavers".

Your "pavers" are so nice?
Where did you get those "pavers"?

I think you get my point.

Feener said...

that is just plain strange.

missburrows said...

btw, those ? were supposed to be !

I do not question the beauty of your pavers.

Misssy M said...

You've got to harness your newfound swearing ability...

Edge said...

Wow ... what nuts!

Some people's kids ...


Mya said...

How ignorant. Chuck her a paver next time she calls.

Mya x

Avery Gray said...

Emma--messin' with my shingles, you're takin' your life in your own hands. Best step off.

Kimberly--no road trip yet. As of this morning, they're all still accounted for.

Stephen--oh, yeah, I got guns. They're in my sleeves right now, but for the right price, I'll give you a ticket to the gun show. Pow! (No, I don't.)

Two Write--yeah, I thought about that, but then I thought why bother? If she's that desperate for cobblestone borders, that's a kind of crazy I don't want to tangle with.

Jill--duly noted.


Natalie--I wish I was old enough to have an excuse to be cantankerous. At my age, though, it's just rude.


Foof--think I'll do just that!

Claire--I'm a bad, bad girl. ;o)

Holly--oh, baby, you don't even want to know! Even I shudder to think what I might conceive of if given free rein.

Immoral--26?! Remind me not to mess with you!

R--she does, obviously. What does she care what I was doing? I'm a thieving varmint, apparently!

Simple--our neighborhood is actually very nice. It's just that we have an adjacent neighborhood full of crazies that's not so nice. Price you pay for being in a good school district, I suppose.

Lovey--no. It's still there. I think I might find out where she lives and return it to her. In a paper bag. A flaming one.

Rima--I am appalled! How could you even say such a thing? (Okay, so the pink flamingos MAY NOT be mine per se, but they look much better in my yard than Deb's. Even she thinks so!)

Meleah--thank you!


Lis--well, at least with firewood, you can burn the evidence!

Miss Burrows--they ARE a sight to behold. You could be on to something there.

Feener--I know, huh?!

Misssy--I know. I'm still slow on the uptake.

Jef--you said it!

Mya--I actually have 16 extras in my garage. If she needed a few, I would have gladly given them to her. Silly thing never got to her point.

Bec said...

Forget the gun, you need a peep hole!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh. My. Gawd.

That was weird.


But weird.

And I can't believe she let her dog poop on her lawn. I'd have had to say something.

Hee hee hee.

Mert said...

Sounds like she escaped from a badly written fairy tale :D

Next time try saying, "Be gone, curmudgeon! Back to the nightmare from whence you came, you foul beast!"

That ought to work ;)

sybil law said...

Maybe she's on the Beautification Committee and she wants to reward you!
Or, probably, she's just a wacked out, nosy old lady.
But the cobblestones look great!