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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

There Were Four Tires and a Windshield, I Know That Much for Sure...

I stood on my front steps last evening, talking to my neighbor, a woman as ridiculously vigilant regarding the park as I am.

You see, there’s a public park across the street from our properties, a lovely green spot with big trees. There’s soccer and baseball in the summer, hockey in the winter, large intra-mural colored-tee-shirt-wearing competitions between teenagers of different churches.

“Current standings: Lamb of God has walloped Christ Our Lord at the three-legged race; House of Mercy has trounced Abundant Life in punt/pass/throw and up next: The Church of the Nazarene versus The Living Word. You have two minutes to the starting gun! Two minutes, Christians!”

Screaming/laughing kids, the bull-horned announcements, the litter, the cars.

The cars.

Cars with lives of their own.

Sometimes the cars pull up, cut their engines, make phone calls, wait for other cars. Thug-Life tattooed men move things from one trunk to another and then speed away.

And there I am, on my second-floor porch, watching, trying to get a license plate number. Difficult to do, but the binoculars I got for my birthday help.

What, you didn't ask for binoculars? You should. They're terribly handy. Because Big Pimpin' and Candi-Brandee-Tiphernee-Kryssttaal down there at street level?

Those aren’t hotdish recipes they’re trading.

And the beautiful thing about the second floor? No one ever looks up.

Of course, you know I call it in every time; but the cops haven’t made it in time to catch them yet.

And the cars – who can describe them? That’s the problem when you can’t get the plate number. How in the world do I describe them?

“Ummm. It was a white car. Rich but tacky looking. Four doors and tinted windows. I’m pretty sure it had tires, probably four And there was chrome. Lots of chrome. Oh, and I believe “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” was on the DVD player in the back, but I might be wrong about that.”

Have you seen that car?

When did I stop knowing things about cars? I like to think it was when, at least in my eyes, they stopped being distinctive and interesting, but it could actually be about the time I didn’t have to know about cars any more, aka after me and the Loose Nut Behind The Wheel broke up.

I think I became willfully ignorant after that, just because I could.

Ha! Take that, ex-boyfriend! I refuse to remember what you taught me!

That’ll teach him to, uh, teach.

Anyway, what I know about cars would fill a thimble, and here it is:

You absolutely can flush your own radiator by following the directions on a package; if you’ve just changed your oil and yet nothing registers on the dipstick you might want to check to see if you bothered to put the oilplug back in; no matter what anyone tells you, your Van Allen Belt is not loose; and there’s not been a single recorded instance of someone being dangerously low on blinker fluid.

And when you absolutely can’t tell a Honda Accord from a Honda Civic, you keep your camera at hand.

Bring on the arms traders.


a Broad said...

Brava ! the world needs more vigilant neighbors..
Sadly... or not .. having grown up in the Southern US .. I know cars.. I can name them .. But todays little things? they ALL look like Hondas to me.

Bossy Betty said...

Lamb of God Kicks Butt! Yeah!!!!!!

I just love the picture of you with there with your binos! You are well on your way to joining me as the neighborhood whacko! Yahoo!!!! Let's get together and taunt little children who pass by!

ellen abbott said...

When our neighborhood was at the mercy of the thugs we had a guy move in who built a high fence around his property and a watch tower on one corner. He would sit up there with a gun and keep watch on the neighborhood. After it got cleaned up he moved on to another neighborhood that needed him. Gregory, his name was. all the kids knew Gregory.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Hey, maybe this Gregory can become your neighbor, Pearl! I've seen stories where neighbors set up lawn chairs right where thug-cars were making exchanges.... but there have to be lots of neighbors working together, I think. Safer to stay up above with your binocs and telephone, ever vigilant. And I was sure my Van Allen Belt was loose. What?

Simply Suthern said...

Stake Out!!! Ya need to duct tape your webcam to the back of the binoculars then to a tripod. Ya gotta have a smoke filled room and eat twinkies and talk in code. 10-4??

One more step to becoming a cat lady.

Kr√ęg said...

After having "lost" them on a closet shelf, I found my binoculars two weeks ago and immediately started peering out of my windows at my neighbors. Then I remembered why I shelved them to begin with: My neighborhood is boring.

L said...

Oh how I have learned cars in my days.....they are much like my teenager or so I've learned lately - my knowledge is as follows:
They are lazy
They are unpredictable
They blow up for no reason
They are impossibly stubborn
They cost more than you earn
and sometimes you just want to leave them sitting there for someone else to deal with

Lady Ren said...

I hear you. Cars are just not important enough for me to maintain any knowledge about them.

Reddirt Woman said...

The camera with the 400mm telephoto would rank right up there with the binoculars to me... and as for the cars... the things that stand out to me are the things like the fancy wheels that cost more than my income for a couple of months... or all the accouterments like the ornamental curb feelers (remember those plain ones that used to be on REAL cars) or the neon type lights that run along the bottoms of the chassis and light up their night world... the low riders that wouldn't survive a mile on the country roads I live on... stuff like that just makes me shake my head. I'm way past that age gap for sure now and I'm not quite sure when that happened...

Irisheyes said...

Loose nut behind the wheel?!! Absolutely fabulous blog, Pearl. P.S. I once ran my car into a ditch aside the Church of Resurrection and found myself in a bit of trouble. I wonder if they have a team I can send money to?

Anonymous said...

Nothing like some rowdy church ball kids. I love it when teams play each other with names like The Saints vs. The Devils....

Us vs. Them....

Aint vs. Aren't...LOL...you get my drift.

Cheeseboy said...

Pearl, you done real good here with this one. Real good. Had me laughing throughout.

Beta Dad said...

Our local park has some drug trafficking, I'm sure; but the biggest illicit activity is gay cruising. When the security guy drives through the parking lot at 10:00 p.m., though, the cars scatter. Closing time, fellas! I don't understand why there isn't rampant crime there--it's a huge park and the police hardly ever patrol at night. I walk my dog there at all hours and never feel scared.

Meanwhile, there's a park about a mile away that is pretty much an open-air drug/prostitution market, and the cops are always there. Seems like the criminals would go to the park where the cops aren't.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Binoculars for your birthday! What a hoot. I just hope none of those thugs ever look up.

Love the part about the christian sports :-)


Bonnie said...

Wow, you gotta love cops. Always willing to be ever so helpful. At least you have your trusty binoculars. Sorry you are having to deal with such rudeness. Hope you get your park back someday!


Tempo said...

I'm not a trusting soul when it comes to the police..if they didnt turn up Id guess it was because doing so might alter their cut. When it comes to the cops..I've seen too much! Damn, now I've said too much!