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Sunday, May 22, 2011

People are so Uptight These Days, or I Hadn't Realized Paranoia is Contagious

I watched the three kids in the alley Saturday night, cell phone in hand, my dialing finger having already pressed 9 – 1…

Yeah, that’s me. The super-tough one squinting at you behind the curtain from the second-floor window. It’s 11:30. What’re you doing in my alley, making all that noise?

Give me a reason to press the other “1”, punk.

My mind shimmies from side to side with the possibilities. My eyeballs spin counter-clockwise as I consider a variety of crimes against nature and man involving people I can envision lurking in an alley. What are they doing out there? Meth lab? Puppy mill? Bachman for President rally?

Good God. This could be serious.

I squint through the blinds. Man, I wish I had a cigarette.

Having had the recent privilege of paying for the installation of a new service door on the garage (after some reprobate kicked it in), the kids in the alley, their bikes next to them as they talk, look more like pending bills than people to me, some city-dweller tax that no one talks about.

Well, I’m on to ‘em. Little buggers. Go play in your own alley!

This all goes through my head in roughly the same amount of time it takes to, say, get the chain back on your bike properly; and I watch as one of them spins his back wheel with an air of satisfaction. The one standing next to him punches him in the arm while the third one hops his bike up and down, up and down, the two-wheeled equivalent of a tapping foot.

They look like children. Like hormonal, mostly-grown, restless children.

I let the curtain fall and close my phone without hitting the final “1” in the 911 equation.

There will be plenty of time for that another day.

32 comments:

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Bachmann for President rallies are totally dangerous and completely 911 worthy.

Douglas said...

Here's a tip that may save you time in the future. Punch in the 9-1-1 and then wait for the appropriate moment to punch the Dial button (the usually green handset icon). Just a tip from those of us who are all too well known down at the Emergency 9-1-1 call center.

You've heard of alley cats? Those kids are alley rats. Completely harmless when you deprive them of cans of spray paint and urine filled water balloons.

I think you should worry more about Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) and what she's up to.

jenny_o said...

It's hard not to be wary - it's self-preservation, after all. Always nice when it turns out okay, though.

Drake Sigar said...

You think you’ve got problems? I have an antique telephone, it takes ten minutes to get to the nine.

powdergirl said...

Paranoiah big Destroyah.

I see it in the way adults sometimes look at my kids. They are very large children, at 13 and 15, the oldest being nearly 6'5" and about 220, his very excellent posture makes him look menacing or arrogant to some, I think. People cast their eyes from side to side when he's passing them on the street, sometimes they move waaay over for him. Me, sitting and waiting for him in my truck, I want to run over and tell them- no no, you've got the wrong impression. He's a really, really nice kid,he's even a very helpful kid, just a kid walking from school. I'm constantly trying to make him aware of this as it pains me to watch it and I want him to somehow mitigate for it. Sigh.
But yeah, sometimes those little bastards really are there to kick your garage door in. Or shoot paintballs at your window, or steel your scare crow : /

Virgil said...

I really can relate pearl! In fact I think I've had a pretty similar situation before! Bachman for president. Haha:D Love your blog!

The Jules said...

Being young is a crime! Punishable by having to grow up!

That'll learn 'em.

C... said...

I hate that feeling ... I know it too well.

Belle said...

Well Pearl, I don't blame you for the paranoia. I'm glad they turned out to be just kids fixing their bikes.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Hey, today you have to be proactive instead of reactive. I'd do same thing if I lived where kids were doing just that. Being ready.

Bushman said...

Shoot first ask questions later. Better to ask forgiveness than permission. Nah I'm just kidding cuz I would have been shot a long time ago.LOL Is that Richard Bachman for president?
Just wondering cuz......well you know!

dbs said...

Get off my lawn moments happen to me too.

Eva Gallant said...

Fortunately, I live in a quiet mobile home park; dead end street, to alleys.

Eva Gallant said...

Whoops, that was no alleys!

Symdaddy said...

You need Doggy Harry to guard your alley

http://symdaddy.blogspot.com/2011/05/doggy-harry.html

Nancy said...

The city equivalent of my dad standing on his porch ready to yell, get off my lawn? Some things never change. ;)

Sioux said...

You should have gone ahead and dialed 911. If they didn't do anything wrong then, they did yesterday or they are plotting some sort of shenanigans for tomorrow.

DUH--Desperately United against Hooligans! Join today!

Gigi said...

Be vigilant Pearl! You never know who (or what) Liza Bean's "contact" will be!

Irish Gumbo said...

"Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep..."

Good (non)call, Pearl.

R. Jacob said...

I think I am now convinced that not unlike a bartender pouring a cold one from the tap, your words appear effortlessly to amuse one and all, and just as satisfying, without the pretzels to munch on.

HermanTurnip said...

I feel the same way about my family-in-law. I can see them approaching our house from blocks away. My thumb hovers over my cell phone as I look for *any* excuse to hit that final '1' button. How *dare* they want to keep visiting their grandson. I swear, the nerve of some people... ;-)

That Janie Girl said...

Isn't it funny how our minds can get the best of us?

Lazarus said...

You are seriously funny Pearl, I would love to just follow you around for one day with a movie camera, especially on your bus rides....but you'd probably notice me and call 9-1-1!

River said...

Did you memorise their faces in case you're called upon to go through mug shots?

Pat said...

Not nice!

Linda O'Connell said...

Thanks for the daily dose of laughter. I was right there with you at the window.

Glen said...

Sadly it's an all too easy assumption to make these days. Then you can't help feeling guilty afterwards - but don't.

This line - "I squint through the blinds. Man, I wish I had a cigarette." reminded me of the other day when my 9 year old bugger, I mean git, I mean leach, I mean Son - said...

"Dad there was this Nun in the bath and there was a knock at the door. when she asked who it was the voice said 'it's the blind man' - so she said 'come in' ..."

If you need to know the punchline you don't get out enough :-)

mrwriteon said...

On vacation, my dear, heading for the wilds of Oregon but had to touch base with my favorite blogger. You did not disappoint.

Joshua said...

I've had occasion to call 911 before. This year was the first time I've had to call it for myself.

Cake Betch said...

And then as soon as you closed the blinds they graffitied your whole alley and peed on the wall. Lol

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Talk about your Neighborhood Watch! MacGruff would be SO PROUD of you!

Susan in the Boonies said...

Crisis averted!

Calling 911 for the ambulance, and saying "My husband is having a heart attack" was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.