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Friday, October 28, 2011

Come Listen to a Story 'Bout a Man Named Jed, or Does His Head Look Square to You?

Stampeding once again toward the promise of the weekend’s alarm-clock-less freedoms, we consult the Mighty iPod.

O bringer of personal tunes, inducer of dance steps both awe-inspiring and mock-worthy, divine the weekend’s potential through my morning commute’s playlist!

Or, to steal from the great Rocky and Bullwinkle: Eenie meenie jelly beanie! The spirits are about to speak!

Ain’t No Sunshine by Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
Suddenly…(I Miss Carpaty) by Gogol Bordello
Too Fake by Hockey
Tiger by Maximum Balloon
Outta-Space by Billy Preston
Questions 67 and 68 by Chicago
Mandinka by Sinead O’Connor
Totally Nude by The Wallets

You see what I do, don’t you? Click on the PayPal link and order my book "I Was Raised to be A Lert"? What? You don’t see that?

That’s weird. I see that quite clearly…

No matter.

Welcome, one and all, to What’s Up with My Neighborhood?, a new Friday feature.

Let me begin by saying that I love my neighborhood. Northeast Minneapolis is the "Arts District" of Minneapolis, a neighborhood full of restaurants, bars, art studios, live music, sidewalks and trees and people walking their dogs.

And sometimes, sometimes there are some real freaks as well. Remind me to tell you about Stephanie, the Tattooed Lady. She would like to sit next to you at the bar, bemoaning the fact that the tattoos on her face have seriously impeded her ability to get a job.

Lousy establishment! The Man is keeping her down!

She’ll go away if you buy her a drink.

Consider it money well spent.

But that’s not what we’re on about today. Oh, no. Today, my friends, I would like to introduce you to the Beverage-y Hillbillies.

The Beverage-y Hillbillies moved in to the bottom half of a duplex three houses down roughly four years ago. They lived there for five months.

But I’m ahead of myself.

Sit back! Today’s story is “The Beverage-y Hillbillies Move In”.



There is a lovely park directly across the street from us. There are mature trees for shade, open spaces for Frisbee-hurtling, dog-walking, and the occasional couple making out on a blanket. Our neighbors are a mix of couples with children, retired folk with meticulous lawns, and the work-a-day types like myself hustling toward and away from bus stops at regular intervals.

We are Middle America.

Our new neighbors moved in on an early summer day. After enduring the face-peelingly frigid attempts of Mother Nature’s to make us move south, the neighborhood was fairly giddy with the prospect of bare arms and bare legs.

And when five battered pickup trucks pulled up in front of the duplex that had recently had a “For Rent” sign removed, we were naturally curious.

And “curious” is the word we’re looking for here, because despite the number of trucks involved, our new neighbors’ possessions seemed to be restricted to several large-screen TVs, several frighteningly worn and possibly antique mattresses, and children.

Moving said items didn’t take much time, of course; and before you could say “what the??” our new neighbors had set up a ping-pong table on the sidewalk in front of their house.

And a recliner.

And three coolers that we came to know were filled with beer because of the empties that eventually littered the boulevard.

The new people played ping-pong until it was dark.

Whereupon they played in the dark.

It was all delightfully audible.

The ping-pong table stayed on the sidewalk for several weeks, until the police were called and they were required to remove it and the beer cans from the public walkway.

They moved it all up into the front yard.

Where it sat next to the recliner, which they also moved.

Oddly enough, this did not bode well – and it’s surprising how often a good boding turns out to be for a good reason.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

47 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

That's a marvellous rock and roll rendition of aint no sunshine....
New neighbours...we watch them arrive with trepidation and leave with delight.

Pearl said...

Delores, I love that, particularly the inhale while he keeps on with the "And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know..." :-)

Simply Suthern said...

We just got new neighbors. You hold your breath for good ones. We were able to exhale with with a smile. SO FAR

Weve had the Hillbillies before tho. The little boy hollared to me, My dad is WILD BILL!!, Hmmm Great.

Argent said...

We're about to get new neighbours - I always feel a degree of apprehension about that.

We've had good ones and bad ones, including some who shot things at the cats and would go climbing on our roof for giggles (grrr!).

Gigi said...

Neighbors....the bad ones are always a good source for blog fodder, at least.

Shelly said...

Chicago!!!

And about them there neighbors...I allus wondered where that family went to that dun got run out'n our parts- think they left some 'o them kids behind.

Nessa Roo said...

I had wondered where my brother got off to...

aBroad said...

Oh maaan, Billy Preston !
Walking around Tango world today, I will be humming Ain't No Sunshine When You're Gone ~

My neighborly discussion will be coming soon. The apartment below us is for rent. We are in a building of owner inhabited apartments.. the owner downstairs decided to rent the apt out ..
Yes, homicide was considered .. they are already annoying me , there are men polishing the floors .. noisy men .. noisy machines.. cranky me.
Happy Friday .. bah humbug

Ms Sparrow said...

Thank heaven those "disregulated" types can never light in one place for very long. And yet, how sad for those kids whose lives are constantly uprooted and schooling disrupted. They will surely grow up to become disregulated as well!

Pearl said...

Simply, you just never know who will move in. We are surrounded (left, right, up AND down) with wonderful people who sometimes feed me. :-) It only takes the one, though, like the ones that used to live downstairs and brought the “after bar” home on a Thursday night!

Argent, annoying! I’m still waiting for the ones that show up and put a fire pit in the backyard… Considering that we live actually IN the city, our yards are rather small, the houses close together...

Gigi, it’s like the bad bus rides. :-) I’m okay with weirdos until it gets violent or threatening in some way. Then it’s no fun anymore.

Shelly, did Chicago not rock?! And did those kids have square heads? Seriously. These people had square heads…

Nessa Roo, he says to send him money at my address. :-)

aBroad, Billy Preston, a fine and funky keyboard player, and that’s the truth. Even played with The Beatles. Sorry about the noisiness in preparation for the new folk. Perhaps the new neighbors will be mutes? :-)

Ms. Sparrow, oh, you got that right. Those kids, unfortunately, are “marked” in all kinds of ways. I have another two, maybe three more stories on these people, and the kids are definitely fully integrated in their lifestyle…

Symdaddy said...

Being from a seaside town I could never claim hillbillie neighbours ... a few salty ol' sea dogs, perhaps, but not hillbillies.

Hillbillies, to my mind anyhow, are (as your title would seem to indicate) harmless simple folks that just happen to have an oil well or two.

I can however sympathise with you with regards to the litter and general tat that get's left in the yard/on the street.

With us though it wasn't a ping-pong table or recliner ... we had a 25 foot fishing boat (with a hole in it) and about 30 lobster pots.

Not particularly odd in a fishing town, I grant you, but we did live on the land-side of town about a mile from the shore.

We considered ourselves upper-middle class in those days so the smell emanating from both boat and pots was severely property-price damaging.

After a while we did manage to have them removed (enforced by the local constabulary [with pegs on their noses]) but the damage was done.

From that time on our street was known as Rotten Cod Row.

Diane said...

Ummmm . . . the 'For Rent' sign just got taken down next door . . .

Pearl said...

Symdaddy, Rotten Cod Row. :-) Picturesque. Hillbillies don't actually have any money (despite my allusion to Jed Clampett). They tend to be insular, under-educated folk with infrequent access to dental and medical plans and a habit of casual violence.

Not nearly as smelly as lobster pots. Come to think of that, being landlocked as I am, I don't think I've ever seen a lobster pot. OK. Am now off to google "lobster pot".

Pearl said...

Dianne, you'll have to let us know if they have square heads. :-)

Symdaddy said...

My home town:

http://www.newbigginbythesea.co.uk/

There will be coble's (boats) and lobster pots aplenty (probably)

jenny_o said...

Also from a land of lobster pots here. People from "away" buy them and take them home as souvenirs :)

Love your story and so happy to read your comment that there are more stories a-comin'!

Simply Suthern said...

I would imagine lobster pot would be hard to keep lit.

Pearl said...

Sym, comments at you over at your place...

Jenny_o, really?! I was in Boston once and bought a lamp that uses oil or something :-) but I don't believe I've ever bought a lobster pots. :-)

Pearl said...

Rim shot for Simply Southern!! :-) (And nobody wants to hold that lobster hit...)

JeannetteLS said...

I award you the best title ever... Try to hold back the stunned gratitude.

I grew up with next door neighbors not far removed from this. They had a ping pong table in the driveway between our houses... And, when I was married they had two boom boxes going full blast just as we started Pacelbel's Cannon...

But, then, I had a father who then stepped out the front door as I was about to "Process" through the living room.

"Wait a second, honey," he said, and opened the front door, stepped out and bellowed,"Shut the HELL UP! There's a Goddamned wedding going o n!"

Oddly enough they did. But, then, as I marched toward the fireplace, I saw that my father had hung the sign up again over the bald eagle thingy my mother loathed that was up there, "Don't just sit there. Nag your husband."

So I am not sure, but that we were just as bizarre. It just wasn't public.

WHY your entry reminded me of that I am not sure. Our neighbor also ran out of our house one day when she saw lilacs in a vase.

"Them are POISONOUS!" She shouted and never came into our house again.

GREAT entry. Just wonderful

Pearl said...

Jeannette, love the stream-of-consciousness thing you have going! :-) And hey, as long as something about it speaks to you, I'm cool, because I think a lot of us have had these kinds of neighbors, if only once.

jenny_o said...

Pearl, if you had ever bought a lobster pot, you'd know :) They're fairly large. Also known as a lobster trap. I'm not sure what people do with them when they get them home. Probably rent a storage unit to keep them in. Or maybe put them on their front lawn with their recliner and pool table, hehe

Leenie said...

"Can you tell me? Please don't TELL me". "Sixty Seven and Sixty Eight"--second only to Twenty-five or Six to Four. Chicago second only the The Beach Boys.

Don't you just hate neighbors who attract police? Just love the visual of the ping-pong table and the eternal party on the sidewalk. In our perky little neighborhood the drug dealers stood out like a sore thumb. Left right after the patrol car and the dogs.

jenny_o said...

er, ping-pong table (not pool table)

The Jules said...

Just looked at Minneapolis on Google Maps and it's in America!

Fancy that!

Also, "delightfully audible". You wrote that and made me laugh.

Eva Gallant said...

A ping pong table and a recliner on the sidewalk! Awesome. I can't wait to read more!

Happy Frog and I said...

Sorry for not being around much but so pleased to come back to this post. I've lived next to some very 'interesting' people in my time but never ones who set up a ping pong table outside and then carried on in the dark. Hmmm. I'm already looking forward to the next instalment.

bill lisleman said...

I was about to write, "I'll trade you mine", but actually a better idea would be to introduce them to each other and get them both to move to some isolated place like the Ozarks.

Joyful Things said...

I was worried for you until I read that they moved in four years ago and lived there for five months. I think though that they may have moved in down the street from where I live. Did they also have several rusted out dead vehicles and let their kids walk to school in socks? If so, then yes they live down my street. Shall I give them a wave hello from you? And, as a side note, what did you do, specifically, to get them to move on?

Michelle said...

I'd be extremely worried about those INAIRLOGS and the fact Berriro and Hill are Hydra.
" REWEEY ".
Grang talking,too.
Plazo says they are the Fkpere?

jabblog said...

You do lead an interesting life - makes my comfortable suburban existence seem very dull and actually, I'm quite relieved as I'm of the 'smile and they won't bite' persuasion.

jabblog said...

ps: I just ordered your book:-)

Kara said...

You are such a tease! First you allude to great stories about Stephanie,the Tattooed Lady then you give us just enough about the The Jefferson Hillbillies to leave us wanting more!

Belle said...

I can't wait to hear more!

Val Thevictorian said...

Bill:
The Ozarks called. They don't want their hillbillies back.

Tempo said...

So thats where they moved when the moved out of my street.. Do they still come home with copious amounts of beer on social security pay days? Do they still fight for the next few days until the grog runs out...and do they still hurl half house bricks at each other up and down the street in the middle of the night while screaming loudly? Thanks, but we dont want them back dear!
..another very funny and highly entertaining post Pearl.

NYEMT said...

I can totally corroborate the infrequent (at best) attention to dental care and penchant for casual violence. We have a small community not far from us which was noted for those particular traits for many years. I've often said that a community's character may be speedily acsertained by comparing the orthodontist's office (in this case, a large beautifully kept 3-story brick edifice) with the public library (in this case, a single-wide with cardboard on several windows). Welcome to Hillbilly Heaven. :)

aBroad said...

I am going to wish for Tango dancers downstairs.
Mute Tango Dancers.
besitos

LOLA said...

I love my quiet neighborhood.

Love,
Lola

EcoGrrl said...

ah chiquita i'm back to stalkin' yer blog again! hope you are well :) MANDINKA - dreamy - i remember seeing miz sinead live in high school and dancin' to this, sweeeeet!

Pat Tillett said...

It's always a 50/50 proposition! Sometimes they are great and you are happy they moved in and sometimes they are like a case of roids...They bug you and you can't scratch 'em away...

Roses said...

Drunk ping pong into the night. Nope. That takes freaky neighbours to a whole new level of awesome. I've just had the drunk & off her tits weird neighbour with a bad taste in boyfriends. But she most likely said the same about me.

Ain't no Sunshine was more energetic than I could cope with first thing. I'll be back to appreciate it later.

Linda O'Connell said...

They are everywhere. Years ago we moved into a small house, and directly across the street was a smaller one. Late one night I watched the owner, who looked like Johnny Appleseed, come out dragging his dresser. He torched it on the front lawn!

River said...

Hey, hey, hey!! Where's the rest of the story? Don't keep me in suspenders like this..

ducksmahal.com said...

I got a Lazy Boy in the yard. Me and the boyz drink beer and bird watch - with a .22. :)

Susan in the Boonies said...

Pearl, women of the world, such as ourselves, have learned to pay attention to a good bode. Be it for well or for evil. It's a lot like being a lert.

Dr Zibbs said...

Love me some Billy Preston.