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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Beverage-y Hillbillies: I Shall Miss You

Another day, another dollar, dollar-and-a-half – you string enough of those together and you find yourself at the brink of a weekend.

The weekend. Two little days, if you’re lucky, of meeting up with friends, of cooking, cleaning, errand-running, grocery-shopping, preparation for the next week…

Yikes. What was my point?

Oh, but if only we knew what to expect for those two days! How can we make the best use of our time? What shall we wear? Would going out for dirty martinis be a good idea? What about margaritas? Would that be a better idea?

If only we knew…

But we do! We do know! For right here, in my hot little hand, is my iPod, bringer of tunes and testimony, beats both exhilarating and laughable. As is well known – particularly in the space between my own ears – my iPod, set to shuffle and played during my Friday-morning commute, tells the future.

So it is written, so it shall be done.

Shh. Let’s listen.

I Can’t Get Next to You by The Temptations
The Sweet Part of the City by The Hold Steady
Getting Down by The Kills
Oh My God by Kaiser Chiefs
Glad Girls by Guided by Voices
Sincerely Jane by Janelle Monae
Fever by Peggy Lee

What’s it all mean? There’s going to be a definite challenge – one which you will rise to meet with a smile on your face. There’s also a woman who is trying to tell you something. Try to figure out what it is.

So! Got that out of the way, and here we are, having arrived at the last of our serial-Friday installments re: the Beverage-y Hillbillies.

We’ve spent the past several Fridays getting to know the family that moved into my neighborhood, a square-headed lot attuned to the ways of front-yard hootin’ and hollerin’. We’ve grown to appreciate their ability to sprint whilst shouldering two of the largest stereo speakers left in existence. We’ve marveled at both their ability to ask for help and the frequency with which they do it and a displayed prowess in the egg-hurling sports. We’ve stood in wonder over the get-‘er-done entrepreneurial spirit of a foray into parking-lot drug distribution, and we’ve seen me break down and contact their landlords in an attempt to rid the neighborhood of them once and for all.

Today's episode?

And Now, I Have a Cretin-Shaped Hole in My Heart

I would like to report that the day that brought the moving out of the curiously squat and squared-headed folk down the street was a raucous adventure of questionable folk from Minneapolis' seedy underbelly, that various pick-ups and oxen-led carts showed up to help them load up and take away the four large-screen TVs, the ping pong table and the seemingly dozens of mattresses that I witnessed them move in.

But I cannot.

They left in the middle of the night, leaving nothing but tire tracks in the front yard, a large piece of furniture that may have doubled as some sort of sacrificial slab, a broken cooler, and two horrifyingly stained king-sized mattresses.

They left these items on the boulevard in front of their house.

Oddly enough, Minneapolis' garbage haul-away policy is amazingly liberal; and all of these items could've been taken off the neighborhood's hands by simply leaving them in the alley with a note that says "Please Take".

And as enticing as a game of "What does that stain look like to you?" originally seemed, I tired of the view of their household scabs almost immediately, and called 311 (the number to the city) on the second day.

"I'd like to report a large pile of crap, please."

The woman on the other end chuckled. "Can you describe the crap, ma'am?"

I could, and I did.

"Do you have the address of said crap?"

"Well, it's four down from my house, but the house numbers seem to run by both fours and twos on my street, so I'm not sure of it right now. I can walk down there if you like."

"Let's start with your address and go from there," she said.

In minutes, she had Google Maps pulled up, had found my house and had counted down four houses.

"Is it the house with the lamp post in front of it?" she asked.

"What?" I said. "You can see that?"

"Google Maps is a wonderful thing," she said.

I had been unaware of this street-level feature. "I'm stepping outside," I said. "Can you see me? I’m waving."

She laughed politely, as one does at the clueless. "Ma'am, it's a satellite image."

There was a slight pause as I listened to her type.

"We'll have someone out to pick it up tomorrow."

"Really? Just like that, huh?"

"Just like that," she said. "Is there anything more I can do for you?"

"No, ma'am," I said. "That's plenty."

True to her word, the City of Minneapolis hauled away the residuals of the Beverage-y Hillbillies’ brief stay with us, and so it is here that our tale of inner-city excitement ends.

They came, they saw, they littered.

And now they're someone else's problem.


mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I'm going to miss the stories about them but I'm sure you are not going to miss them at all.

Deborah said...

I agree; I'm going to miss the stories, but I'm guessing there will be some other 'interesting' peeps that will be around to entertain us through you. Yay!

I technically live in BC, but for a brief time lived in Nort' Mpls and LOVED the grab it and go attitude of the trash collection. They took EVERYTHING I tossed on the curb as long as it was sorted. LOVED that.

I didn't appreciate the grab it and go attitude of the rest of the neighborhood though. And loved my big dog on walks about. Miss all the cool old houses over there though.

BC just isn't as cool I have to say.

Pearl said...

Delores, ah, but there are other neighbors. :-) Did I ever tell you about the woman in the Little Rascal scooter that I chased for four blocks? :-)

Deborah, the houses, the trees, the parks. Minneapolis is a beautiful city, and outside of a couple of blocks, here and there, of social misfits and petty criminals, it's one of the best of the larger cities to reside in in the U.S. :-) And I'll stand by that!

Sioux said...

Woe is us! What will you write about now? Your ink well will run dry...

Oh, that's right. You have those two swingin' cats to spin tales about.

You have graffiti artists to write about.

You have pervs on the bus to write about.

Never mind...

Pearl said...

Sioux, if I ever run out of things to say, you'll know I'm dead. :-)

Eva Gallant said...

I just hope you have sufficient blog fodder without them!

Symdaddy said...

I hope that this does not mean that from now on we will be Pearl-less on a Friday.

If that is indeed the case then bring them there billies back from the hills right now!

Pearl said...

Eva, shhh. Don't jinx me!

Symdaddy, I could never leave you guys. :-)

Pat said...

How satisfying that you took action and it worked. Bravo!

Pearl said...

Pat, I was quite full of myself for days and days. :-) We've not had a problem like them since they left.

Vicus Scurra said...

I think I will move in. Got it on google maps satellite. Please put some clothes on.

Shelly said...

It's too bad a 311 call couldn't have taken them away when they first appeared.

Pearl said...

Vicus, ah-HA! I knew that woman was lying to me! (slinks off, looks for pants...)

Shelly, that's true, but if it were that easy I wonder how many calls would be made about ME? :-)

The Jules said...

I bet they were all inside one of the larger mattresses. They'll be scurrying out to infest new premises as soon as the city authorities make a bed up from it.

I've enjoyed the saga of their existence. Follow them, Pearl, and tell us more, like David Attenborough after a migrating herd of oiks.

laughingmom said...

Google maps freaks me out a little bit. The shot of our house is so clear that you can almost count the blades of grass in our yard. It's creepy!!

jenny_o said...

A highly satisfactory ending! For you, too, I bet :)

As a side note, the curse of old age vision kicked in when I read Sioux's comment - I saw the words swinging, cats, and tales, and my nimble brain cells made the leap to "swinging cats by their tails"...

Bodacious Boomer said...

When I started reading this I thought you'd found the perfect destination to relocate my neighborhood crackhead. (I'd heard she wanted to go somewhere cooler.)

I was disheartened when I read that the pack of colorful folk have moved on.:(

Pearl said...

Oh, Jules, that's an absolutely fabulous visual. :-) I think I may eventually have to write something about the abandoned mattresses and the folk that come scurrying out of them after dark...

laughingmom, my friend T is actually visible in the Google Maps shot of his house. :-) They've blurred his face!

jenny-O, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who does that!

Bodacious, no worries. There are still rental units in Minneapolis that take in stray crackheads!! Send her my way and I'll push her into a snowbank for ya.

Susan in the Boonies said...

"They came. They saw. They littered."

I read. I snorted.

I wish I had another good verb, but I like to report things truthfully, as they really happened. When it suits my purpose.

Don't worry: some day you'll find another cretin to fill that hole in your heart.

Tom G. said...

You got yourself the makings of a fine screen play right there. I can't wait to see the movie. I picture Woody Harrelson as the patriarch of the Beveragey Hillbilly clan.

Denise said...

I just got in at the tail-end of this series. Sounds like a bunch of doozies to put it politely.

mrwriteon said...

'Name that Stain'. What a horrifying game-show concept. Guaranteed it's be a seller, but I don't want to be a contestant.
And Peggy Lee, Fever. Sublime. But so is anything by Miss Peggy.

Leenie said...

Aaarrrgh!!! The visual of the stained mattresses is BURNED in my brain. Being a person of highly imaginable powers has its downside.

Kitty Moore said...

Sounds like christmas came early for you!!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I will miss them. I almost looked forward to the Beverage-ys as much as Ipod Fridays.

Craver Vii said...

The stories were hilarious.

Congratulations on taking action and seeing the community purged of the nasties.

The satellite comments gave me a chuckle, too. I'll admit that I did wonder about that (real-time images) when it was first available.

vanilla said...

Thought you were going to get through the playlist without a name I recognize. But then, Peggy Lee!
Pearl 1, Hillbillies, Bye!

Ms Sparrow said...

How you make me appreciate my quiet, critter-filled corner of St Paul! None of the animals that cross my path leave litter and crap other than the bio-degradable kind!

Gigi said...

Good riddance to bad rubbish...both literally & figuratively.

Jo said...

Apparently my mind is deeply in the gutter. As I was reading your playlist, all I could think was that some lucky Jane is having quite the party this weekend....

A toast to the moving out of the HillWillies! *clink*

Crystal Pistol said...

A pile of crap, huh? At least you can't say they never gave you nothin'. :)

Tempo said...

WHAT..you had those mattresses hauled away?
But they were still good, obviously left there for someone less fortunate to have and keep for themselves. Oh Pearl, I'm surprised at you..surprised and disappointed all at the same time... Tut-tut!

Murr Brewster said...

Oh man, Pearl, I'm sorry. We had them rustled out of town right after we whined about them to the landlords and various state officials for two years, and we didn't think about where they might have been headed. They didn't seem like Minnesota folk, but everybody's so cosmopolitan now.

It's cool the city cleaned up after them so promptly. They've been known to follow their own mattress bits right back to the old domicile.

Steve Bailey said...

Good riddance! Sounds like you are way better off now... and as for google maps.... they are crazy accurate.... just imagine what the governments ones can see?

River said...

I'll miss the hillbilly stories. I hope someone nicer but equally as colourful moves in.

Linda O'Connell said...

In our city, the crap lingers in the alley longer than the rednecks did in your neighborhood, no matter how many times you call city refuse. Maybe we ought to call you when we need trash hauled away; you get the job done.

NYEMT said...

I called it. I said they'd either slink away in the dark leaving the furniture on the lawn, or require a contingent of law enforcement to dislodge them.

That said, my condolences on the departure of one of your muses.

THAT said, I'm sure you've no shortage of fodder. Your neighbors must sneak furtively about their business, fearful that they'll be the next topic of your blog. "Don't open the drapes or go outside until she leaves for work! She'll write about US next!" :D

Douglas said...

I had always wondered what happened to the Hippie communes of the 60's, it's (maybe not) good to know there descendants are, um, er, thriving.

the walking man said...

See ya bitches...the same thing happened down in the Detroit slums. "Cept these fools didn't leave anything behind because they never took anything in that amounted to much. The best part was before, when the squatters had been tried to be evicted they got the pit bulls out and threatened the bank dude, This time a damn near riot loaded swat team came and politely asked them to move it along.

Oh how I am going to miss those fools barbecuing on the damn side walk while they sit on milk crates so no one can get by.

Well that's not quite true I took my big dog for a walk down that way one day and they hurried up and grabbed their food. They have seen my dog eat tree branches three inches in diameter. I think they really wanted to eat their own chicken that day.

Daisy said...

I SO envy your garbage collection in the wonderful city of Minniapolis! (Hope I spelled that correctly!) And congratulations on the absence of rowdy neighbours.

SparkleFarkle said...

So sad to hear this will be our last "Hillbilly Moment," here, at Pearls. Perhaps Santa will bring you a new batch for Christmas? Fingies crossed! LOL!

Thanks for the lughs-ly,