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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Come Listen to a Story 'Bout a Man Named Jed

I have been, and will be, remarkably busy for a day or two.  Please enjoy this re-posting -- from 2011, I think it was -- a serial-style story of declining property values, of petty crime and low-slung trousers.

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends:  The Jefferson (Street, that is) Hillbillies.

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, people walking their dogs and cats lurking in windows, smoking cigarettes.

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 made finding a job really hard.

Lousy establishment! The Man is keeping her down!

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

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

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

But I’m ahead of myself.

Sit back! Today’s story is “The Jefferson 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 lying on a blanket, kissing. 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-peeling attempts of Mother Nature’s seasonal efforts to make us move south, the neighborhood was fairly giddy with good humor and there were sightings of both bare arms and bare legs.

Heady stuff.

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 mattresses, and children.

But hey. Live and let live, right? Plenty of room for everybody!

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.

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.


joeh said...

So that's where my old neighbors moved!

All night ping pong...really?

Simply Suthern said...

Thank goodness for Glow In the Dark Ping Pong Balls. Playing just with headlights creates blindspots.

fmcgmccllc said...

When they left your town they moved in a couple doors down from me. They switched to horseshoes, lost the recliner and replaced it with the front seat of an old chevy, and I call them the Clampetts

Pearl said...

joeh, really. :-)

Simply, I love that this is where your mind goes.

fmcgmccllc, truly, they are universal... Citizens of the world!

Daisy said...

I've had neighbours like this...gratefully, no longer. The neighbourhood is rather quiet and boring tho.

Pearl, I read that the new Pope rides the bus! Maybe one day you'll meet him there!

The Savage said...

That story kinda makes me feel like river-dancing...

The Savage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pearl said...

Daisy, oh, do you know what I'd give to see the Pope on the bus??

The Savage, there will be no river dancing, sir. But there will be sports with eggs later, and the chance to buy some dope from a moron. :-)

Buttons said...

First I love the title and the story makes me want more for some strange reason where did they go? I love the way your mind works too I think we have some strange brain connection going on:) B

Pearl said...

Buttons, I'm not sure if I should be pleased or frightened. :-) There are like four more parts to this goofy story...

Geo. said...

I hope they moved away before they realized ping-pong is even more fun if you have two players.

jenny_o said...

"delightfully audible"

What an understatement that must be!

And never to be confused with the delightfully audible that your stories are, in my head, each day as I read your post :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Somehow ping pong doesn't immediately strike one as a nuisance...

Pearl said...

Geo., as long as a brain apiece is not required...

jenny_o, :-)

Green Girl, not until it's set up on a sidewalk in a city. :-) One felt inclined to cross the street when going past this group.

Susan Kane said...

Did they a dozen dogs? Loud, slobbery dogs?

Mitchell is Moving said...

Ew. I had neighbors like those once. Recliner, TVs, beer. They were too far gone for ping pong.

Pearl said...

Susan, are you referring to the Bumpis's? :-)

Mitchell, :-) LOL. Have you ever felt so together than when faced with people who leave bare mattresses in their yards?

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

Ping Pong is the sport of champions.

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

I love your description of them being "delightfully audible." I have to admit that I am never delighted when my neighbors are audible. I am intrigued,though, by your MN neighborhood cats...do they really lurk in windows, smoking cigarettes? ;) :) Fun reading your writing, as usual :) I am sorry to be so behind!

Eva Gallant said...

I remember this from the first time around, and I'm still chuckling.

Eva Gallant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sage said...

I am sure that ping pong table was a bit warped, after all you don't exactly live in a desert.

HermanTurnip said...

Gawd. Darn. You! Now I've got The Beverly Hillbillies theme song looping in my head, and I can't get it out! Quick, where's my copy of OMC's "How Bizarre" I keep on hand for just such emergencies?

The Elephant's Child said...

Naked mattresses are another of those signs which have boding. Rather a lot of it. Often a boding for every stain.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Surely they also had a half dozen hound dogs. Pregnant, with ears bellies dragging on the ground. Who fetched the ping pong balls. And only ate them occasionally.

Great story so far.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Yep, been there - endured that! Only ours was a 22ft. speed boat
they parked in their front yard, directly across the street from our house.

THEN came the sofa, the old carpet, the wrecked motorcycle ... and oh, did I forget the SWAT team in full battle gear? No, I am NOT kidding.

That went on for two full years, before we finally sold and moved. They still live there, in between trips to jail. Sighhhh

Rose L said...

Who in their right mind would want to play that much ping pong!?? Oh, yea, maybe they were not in their right minds.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Yeee-haarr! ahem. sorry, got caught up in the story there for a minute.

Yes, many have had neighbours of this quality I am sure - but how many can tell their story like this???? More please!

Thanks for stopping by My Place too, Pearl - xxoxo

River said...

"delightfully audible"
I have neighbours like that, but they don't play ping pong at night.
Maybe I should buy a table and set it up on the lawn. it's a sloping lawn, that should make things interesting.