Welcome back to the serial posting of the Jefferson Hillbillies, the lurching humanoids who moved in four houses down and who quickly became a topic of neighborhood bewilderment.
As a precursor, I live in Nordeast Minneapolis, a neighborhood of artists, working folk, retired people, people who walk their dogs and plant flowers. Our lawns are small, and, for the most part, neat. There are bars and restaurants and churches and various shops in walking distance; and in a land that became a state in 1858, we are proud of the houses in our neighborhood built between 1898 and 1904. We are secretaries and writers, musicians and plumbers, programmers and delivery men.
And we’re a fairly tolerant group.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the next installment of The Jefferson Hillbillies.
First, they moved in.
Then they set themselves up as the place to go for severely discounted and recently liberated home stereo speakers.
Then they showed you just how easy it is to be a giving person.
The Mysterious Egg Meteors
It is a summer’s day like any summer’s day in Minneapolis. In other words, it is warm; and we are pitifully thankful. We’re an easy group to impress from April to August, whereupon it will get ridiculously hot.
And then we lose our perspective.
We have not yet reached that point.
I live across the street from a park; and on the weekends, I feel it behooves me to pop over there, pick up some garbage, check for bums, that sort of thing. We don’t have a big bum problem in our park, although I did once throw away the world’s smelliest pillow.
I grab a plastic bag, my trusty stick-with-a-nail-in-it, and set out to rid the world of unsightly trash.
And who should I run into, just four houses down, than Boris, Number One Square-Headed Son in a family of square-headed sons. He is sitting on the hood of a car.
“Hey!” he calls.
“Hey,” I say.
“You got any money?”
“Yes,” I say, walking.
“Can I have some?”
“Pssssss,” he hisses, as if there had been an agreement earlier that I would be supplying him with cash.
I walk on.
“Let me know if you find anything interesting,” he calls out.
I keep walking. Sure, I think, I'll call ya.
Now, I’ve found on these walks, as has been previously disclosed, the world’s smelliest pillow. I’ve also found an iPod engraved “To Olivia, with all my love, Daddy”, large numbers of beer cans, plastic cups and plates, and a cell phone. But I’d yet to find eggs.
But there they are, less than a block away. Dozens and dozens of eggs, most of them smashed on cars, some on houses. Some are splattered impotently in the streets, others lie crushed and gooey on the sidewalk.
I am furious.
I call the police, who, in bored tones, tell me there have been several calls already. They are on their way.
I cut my garbage-walk short and go home the way I’d come. Boris is still on the car.
He looks pleased with himself.
“Find anything interesting?” he sneers.
“Not really,” I say. I am so angry I am dizzy. I’m a scary person when I’m angry – best to keep moving.
“Nothing?” he presses. He is smiling in a this-neighborhood-is-mine sort of way.
He thinks he runs this place.
I stop abruptly, turn back.
“Well now that ya mention it, someone did a really crappy job of making breakfast,” I snap, bright stars of anger wreathing my head, “but most likely that person’s got some sort of mental defect and won’t be around much longer. Ya gotta feel sorry for people that stupid.”
And while he stares, I turn and walk. And when I get home, I sit down in front of the computer. I’m going to contact their landlord, just as soon as I can figure out who it is.
It’s a tolerant neighborhood. Not a stupid one.