Sunday, November 27, 2011

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Our neighborhood consists of a handful of houses in our small cul-de-sac. The nice thing about it is that it's off the main road so we are sheltered a bit from the quotidian honking. In this quiet respite from city-living, one may only expect to be disturbed by the constant ringing of our next door neighbor's doorbell. And why not? It's only an "office" which seems to have the pressing hours of 11pm, 1am and Sunday afternoons. Even two years later, it's still an anathema. The best part is when the bell is rung, it's never only once but usually a typical "Sheldon" OCD three times or more. It's as if their visitors are kids on Halloween.

Nevertheless, a few weeks ago, it was another quiet weekend afternoon while C was away traveling. I was working at our dining room table when I alarmed by a frequent ringing of our doorbell. Surely not. Could it be one of the frequent visitors for next door had mistaken our bell for our neighbor's? The cacophony was increased by the yells and giggles of small children. Now I was completely confused. What would cause such a commotion?

I have to say, I'm surprised how quickly I adjusted to the cultural skepticism of unannounced visitors. Instead of answering the door on the first ring, I assumed there must have been a mistake and I continued working. After several attempts, the children, like most rational thinkers, assumed no one was home. Thus, matters needed to be taken into their own hands. I look up from my work to spot a boy's small head slowing getting taller as his friends boosted him over our gated wall. At this point, no longer was I in no hurry, but rather I shot across the room, swung the door open and yelled "G-E-T OOOOO-U-T!" Within an instant, the boy dropped and the friends disbanded faster than I ran to the door. To my chagrin, as I turned to go back inside, I noticed a frisbee sitting in front of the door. "Oh man, I AM Boo Radley."

Within five minutes, the older sister of one of the boys came by asking for the frisbee. Of course, I profusely apologized and explained that I had no idea they had lost the frisbee behind our wall.

Lesson learned: Be a good neighbor.


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