Every day, someone asks me how I like my new iPhone. I suppose that some of this is my fault. I was the one who got so publicly excited about finally getting one, and perhaps I didn’t specify enough that the most excitable thing was getting rid of my old phone and carrier (although, hey T-Mobile, maybe the people who work in your Retention department should work in all other areas of customer service, because the girl I broke up with sounded like I told her that her dog just died).
But I always feel like I’m letting people down when I say, “it’s okay.” I mean, it is. I use it for the regular things like phone calls and texting, and occasionally playing Temple Run or tweeting from work. Perhaps the best thing about my new phone is setting the alarm, because the roll feature on the numbers makes me feel like I’m playing The Price is Right.
I like Instagram so far, but I think it’s better for people who live in more walkable cities. I see absurd and (I think) interesting things every day, but I’m driving and can’t really pull over/stop/park/get out to take a picture every time. Like the KONY 2012 poster I saw yesterday. Complete with a “SAVE CHILDREN” message and a poorly-drawn peace sign, it was duct taped on all sides to the bus stop in front of Home Depot on Kingshighway. Either some spectacular dumbass has been hanging out there or, as the neighborhood is on the fringes of hipster country, someone was being ironic, but whichever, I wanted a photo but couldn’t justify pulling into the Sonic parking lot to get it done. Especially because I imagine some other douchebag parking to take a picture of me taking a picture, and the cycle of mockery just goes around and around and no one ever gets anything done.
Speaking of mockery, will you just look at our neighbor’s fence:
Two sections of their fence are down and a third is still attached but leaning against someone’s house for support. The actual fence pieces were strewn all over the yard for a few weeks until someone had the half-sense to prop them up, but altogether, it’s been a couple of months and no one has bothered to repair anything. It’s been a mild winter, too, so the ground’s not to frozen, nor is it too cold to expect anyone to work outside. Maybe I’m being weird here, because I realize that it’s not my fence and it’s the backyard so most people can’t even see it, but really? You just…leave your fence like that? You don’t care? I mean, I know you never use your backyard to hang out or anything, but it doesn’t bother you to be totally fucked up like that?
It took moving into this house for me to understand the joy of gossiping about one’s neighbors. You guys, it’s so fun. It’s not infuriating like in an apartment, where the things you complain about are the things that literally keep you up at night. House living allows a different kind of gossip, where you can snark about some neighbors’ apparent desire for a Fisher-Price toy graveyard on their property, or perhaps an avant-garde sculpture made out of discarded lawn furniture. Or, in the case of one of my neighbors, the not one but two jerry-rigged smokehouses in the backyard, inside which they string the carcasses of whole lambs. Or, although he’s extremely friendly and we like him a lot, one next-door neighbor’s liberal policies towards trash pickup, specifically as they relate to the half-a-car-sized mountain of pine needles he deposited in the street once (“it’s great, the City comes to pick it up once a month!” he incorrectly claimed) or the dirtbike tires he stacked behind the dumpster the day after bulk pickup. I suspect that he’s the one who put the half of a goddamn recliner in the dumpster, too, although I can’t prove it. The man just loves to throw stuff away. And like I said, he’s a nice guy. When he saw Graham digging years’ worth of pine needles out of our gutters, he kindly offered to help, because according to him, “it’s my asshole tree.” Maybe you don’t think a neighbor who says “asshole” at least once a sentence is nice, but I like the cut of his jib.
In an era of SNL casts who do more pre-taped segments than live sketches – possibly because someone breaks in every single live fucking sketch, which I supposed to be funny, I guess? – I don’t think Cheri Oteri got nearly enough credit, even though Rita DelVecchio is pretty much my spirit animal.
(see the video here if it won’t post, WordPress recently became a dick about videos so if it’s not on YouTube — and most SNL videos aren’t — it’s a crapshoot.)
You kids stay off my lawn.
Ha! Love that SNL spot! And yes, gossiping about neighbors is awesome! Just wait until you start gossiping with the neighbors you like about people like the fence leaners. I suggest getting gutter guards to avoid more asshole tree clean up.
I thought my next-door neighbor was an okay-enough guy until I heard him outside through the fence belittling, criticizing, cussing at, and basically crushing the spirit of his teenage son about doing a “crap job” in washing his mother’s Volkswagen. The teenage son flew into a rage and screamed back at his father: “I HATE YOU….I fuckin’ HATE YOU, man….I REALLY do.” Meanwhile, the meek wife/mother was hiding out in their garage, clearly upset and embarrassed, but afraid to intervene. Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor have one of these icky retro relationships where he constantly makes it know that he is the “head of the house” and does all the talking on behalf of the family, etc.