I used to be a really good griper. Now, I’m a more of a mediocre whiner. Ever since I saw a documentary about Ethiopian women, incontinent from being hung from trees to give birth, the joy has sort of gone from my griping, making it sound nasally, insignificant and feeble, a.k.a., whiny.
My latest whine is about my neighbor, Ed. I don’t know him, nobody I know knows him, but everybody knows his name, I assume because there have been discussions about him. See, Ed mows his lawn at night. The minute the sun goes down, and not a minute sooner, Ed turns on his back porch light, as if to warn us, and starts up the riding mower.
It takes Ed about two hours to finish. In a neighborhood where driveways are within crawling distance of each other and ON A RIDING MOWER. I think it’s because Ed likes to mulch. A lot. Although I can’t be sure, I’m just trying to make sense of it all.
His yard is like mine – there’s natural growth all over it. It’s not pristeen, is what I mean to say. Why he has to go over the same spot ten times to cut it into the tiniest blades of grass possible is beyond me. But he does. I thought possibly Ed had skin cancer and didn't have an SPF suitable for, say, dusk, but my son saw him leave with golf clubs at high noon the other day. So, Ed plays golf during the day, but must mow grass in the dark. Oh, Ed.
Last night, the mower cut off at exactly 10:23pm. I was fuming at 9:23pm, so you can imagine. I just hate what seems idiotic. We’re supposed to embrace each other’s differences, but I can’t embrace crap like this.
Anyway, at 10:24pm, I let the dog outside and, standing on the deck to wait for her, I heard thumping. Fairly distant but all too familiar thumping. A few houses down, I saw floodlights and boys and the ball attempting to get through the hoop. Basketball. BUT...not next door. I suddenly had a new appreciation for Ed.
(The worst neighbor I will ever have was a basketball player. I support the passage of any bill banning basketballs in neighborhoods and radios and perfume in offices. Seriously, punishable by death or at least isolation.)
So, these were my choices. Which would I rather have? Ethiopian incontinence, Basketball Boy Jones, or Ed? Yea, God, I get it.