The holiday season is right around the corner and no concept sums up this time of year better than the phrase, "GOOD WILL TOWARDS MAN." That is, unless you have a neighbor like my BOOB NEXT DOOR.
My Boob Next Door as you may recall from past columns is, the knuckleheaded "piney" who I share a property boundary with. (Please note, if you ever study a population density map of South Jersey, vast tracts of land are protected under the Pine Barrens Act. This protection maintains the environmental integrity of these lands and greatly restricts commercial development. Therefore, the few people who live in the pinelands are nicknamed: piney or pinies...which is like being called a Jersey hillbilly).
Primarily, what makes BOOB so intolerable is that he is a control freak. As you may recall, his "my way or no way" attitude was the final straw that ended our once friendly relationship. Some of his low-lights include: cursing me out when I put up a fence, (apparently a true piney doesn't like having the wilderness blocked off). Of course BOOB didn't apologize...or offer to chip for our shared section of fence when he put up his own fence when his kid was growing up.
Then there was the time he threatened to kill our dog Roxy if she ever peed on his lawn. Being the true weasel that he is, rather than spew his nonsense at an adult like me, Mr. Piney's ultimatum was aimed at my son Andrew.
My last conversation with him occurred while mowing my lawn in 2002. Andrew's 2nd grade class was preparing to do a patriotic play and I was singing their show-stopper, "I'M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN." From in front of his house, BOOB caught eye contact with me and gestured that I shut-off my mower. He then rudely insisted that I stop cursing him out. When I told him that I was singing a Kenny Rogers song, his response was a profanity-laced tirade that insulted both Mr. Rogers and myself, and concluded with the punchline, "You can't fool me, I can read lips!"
Its easy to turn your back on that type of mentality. Since then we've had some minor scrapes but I'm certain that I am best served to simply ignore him. That was the case about three years ago when BOOB started gathering a thin pile of grass clippings, pine needles, acorns etc., exactly along a hidden five-foot line that divides our front yards.
The significance of his pile may have been a protest or out of spite or even an artistic endeavor. Either way, as much of an eye-sore that it was, it wasn't harming me and unless you were on top of it, you couldn't see it. However, each season the heap mysteriously got longer, wider and taller. By the beginning of last month, BOOB's great wall of weird resembled a dry version of a beaver dam. If he kept adding to it, at that pace, it'd be visible from the moon by 2012. Nevertheless, I wasn't going to burn-out my KISH-KIZ over this and continued to pay he and it no mind.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS THE ONLY MAN-MADE STRUCTURE ON EARTH THAT'S VISIBLE FROM OUTER SPACE...COULD BOOB'S PILE BE THE SECOND?
It was right around Thanksgiving that I mentioned to MSLEMMA that I am losing my patience with BOOB. He understood my dilemma and suggested calling GREENPEACE or praying for divine intervention. I wasn't swayed by his well-formed arguments and resolved to wait the moron out and remain mute.
About a week ago, we had a severe rain storm. I went outside to rake-up the leaves, broken branches etc and was shocked to see that BOOB or perhaps a supernatural power had neatly removed the NOT SO great wall.
The moral of the story is, in this holiday season when we share in the glory of "good will towards man" we should throw down our defensive gauntlet and accept our neighbors regardless of their shortcomings.
I might feel that way towards BOOB if I knew for certain that he indeed removed the pile and that it was in the vain of restoring friendship and peace to our little corner of the world. But I've seen enough UFO and conspiracy shows on the A & E NETWORK, and I can see the removal was too perfect for any piney to handle...plus I doubt MSLEMMA prayed for me...and more importantly, I know the work of aliens when I see it.
So season greetings to the Martians and HUMBUG to BOOB.