Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bad Parkers Make Bad Neighbors

I really love our neighbors, even though we don't see them all that often because of our schedules. But if you want to know what is going on down the street, or why that cop car stopped down the block the other day, you just need to ask George or Patty or Brenda. They'll tell you what's what and give you the whole backstory. They are the eyes and ears of our little neck of the woods, so much that if I ever forget to lock the door upon leaving the house, I probably wouldn't even worry too much about it, because I would love to see some burglar try to get past our first step without being noticed by one of them and whisked away to the pokey in the paddy wagon. Not that I'm going to test that theory. I'm just sayin'. And I just wanted to say "paddy wagon" and "pokey."

There are six houses on our block, plus one public housing complex, which appears to hold 4 apartments. The people there are quiet and friendly. The best-known tenant there is Henry. He is, by all accounts, a nice guy, though I haven't really met him. He drives an old Mercedes, which I know because every single damn day, he parks it right in front of our house. That's across the street. And down about two houses. It's not even directly across from his building. In fact, the last house on the street was only purchased in the last month or so, and the whole time this house directly across from his building was empty, he still parked in front of our clearly occupied house.

For a few months after we moved in, I tried to just chill out about it. It was a small thing, although I did point it out to the Mr., and was more puzzled by it than irritated. Come on, it's just weird. But then we had our party, and Patty and Brenda wondered (without prompting from me, I might add) why Henry insisted on parking right in front of our house every day. The other neighbors chimed in, too. They had all noticed it, and it was bugging the shit out of them. Suddenly, I didn't feel so crazy. I was validated! It IS annoying. They even had theories: he was trying to needle us, the new kids on the block; he was just clueless; he was just being a jerk for whatever reason.

So, what am I going to do about it? I don't know. I don't really want to confront him. He's old, and as I said before, I've heard he's nice. Why pick on him? But that doesn't mean I don't look forward to my days off, when I can park in front of my own house, which has now strangely become a passive aggressive act I perform with much glee as I wonder, "Where you gonna park your car now, Henry?"