One of my first questions to our new neighbor, Coach, was, “Do you mind if I kill the rabbit that lives between our houses?”
He probably thinks I am a bloodthirsty monster, but so what? I want to grow tomatoes and I am not going to let any rodent steal my work.
Besides, the more I talk to our new neighbors, the more I realize we have a lot of leeway before we look bad compared to the previous owner of the house, who, apparently, never once cleaned the gutters, which you know, if you have gutters, is Not A Good Thing. If you don’t have gutters and haven’t just lived through incredibly heavy rains that caused a lake to disappear, manhole covers to pop out of the streets and houses to wash away, just trust me on this.
Anyhow. Back to the dead rodents.
When Patrick and Ilene were here, we took them to the house. The backyard neighbors were out, so we introduced ourselves. “Oh!” they said. “Neighbors who talk!”
When I met Coach’s wife yesterday, she said that she and I had already spoken more than she and Previous Owner had in an entire year. Then she gave me all the gossip.
When P.O. moved in, Coach went over with a six pack and introduced himself. P.O. took the beer, said thanks, and closed the door.
Coach’s dad is a snow-blowing fiend and blows everyone’s sidewalk, including P.O.’s, which is a great thing, because if you don’t clear your sidewalk within 24 hours of a snowfall, the city fines you. (Welcome to the Great White North, where they also send The Appliance Inspector out to make sure that Sears installed your washer correctly – because Sears surely doesn’t know what it’s doing – your tax dollar at work.) For an entire winter, Coach’s dad cleared P.O.’s sidewalk – and not once, did P.O. thank him.
He didn’t even ask Coach, “Hey – do you know who’s been clearing my sidewalk?”
For the record, I told Coach’s wife that if Coach’s dad wants to clear our sidewalk, I will bake him as many brownies as he wants.
The end of the line
11 months ago