My 40-something neighbor is outside playing with his remote-controlled car. At first, I thought, “That’s different; a 40-year old man with a remote-controlled car.” It gave me kind of an odd feeling, like when I see that birthday card with the diaper-clad baby with beard stubble.
But, then I realized things could be worse. He could be shooting guns off or curing dead animal heads in the refrigerator crisper. That describes the male who lived next door a few years before the remote-controlled car guy and his wife. The gun guy really did shoot his rifles off out back. And, one day, I said something to him, which led to a conversation about gun control and AK-47s, which led to his inviting me into his house to look at his gun collection.
It was an arsenal.
A couple of shotguns, a high-powered rifle of some sort with a scope on it, and an AR-15. Semi-automatic, I think. He also owned a high-powered bow that looked like a torture device. He was cleaning his guns on the carpet. He told me he often strapped on one of the long guns and went for a walk in the hills across the road. In camouflage no less. Why, I asked. Just for fun.
It was difficult to sit and pretend I was impressed by the firearms or carry on a pleasant conversation when all that was running through my brain was Sandy Hook and “GET OUT OF THERE”.
He was also a second-rate bull rider and liked to work on his truck in the garage (echo chamber) with music blaring. I mean blaring. So loud he couldn’t hear me when I’d ask him to turn it down.
ME: It’s too loud!
After he moved out, rent-delinquent and jobless – oh, did I mention his dog that liked to jump through the windows while the screens were in them?
Anyway, after he moved out, the landlords went in for the usual between-renters clean-up and remodel. This is when they found the deer head in the crisper.
But, it could have been worse.
A few renters prior, a couple lived there. She worked. He shot guns…at small animals out back and inside the house. One day, he was shooting out back but close to my house and I ran outside, pissed off. I hate hearing gun shots less than 50 feet from my living room window. I live in western Colorado, in the mountains. Typically, not a war zone.
So, I ask the guy to stop shooting. He says “I live in the country; I can do anything I want!” I said – so fumed that I ignored the fact that he had a gun in his hand – “The hell you can, you son of a bitch!” And, ran off to talk to the landlord, who thought it was funny. After the couple finally moved out, the landlord was doing the between-renter thing, which was when he found the bullet hole in the washing machine.
Then, there was the con man who still owes my landlord $4,000 and dumped all the used cat litter out the back door, thinking somehow it would magically dissolve into the earth. Not.
Don’t get me wrong: the current neighbors are some of the friendliest, kindest people I know. So, I guess I’ll turn a blind eye to the remote-controlled car…unless he starts to work on it in the garage with the music loud or mounts a tiny machine gun on the hood.
Thanks for listening…