Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One man's trash is another man's crap. Don't argue with me.

We have an interesting neighborhood. It is mostly families, many who have lived on Maui for generations. People don't sell their houses often here - the location is convenient and for the most part it is very peaceful. Everyone takes care of their yard and brings their trash cans in after pickup, there aren't any loud parties and no one is doing drugs or causing any trouble. But there are, as with any neighborhood, issues that have arisen. Thankfully, most of the issues have to do with overzealous reporting to the Humane Society if someone's dog is barking at night, or parking issues. On the 4th of July and New Years (aka "the fireworks holidays") things get a little rowdy with firecrackers attached to lightposts, and there was that one time that this guy was running with a paper bag filled with cetalyne gas and the friction caused the bag to explode in his face. But that was just that one time. Usually the cetalyne doen't explode until he sets the bag on fire.

Yes, for the most part, it's pretty mellow. However. There is one house in particular who's residents seem to feel that the neighborhood - the entire neighborhood - is theirs for the taking. They are the Christopher Columbuses of street parking - they simply park their car in front of your house - right on the grass - and leave it there. Once we had a car parked in front of our house for a month. But even with all of their obnoxious, thoughtless behavior, we had managed to co-exist - mostly because we had our own driveway and didn't need the street parking.

And then they somehow took over the house across the street from us.

I was not kidding with that Christopher Columbus comparison.

Over the summer, they moved in 3 adults and 6 or 7 kids. And their dogs. Everyone has a dog. And every dog has a doghouse in the yard, to which they remain chained. The family shares a profound love of the F word and they don't seem to own any shirts whatsoever, and they appear oblivious to the fact that they have neighbors in close proximity who may not be thrilled to have complete bedlam erupt every time someone walks down the street. During the day, the neighborhood is the usual oasis of peace and calm - the dogs sleep on the roofs of their houses, the kids are in school, and the adults are home........well, I don't know what they are doing. All I know is that they stay inside, and it's quiet and lovely. I am sitting here now listening to the birds chirping outside my window. But then school lets out and the mid-day heat breaks, and the air begins to cool, and people come home from work. Suddenly, the neighborhood is bustling. Every evening, the family spends a lot of time walking back and forth between the two house, or hanging out in the cul de sac cursing, throwing balls at each other's heads, and making the smaller children cry.

Last night, these folks from across the street were standing in the cul de sac PER USUAL. Only they were standing next to their pickup truck, and the back of that truck was piled high with.......well, with crap. I can't even tell you what it was, except to say that it wasn't furniture, or appliances, or anything actually recognizable. Some of it seemed rusty, it was all dirty, and I was struck with the sudden fervent hope that they were moving out.

"Oh my GOD!" I thought to myself. "Maybe this is really happening. Maybe people will stop standing in the street screaming, and posting threatening signs at the end of their driveway!"

I had reason to be hopeful - earlier in the day, I had watched two of the kids drag a dog house across the street towards the truck. And another truck in one of the driveways had furniture in it! This was looking really good. Really really good. Well, not the furniture. The furniture loooked like a combination of pleather and particle board. But the fact that a significant amount of stuff was in the backs of their trucks? Very encouraging.

Until they started unloading.

That crap wasn't being taken away. It was coming home, baby.

And the doghouse was simply being moved to a different location, overlooking the gulch. The gulch is like oceanfront property for dogs - it contains a thriving population of feral cats and chickens, which means almost zero rodents or bugs in our neighborhood. I am sure the dogs will be very, very happy there.

You know who is not happy? The neighbors who live on the other side of the gulch - and have a full and unobstructed view of the shantytown cropping up across the way. They are not happy. As a result, I am carefully avoid any paperbags that I see casually lying around. They will undoubtably be set on fire, and one can only guess if they are filled with highly explosive gasses, or dog doo. I have no interest in finding out.

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