Jan 22, 2024

Want to Make Friends with Your Neighbor? Here’s How

Let’s start this story out by letting you know three things about me. Three things that are very important to this whole thing.

1. I DESPISE A SQUIRREL.
2. I adore birds.
3. I have a BB gun.

A while back, I was sitting on the back porch. Just mindin’ my own business. Lookin’ at the birds frolicking around the birdfeeders. I was just having a great time. Yes. I am at that time in my life when I’m just old enough to be really into birds. Sometimes? Well, sometimes I even whip out the binoculars so that I can stare at their itty-bitty beaks up close and personal.

Anyway, after a little while, I went inside.

Okay, so. Here I am inside my house and something catches my attention. Out of the corner of my eye. It is a squirrel.

THE SAME SQUIRREL-TYPE ANIMAL THAT I DESPISE.

And that joker was wound all around my birdfeeder which is the exact reason why I despise those things.

So I did what any perfectly normal middle-aged suburban bird-lovin’ woman would do. I got my BB gun, went back outside on the porch, and sat there until I had a clear shot.

And I shot.

And I shot.

And I shot one more time.

The squirrel is now gone and after a few minutes, those birdies are back to their feast.

This whole scene plays out and I think nothing of it. The days go on and every now and then a squirrel would come back, but mostly I’d just bangonthewindowlikealunatic and he’d scram.

Then, late one night, our neighbor, Addie, texted me asking if we’d heard a loud noise. I did not, but I have the hearing of a 98 year old WWII vet so I hear nothing unless a grenade is hurled in my general direction. She said it sounded like a rifle or something. I asked my kids if they’d heard anything and they said they did, but didn’t think anything of it.

Okay so *then*, a few days after *that*, Addie texts me to say that the guys who are pressure washing her house have just found bullet holes in her windows. Now we begin to wonder if there really was a rifle fired the other night. That day, the two of us get to the bus stop and while we’re waiting on our Precious Angels to get off the bus we’re talking about the bullet holes in her windows. How weird that is. We’re both kind of baffled about the whole thing.

Now. You must know about my neighbor, Addie. Her house is next door to mine and just a little bit beyond my beloved bird feeders. There are trees between our houses.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

Yeah.

Well I?

DID NOT.

Sooooo….I get back home from the bus stop with my Precious Angel. She’s doing her homework. Okay that’s a lie. She’s watching Sponge Bob again. And, out of the corner of my I eye I see that BLASTED SQUIRREL again. He’s wrapped around that birdfeeder like a 1980s pole dancer.

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.

I grab the BB gun. I tell Precious Angel to look the other way for a minute or seven.

I get to the porch. I stick out my tongue *just so*. I take aim. I pull the trigg…….

OH MY WORD IT WAS ME! IT WAS ME IT WAS ME!!!

Holy moly. I shot my neighbor’s windows out.

Me. I did it. I’m the equivalent of a 12 year old Dennis the Menace hitting baseballs and whacking one right into Mr. Wilson’s newspaper as he reads in his living room recliner on any given Sunday.

I think I will vomit now. How will I ever explain this?

Tony gets home and I tell him everything. He giggles. A lot.

A week goes by. I’m completely torn up over this. Tony and I decided that I take cash over and also flowers. I make the walk over with my red head slunk low and my heart about to plop right out of my slightly-above-average-sized body. That was the longest 25-second walk to the neighbor’s house. I believe I was walking in slow motion. I looked back at my house like I’d never see those Precious Angels ever again. Here I go. Straight to the guillotine.

Addie answers the door with the biggest and most friendly grin ever.

I bust out crying.

“It was me. I am the knucklehead who shot out your windows because I love birds and I hate squirrels. Here are some flowers and some cold hard cash.”

And then she hugged me. And then her husband hugged me. And then I kept crying like a giant baby. And now we’re the greatest of friends.

So it might take a really stupid mistake or three (THREE TIMES. THREE WINDOWS YALL. THREE.) and a whole pile of tears, flowers and cold hard cash, but that…that right there….that is exactly how you make friends with your neighbor.

Also I have never shot that BB gun again.

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