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Look here you, get the hell off my lawn, damn kid!

Today is the first day of school for kids in our area.

You might be thinking: Weetabix, why are you concerned with this? After all, you only have two kitties, one of whom is a bipolar bulimic psychopath and the other is the cat equivalent of a grumpy 147-year-old. Why would the first day of school be any concern of yours?

Well, let me tell you!

First of all, I live nary two blocks from one of the cities four high schools. Secondly, my house and specifically my side yard, lies directly between that high school and the fast food restaurants seven blocks away. Did I mention that a teenager consumes the average fast food meal in the time that it takes said teenager to walk seven blocks? I didn’t? Well, I assure you that this is a scientifically proven fact. Scientifically proven by the tests I did over the years’. During the summer, I pick up less than ten items of trash off my lawn all season–during the school year, I pick up a plastic grocery bag full of trash per week.

One time I even found a working beeper in my lawn. Every once in awhile, it would beep. I started calling the phone numbers of the callers saying ‘Who did you beep?’, trying to locate the kid. It took a week before he missed the beeper. He didn’t even say ‘thank you’ when he came to pick it up’ in fact, he whined that we weren’t willing to drop the beeper off for him at his house.

I don’t hate teenagers. Some of the coolest people I know are teenagers. I just hate the teenagers who litter on my lawn.

The first day of school brings another issue. The honking.

Remember my neighborhood which tweets? Well, the first day of school adds a different noise’ honking.

Every school day at 7:04 A.M., the neighbor girl’s ride drives up her driveway (which, incidentally, runs along the side of our house which contains two of our bedroom windows) and honks for her to come out. Within seconds, the girl is out the door and in the car (as she’s undoubtedly been watching for the car anyway), where they then drive a block to the high school parking lot and then walk a block into the school.

Why does she bother? Two reasons: first of all, parking is so tight at the high school that the only way a kid can get a parking permit is if they have at least two other kids riding to school with them, thus I suspect that she’s filler in someone’s carpool. Secondly, everyone knows it’s cooler to drive to school than to walk to school.

The honking pisses me off, though. I mean, it’s 7:04 A.M. every morning. I’m usually up and checking my email when she honks, but Esteban is still sleeping (since he doesn’t have a morning commute, he can afford the luxury of sleeping later) and I know that Mr. Wood Cutting guy behind us works nights, so it’s probably waking him up too.

I want to complain, but I never talk with any of our neighbors. Esteban is Mr. Chatty Pants with the neighbors. He’s fixed the Hippy Christmas Light’s computer across the street, he’s helped Mr. Wood Cutting Guy with his siding, he’s even given Honking’s mom our old lawnmower after he couldn’t fix hers (she’s one of the legion of divorced single parents in our neighborhood and Esteban tries to help her out as much as possible).

I, on the other hand, am completely Uni-bomberesque. I don’t like to make friends with our neighbors. I think it comes from years and years of moving from house to house. I lived in more than 20 different homes from birth until age 21. My mother is a nomadic soul and we’d move at the drop of a hat, which is not conducive to long term relationships with your neighbors. Esteban, on the other hand, had lived in just two homes from birth to age 21, so he finds it natural to strike up conversations with the people who live around us. It’s not that I am unfriendly or anything, it just doesn’t occur to me to chat with them. In fact, I even KNOW one of the divorced moms in our neighborhood’. The lady with the parrot who imitates her telephone is a friend of my mother’s and I’ve known her since I was twelve. I was even present at the birth of her skateboarding son. So, it’s not like I feel weird because they’re strangers, it’s just not on my mind to be social with them.

Anyway, I’d tell Esteban to ask Honking’s mom to make the honking stop, but he doesn’t actually have a problem with it. Esteban could possibly sleep through a Limp Bizkit concert, which is probably a good thing, since I snore like a congested water buffalo, but a bad thing because he’s not emotionally invested in the honking situation. Plus, he probably wouldn’t want to appear like a grumpy neighbor.

Last year, I was actually so riled up about it that I was going to talk with her myself, but then I realized that the school year was almost over and I had somehow convinced myself that Honking was a senior and we would be seeing the end of the honking forever.

So this morning, as I was checking my email and there was this obnoxious honking, it took me a minute to remember that school was starting and that honking was only the beginning of what would end up being 180 days of honking.

It shouldn’t bother me, actually. It’s just that some mornings, I’ll be sitting in the computer room (which also has a window facing their driveway), and I’ll find myself actually tensing up, waiting for the honk. It’s not a pleasant way to start a morning.

It’s probably why I’m addicted to caffeine, actually.

Yeah. That’s it.

I’m becoming one of those grouchy old people I think.

Just watch, I’m going to be outside wearing a big floppy sun bonnet and a flowered house dress without a bra and I’ll be out there with my hose, threatening to spray any kid who rabble-rouses on my lawn.

And my name will be Arlene.

Just watch. I’m thisclose.

Is anyone going to JournalCon in Chicago in October? I’m toying with the idea, but I haven’t decided. See the message board for details.

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