Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nostalgic, But Then Just Offensive

I haven't blogged in a while because I've been busy doing other writing. However, apparently a complaint was lodged by an irritated blog reader (hello, Jenelle) regarding my blatant neglect of Starrtrippin', so I decided to take the time today to blog. Lucky you.

January is upon us and, thankfully, almost over. Today is actually the ten year anniversary of my Grandfather's death. In honor of Papaw, I plan to eat a turkey club with no mayonnaise and the fat peeled off the bacon, write only in pencil, squeeze people so hard I potentially crack their ribs, and refer to my brother consistently and only as "Pedro." These are things my Grandfather did. (To this day, we still do not know if he actually knew Zach's name was really Zach, or if he really did think it was Pedro. Regarding Papaw, one is not more likely than the other.)

Papaw was the ultimate supporter of tough love. I can remember being about eight years old one July in Tennessee and him making me shovel gravel all day at his equipment rental store-- from a pile onto the parking lot, spreading it around. It was approximately one hundred and two degrees outside. I think I only puked a half dozen times, and blacked out once or twice. He would make me stop occasionally for water, took me to lunch (where I had to eat a turkey club that matched his own), and paid me handsomely at the end of the day. He believed in an honest days' work for an honest days' pay.

Fairly often, I wonder what he would have thought of my children and of the things they have missed by never having met him. Bellamy would have thought he was crazy as all hell (he was). Sutt would have thought he was awesome (he was).

I just realized I haven't sworn even once today, and it's almost 9am. Holy fuck.

This blog is kind of sappy. Fuck you, January. Let's turn this bitch around.

*restart*

You may have suspected from prior posts, that my neighbors are a mixed bag of crazy. We have the kid whose security blanket is his mama's old bra across the street, and whose sister is mentally handicapped and likes to tackle hug me on a regular basis (hence, knocking me on my ass each time as she is bigger than I am). We have the sketchy family (renting, thankfully) up the street that consists of a black mother, Thai grandma (who wears no underpants and likes to sit on park benches in her skirt with her legs spread open), four small VERY dark black children, and a hippie-looking blonde-headed, fair skinned father whom the children refer to as "White Daddy." (Rumor has it that Thai grandma, who speaks next to no English, drove black mama so crazy that she shipped her ass back to Thailand. Unfortunately, I can neither confirm nor deny this.) There is also a family who lives right next door to us that WE HAVE NEVER MET EXCEPT FOR THE ONE TIME THE MAN OF THE HOUSE KNOCKED ON MY DOOR AND COMMANDED ME (yes, actually commanded, not asked nicely) TO PICK UP HIS NEWSPAPER EVERY DAY HE WAS OUT OF TOWN AND PUT IT IN THE BACK OF HIS PICKUP TRUCK. We have lived here four years, as have they. That is the only contact we have ever had with them. THAT'S JUST WEIRD.

This group, while being a bunch of damn psychos, are mostly harmless, except potentially "White Daddy" who we have been told by black mama "don't like no white people" and has threatened to kick the ass of several (white) children in the neighborhood who argued with his (?) kids over stupid kid shit that all kids fight about. Whatever. I'm from rural Tennessee. Anybody who has ever been to a football game in Polk County would know there are much scarier things in the world than White Daddy. But anyway. As it turns out, we have a new crazy neighbor. Well, not NEW. She's been here. And she was probably always crazy. We just didn't KNOW it until recently.

We know it now.

It seems that, while fighting boredom during her husband's deployment last year, the woman a couple of houses down, whom we shall refer to as LaShonga (not because that is her name, because I don't actually remember her name, but because LaShonga is a name that just fits her like a glove) decided to start her own business. Okay. Fine. You go, Girl. I support small business owners. Is she selling Avon or Pampered Chef or having sex toy parties? (No, fools, because those are white people things and clearly LaShonga is black because I named her LaShonga. And don't give me any shit about being racist because you all know that LaShonga IS a black girl OR a redneck white girl name, and since we have very few rednecks in these here parts, there is only one real option in this equation. And if you are still crying racist then FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.)

I digress.

So, LaShonga decided to open her own business. In her exact words, to me, "Get a piece of that pie," whatever the fuck that means. LaShonga's business venture? Medical transport.

What. the. fuck?

LaShonga starts buying up vehicles for her medical transport business. Her family already owned a new sedan (hers), an older two-door (her teenage daughter's), and a big-ass shiny black SUV pimped out with a bumpin' sound system and prominent rims (his). They have a two car garage, that will actually fit one car because their shit is all on the other side (I'm not judging-- we can't even fit ONE car in our garage because of all of our shit, plus the plane) which means two cars stay parked in the driveway. Fine. The first business vehicle that was added was a full-size, decrepit Maroon van. It appeared to be on its last legs mechanically, and aesthetically, well, let's just say between the faded paint, body dings, and filmy windows it had seen better days (probably around 1984 when somebody conceived their love child in the back of it). LaShonga had her some decals made up for the windows of cartoonish angels and the words "Guardian Angels Medical Transport."

Hmmmm. Business took off to a slow start. I know this because even several houses down, I could hear the van every time she fired it up to take it out and pick up somebody in need. And business continued (she seems to take old people to Kohl's a lot in that bitch, as I have seen it with my very own eyes on several occasions). A few months later, a somewhat-less-antiquated white minivan was added to the pool. Sweet. Now we have a white minivan parked on the street with angel decals on it, because it won't fit in the driveway (not that the maroon van does either, as the tail-end hangs out in the road forcing passersby to swerve around it and two-way traffic, should it occur, to stop). The two vans were ugly and mildly annoying to many of the neighbors, but I don't think anybody really thought that much about it.

Then LaShonga bought a bus.

It's a short bus, but it's a bus nonetheless. It's white and old and EXTREMELY ghetto. You can clearly see where there used to be LOTS of other names/decals on it, but now only their remains cling to the flaking paint and rusted body. It sits a little crooked (tire pressure? suspension issues?) and it's UGLY AS ALL HELL. Which means that LaShonga, besides not having much room left in her driveway due to the ever-increasing automotive pool, chose to park it down the street. Right across from my neighbor's (Bra Kid's family) house.

This has not gone well.

I really like Bra Kid's family, and do not blame them for being pissed. Every time they look out their front door, they see a dilapidated short bus right in front of their house. That would annoy me as well. (Most things do.) Additionally, it's my understanding that the following statements are true:

1. LaShonga is the only driver/operator of Guardian Angels, so having three modes of transportation just for the business is a bit ridiculous.
2. Our HOA does not allow ghetto-ass vehicles to be parked on the street or even in the driveway.
3. The police have been called on several occasions by Bra Kid's Dad, who was finally told that there was nothing they could do. This was only after BK'sD called LaShonga on the phone and nicely asked her to move the handi-bus from in front of his house. This turned out to be a huge disaster, during which he was referred to several times as "The Man," the terms "oppression" and "sista" were used a lot (sometimes in conjunction, as in"oppressing a sista") and democracy for African-Americans was questioned (by LaShonga). I think Obama might have been mentioned once or twice as well. Damn, what I wouldn't give to have listened in directly on that conversation.

For now, the short bus has been moved down the street closer to LaShonga's house, in a madcap rearrangement of near dead, decaled-up automobiles. But any day now, I expect to look out my window, and see a broken down Greyhound that was hoisted from the mass transit cemetery dotted with cartoon angels and parked on my street. Surely MC Hammer has a repossessed tour bus she could buy on the cheap, at the very least. But while I wait to see how this drama unfolds, I can only hope that LaShonga's piece of the pie might eventually lead to even bigger and better things. Like a new house, much, much further from mine.

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