Wednesday, February 01, 2006


We have new neighbors. They have dogs. You could say it's their wealth in this world. However, my poverty is the INCESSANT BARKING of these dogs. I have dogs. I know they like to bark. But seriously, when I gaze into the backyard when I hear dogs barking I see my dogs with a quizzical look on their faces. If it could be translated perhaps they would be thinking something along the lines of, "What the hell?"
The neighbor dogs like to bark in concert. One barks and suddenly they're in a competition.
One day the little girl next door kicked her soccer ball over the wall. She asked if we could throw it back. I toss it over and make polite conversation, "What's your name? What's my name? What's your deal with the loud barking dogs? Oh, really, you got a third dog?"
"Oh, this one doesn't bark?"
As we converse their new dog is humping one of the other dogs. The owner doesn't notice. I do and immediately remember:
The last time I saw a neighbor's dogs humping they had puppies. Then, in addition to the dogs barking, there were the shouts of two people who believed the louder they shouted "SHUT UP!" the more efficacious were the words. Yes. That got their attention. I tell you, those dogs shaped up immediately. They were running around shoveling their own crap they were so obedient. That meant that since all the dog feces was tidied up the only stuff left hanging around the backyard was:

  • a disabled vehicle
  • some ramshackle shed make of various things we had thrown away and they had picked out of the garbage; shed held tightly together by the professional application of a hand truck
  • a television set
  • many toys
  • lots of windchimes
  • varying amounts of electronic debris that had been jettisoned from indoors

Much later I found out from the man who lives next door that these shady folk were his stepchildren. He kicked them out after he came home from work one day and found drug paraphernalia in the house. Did I mention there was a small child living there? Classy.

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