It's been a while since I had a good post on the neighbors. Emjay and I planted a line of trees between our house and theirs over the summer and the problems seemed to disappear. Last week before Thanksgiving we could hear a car running hard next door around dinnertime. Someone was trying to park a VW on the backyard lawn. We could tell from the sound that in the rain the lawn had become the consistency of pumpkin bisque, and only a complete moron would continue spinning the wheels.
The engine revved for another hour as we finished dinner and put the kids to bed.
I decided the right thing to do would be to go over and offer help. Maybe I could show them how to properly "rock" a car out of a hole. I might even offer to help push.
But I got there and saw that it was hopeless. The left front wheel was a quarter in, the right sunk to the centerline.
"You have to stop," I said, "You're just digging further in."
"Yeah, I know," Ted said, "My brother's coming after he finishes working out. He has a truck."
I spent a moment to imagine what sort of workout the brother was finishing. Probably a few sets of bench presses at low weight, and then about a dozen sets of bicep curls. Steryotyping? maybe. Then the mook got back in the car with his cocked ballcap, cellphone to his ear in one hand, and spun his wheels some more.
We saw the aftermath the next morning. Their backyard looks like Ypres the morning after, minus the mustard-gas. Remnants of a broken garden hose, apparently used as a tow cable. A line of cars, for once actually parked in the driveway.
At least, that's what I think I saw. It's hard to tell with a line of trees in the way.