Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mean Ol' Mr. Crabapple

Back when David Letterman was actually funny, he played a sometime character called Mean Ol' Mr. Crabapple, the old guy who tells the kids "Get out of my yard!" through clenched dentures teeth. We had no shortage of such characters back in the neighborhood where I grew up, Mr. Goetzke (and his wife) being the most memorable.

I fear that I am becoming that old man.

Last night, I called the Sheriff's Office about kids shooting off illegal fireworks near our house. Yes, kids will do that, but a few years back, some of them torched a couple doors and a car in our neighborhood in the process. A deputy was injured when one of these punks resisted arrest.

We've also been besieged with solicitors, despite the presence of a No Soliciting sign at the front of our court. So I am forced to endure the Girl On Something Not Normally Found In Nature Selling Subscriptions To God Only Knows, and Speaking Of God, I'm The Guy Come To Bother You Into Coming To My Church. I called the church where the latter guy came from, and the pastor admitted he had no guilty conscience about sending his flock to neighborhoods where soliciting has been banned (such as that may be). Heck of a witness, no? And by the way, a sheriff's deputy admitted to me that the No Soliciting sign is just about as enforceable as the warning not to remove the tag from your bedding.

The Bonneville Salt Flats may as well be behind our house. The four-lane divided roadway is well banked as it winds its way unimpeded for over 1/2 a mile. Rice-Burner Motorcycles and Cars That Just Have To Show How Loud Their Exhaust Systems Are regularly do anywhere from 50 to 80 mph through this stretch. I and others have called the Sheriff's Office about this, but after one biker was nabbed for racing up and down, he's gotten smart; he races twice and stops before any deputy can see him. Doesn't matter if I set up a video camera; it's inadmissible. Also, I believe the road was designed and built too well; if the county builds a road that begs people to speed on it, they will.

What I hate is that the do-no-gooders know exactly what they can get away with. But that's an old story that I can go ask King David about:
(Ps. 37: 7-8)

Be still before the LORD; wait for God.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
nor by malicious schemers.
Give up your anger, abandon your wrath;
do not be provoked; it brings only harm.

Amen. Often easier said than done, though.

And I can't fault the Sheriff's Office. The deputies have one of the largest counties east of the Mississippi to patrol, and if they need backup, it could come from anywhere between the Pennsylvania line or the Potomac River.

So other than stop shaking my cane at those durn kids, what else can I do so I can avoid becoming Mean Ol' Mr. Crabapple?


Mom2BJM said...

You old geezer you!

There are times when I feel like I'm becoming my mother, but she wasn't crabby like I am at times. It's sometimes when I see a reflection of myself - hmm.. that's my mom! (yikes, I'm getting old!!)

bigbro said...

Hey "Blue Moose". How about a sign saying "Solicitors will be Ridiculed." I'm sure bludgeoned or flogged may work to scare them off instead of ridiculing them. As for the bikers, piano wire worked for Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape". I guess it all comes down to this, the world would be a better place if people were more like me.

Cygnus said...

Well, BB, who can argue with that?

Oh, BTW, kindly disengage the trap door on the porch next time we come to visit our nieces. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The Old Man says
What did you want Mr. Goetzke to

Cygnus said...

He and his wife were just fine! It was hilarious watching their reactions.

What bears mentioning is that we lived on a block of rowhomes that were very close together, as of course were the yards. When playing any ball game in the street or alley, the chances of a ball going in someone's yard were pretty good.

I recall Mr. Goetzke saying something to us like, "Why can't you play in the park?" The answer was simple: The street or the alley provided natural boundaries. I'll blog more about our street games some other time.