Mr Stapler and I used to live next to this crankypants nutjob, Tim, who had, according to other neighbors, been a nice guy until his wife left him 10 years before, at which time he decided to take his heartache out on the rest of the world by being a jerk at every opportunity.
One of Tim's pet peeves was barking dogs. Thankfully, Goldie was not much of a yapper. But the beagle down the street met with Tim's frequent ire. The dog would start that stupid baying that beagles do and Tim would yell "Stop barking! Stop barking!"
You can guess how much good that did.
Today is the Big Game, So Cal style. USC and UCLA meet for their annual football match. If you are a rich BMW-driving dick, you usually root for USC, or as we of the proletariat like to call it, the University of Spoiled Children. State-college types hope for the brave Bruins of UCLA to put a stop to USC's juggernaut.
I don't really care, to tell the truth. But the game is on and it is a fine So Cal afternoon, warm and breezy and all the windows are open (sorry, Chicago). The guy behind me has chosen this opportunity to try and mow his grass with his temperamental old lawnmower. He starts it with a roar and in a cloud of blue smoke and manages to mow for a minute or two before it conks out again.
Of course the neighbor on the left is going apeshit. "Turn that shit off!!" he yells, while the mower is blasting.
Then it dies and he is quiet. Then it roars again and "Turn that shit off!" always the same phrase, over and over again.
I don't suppose it would occur to him to walk over and speak to the guy. Especially when the mower is off. No, that would be too simple.
I just hope no one gets shot.
Speaking of stupidity, my landlord came over because I was complaining that the door on my 1947 O'Keefe and Merritt stove (love it) won't shut tight and it takes forever to bake anything and the kitchen gets soooo hot. He could fix it if he bought a part, but that would take money and the one thing my landlord loathes above all is spending a buck.
"I had this same problem," he said. "It's going to sound strange, but maybe we could fix it the way I fixed mine."
He wanted to wedge a board between my oven door and the wall. This would require a six-foot length of board that would bisect my kitchen.
I looked at him, stunned. "That ain't gonna happen," I said.
I'm still shaking my head about it. Wedge a board between the oven and the wall. Every single time I wanted to bake something. Yikes.
As Mr Stapler would say "That's not the cowboy way."