The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

My Night As A Flasher

Posted by Daniel on Sunday, January 21, 2007 five years ago, I became a full-fledged suburbanite. We’re talking big house, quiet streets, picturesque neighborhoods. Minivans as far as the eye can see…none of which use turn signals, stop or even yeild at stop signs/lights.

Neighbors stop and talk to one another here, bring the nicest covered dishes to functions and smile when they see you.

Another thing neighbors are known for in the suburbs is that they tend to notice when odd things happen. They keep a watchful eye on their neighbors houses. Not being nosey…only looking out for one another. Not like in the city, where neighbors tend to keep more to themselves. In the city, it’s more like, “It’s none of my business and I’m not getting involved.”

Not so here in our little corner of the world.

We have, without a doubt, some of the nicest and coolest neighbors you’d ever want to meet. And if you ever wanted to know the test for neighborly fortitude, it’s putting them nextdoor to us!

Case in point:

This evening, Steve and I are busy doing whatever it is we like to do. He’s busy staying busy around the house, while I’m on the computer working. (big Saturday night…No, no…don’t envy US!!)

Tonight, we’re in the middle of a snowstorm. All of the ice from last week’s ice storm finally finished melting off this morning, and now we have already 3+ inches of wet heavy snow.

Welcome to Missouri.

So I’m working on the computer, and I happen to look out the window. The snow is falling rather heavily now, so I get up and look out the window. The snow looks so much like every Christmas card. So, I decide I want to take some pictures with the digital camera.

Can’t get a good picture through the window, so I open it and the screen. Then I start clicking away. One picture after another. I’m upstairs on the second floor. Steve is down on the main level. He has no idea what I’m doing, but he keeps noticing very bright flashes through the great room window.

We are prone to seeing lightning during snow storms, but it’s still a bit of a surprise every time you see it. Or think you see it.

Then, as he’s looking out that window, he notices me hanging out the upstairs window taking pictures. So he raps on his window and I playfully take his picture from my window. The flashes are really amplified by all of the falling snow and appear more blue than white.

Yeah, living in the suburbs is just one zany moment after another. 😉

We’re now downstairs laughing at our little wacky window exchange, when all of a sudden, our neighbor John comes running through the snow up to our front door. He is obviously in high panic mode (good neighbor) and whatever has him so flustered must be bad.

“Hey guys, I think there’s something really wrong on the back side of your house!! Looks like maybe an electrical fire!!”, John said.

Normally, those words would send Steve and I into a complete chaotic frienzy, as we had only recently installed a new heater in the greenhouse out back that uses a lot more power and had thrown a breaker the first time it was turned on. (no trouble with it since)

So what does John’s diligence get him? Gratitude? A neighborly thankful hug handshake? A festive gold lame wrapped fruit basket? No. We break out in sudden and riotous laughter. We knew we had to tell him what it was.

Now, apparently, John’s wife, Margie, happened to notice the blue flashes from their house and told John, “There’s something wrong happening at the boys’ house!!”, and sent John running.

When Steve and I stopped laughing, we told John what it was they saw. When the vein in John’s forehead stopped pulsing a bit, the humor of it all washed over him. Then it happened. The call we all knew would come…came.

It was Margie. Frantic.

So naturally, I (being the asshole that I pride myself to be) decided to play it up for her.

Daniel: “Hello?!?!”
Margie: “Are you guys alright? Is John there now??”
Daniel: “Oh, Margie, thank gawd.” (my voice is intentionally shaky and loud).
Margie: “What’s happening? Was it a fire? Did something blow??”
Daniel: “I’m so scared.”
Margie: “What WAS it?!?!?”
Daniel: “Snowflakes get very angry when you try to take their picture. Hold me?”
Margie: “You little asshole!!!” (what did I tell you?)

So Steve opens the front door and in comes Margie. Phone clasped in hand. We’re all laughing at each other because none of us know who made the biggest boo boo. Okay, I got the blame on this one since it was me who took the pictures and started this whole mess.

Once again, I’ve learned another reason that there’s nothing like living in the suburbs…and having good neighbors helping to keep a watchful eye on things.

Think I’ll run outside now and run around with my new laser pen. 😀


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