You know them, we all know them. She’s blond and adorable with big boobies that don’t sag to her knees and a dream of suburban life with an SUV full of kids. He looks like a low level college football player who still slips back into his native tongue – frat boy- on occasion. They have two nice corporate jobs a step above entry level because, thankfully, they had connections. They have made a few new friends in the workplace but still prefer to hang out with college friends every weekend even though they’ve been in the adult world for a couple years now. She’s waiting for him to pop the question and while he likes it, he’s in no hurry to put a ring on it. In the meantime, he’s offered her the tether of cohabitation in the suburbs. He’s not a jerk, just immature and he did have enough heart to buy her a dog in the hopes of quelling her baby longings - so long as it could be something manly, like a mastiff. The nicest thing about their grown-up house in a nice tree-lined neighborhood is that it came with a deck and yard perfect for parties. Parties like they had back in the frat house. Awesome, bro.
A few weeks ago I watched a fabulously interesting ABC News special hosted by the ridiculously attractive Chris Cuomo (Morley Safer never looked that good!) about Raul Rodriguez, a man who shot his neighbor after repeatedly asking him to keep his party noise down. Countless neighbors and friends volunteered disbelief that such a thing would happen in their quite tree lined neighborhood where people seemingly liked one another. Rodriquez claimed he was in fear for his life and used the Stand Your Ground defense. He lost. He’s in prison. At the time, I found it utterly unbelievable that someone could totally lose his mind over neighbor noise to the point of doing something so incredibly drastic and stupid. That was until Barbie and Ken in the dream house next door began the fall party season. Raul, now I understand.
The first party was rough. The music continued until 2:00 and the laughter until 3:00 but I wrote it off as a one-shot thing. We were new to the ‘hood but it seemed so docile that I couldn’t fathom an area filled with young families, a butt load of geriatrics, an elementary school and a church might in any way become a hot nightspot.
During the second and third parties they had the decency to cut the music around 1:00 but Lindsey the drunk chick with the whiny voice and testosterone -laden boyfriend continued to hold court on the deck until around 2:30. Thanks Lindsey, you rock!
The third party took me a bit off guard. Things had been quiet for a few weeks and the temperatures had dropped so it was simply too cold for late night beer swilling in the great outdoors. Or so I thought. As I prepared the first cold weather comfort food dinner of the season, The Turk stood out on the deck calling my attention to our evening of impending doom.
“Oh now that looks nice. Look honey, they put lights all over their yard. But isn’t it early for Christmas decorating?”
“Hells yes September is early for Christmas.” I ran to the deck for a better view, standing on top of the Midget’s tricycle for a bird's eye look. “No. No. NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
“What? Why are you screaming?”
“Damn it Turk! Those are not Christmas decoration. Those are party lights!”
“NO! -Turkish profanity - NO! -Turkish profanity- Not again!” Now the Turk was pissed. I momentarily toyed with the thought of fueling the fire and looking on as he went all Midnight Express on their preppy white asses but since he’s in the process of getting his citizenship I decided I’d better keep the beast at bay and handle it myself since they can’t deport my American-made ass.
Right on schedule, just as we settled in for a little family movie time – Hulks of the Serengeti, the Great African Elephant, Barbie dropped a little Lady Gaga and Ken tapped the keg. It was on.
Doors and windows closed and still the mix of Pop, Rap, Country and Old School tunes poured in to distract us from the greatness of our pachyderm friends. The Midget grew so hostile he flung some quality preschool profanity out the window at our charming neighbors. “Shut up you big stupid poop heads! “
Damn right little buddy, big stupid poop heads indeed.
After struggling to get the Midget to sleep against a beer pong soundtrack, I settled in for a little true crime television and a glass, or three, of wine. That’s when I heard Lindsey again. OMG Lindsey! I can’t believe they invited you and that voice to another party! Perhaps it was the booze, or perhaps it was Lindsey but that is when I began earnestly plotting revenge. It’s all fun and games until a 40-something mom can’t enjoy her wine and true crime TV in peace . Now Lindsey, shit just got real.
I didn’t actually have the urge to pull a full-on Raul Rodriguez until I lay in bed and attempted to fall asleep to the robust sounds of Lindsey and friends. My first thought was just to call the Popo. I’m 40 now. I can do things old people would do without shame or guilt. Plus, they’d never know it was me considering the high number of geriatrics within a six block radius. What else might the Indianapolis PD have to do on a crispy Saturday eve? As the music boomed, the clock struck 11:00 and my child had been awakened twice, I determined that Ken and Barbie needed more than a visit from the Popo. They needed a good old ass kicking – Philly style.
Should I just walk up to the front door and call Ken out for a smack-down? He might be a frat boy with some girth, but I have a serious load of power in my sizable ass and tree-stump legs. Being short, I also had a better center of gravity – one hit and he would fall like a redwood. Maybe I could dress in all black and attack over the back fence like a chubby ninja, so long as I could avoid death by mastiff. That would take them all off guard and I could overtake the sound system thus shutting the party down. As I began pacing – to the beat of Snoop Dog no less- I found my plan on the floor at my feet – my son’s Incredible Hulk mask. I would execute a combo, ninja over the fence wearing the mask then Hulk out on Ken and as he cowers on the ground – I would destroy the sound system and run back into the darkness with speaker wires dragging behind me while sad piano music plays just like the ending to every Incredible Hulk episode ever. Yes. This was a perfect plan.
I began to pull on a pair of yoga pants and a black sweatshirt when the Turk caught me.
“What are you doing? It’s almost midnight?”
“Can't talk. I'm about to go Hulk-out on the neighbors.”
“Oh. Ok.” And he simply crawled into bed and flipped on the television. This is the problem with being crazy a little too often, in time, the people who should stop you, stop trying.
And as if choreographed, the minute I was in full ninja-Hulk dress, the red numbers on all five of the digital clocks in our room flashed 12:00, and the music ceased. The party-yelps of Lindsey and her crew were muffled then silenced by the sound of a sliding glass door.
There would be no Hulking-out on this night.
But there’s always next time.
Oh and Ken, don’t make me angry…you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.