Well, I got my weedeater fixed, and I didn't have to drive out to Katy to do it. My neighbor came home from work and I got dressed - I like to sit around the house stark staring naked (except in winter) - and went next door with the thing in hand. It took him all of about half a second to do it. He showed me exactly what he did, so I could do it myself next time. (Hopefully!)
While there, I listened patiently to all of his rants and raves about how much he hates Houston, hates Texas, hates his 'condominium' (he has a townhouse, just like I do!), hates Glencluster (the name of our Homeowner's Association, and he's not alone in that one!), hates ... ... well, his hate list just went on and on and on.
It included the police department, who has stopped responding to his repeated calls about loud music in the neighborhood and drag racing up and down our street. Well, folks, drag racing up and down our street is simply not possible! I hear loud music from time to time, but it's not a bother for me. There is a vehicle belonging to one of our neighbors, who likes to play his stereo loudly while driving, but - as soon as he's in his garage, the loud music disappears completely. I mentioned this to my neighbor and he said, "Yeah, it's that little red car, license plate #-------."
He's right on top of everything and sensitive as all get out! The last time he saw the police was at 11pm one night, when they came pounding on his front door. He had been sound asleep - he gets up before 4:30 each morning - and staggered to the door, trying to focus his eyeballs. The police were there and ready with pad and pencil in hand to take down every piece of info he had to offer in re noisemakers, people's names, house and license plate numbers, younameits. That visit went over not at all well, as you might imagine!
He seems to think that the police should park a cruiser on our street every night 'just in case' something might arise that would disturb everyday law-abiding citizens. Actually, they did do that once, for a 24-hour period (he told me), at his request. Nothing happened.
Now, historically we've had our share of crime in this neighborhood, but I'm not talking about loud music ... ... I'm talking about stolen cars, thefts and break-ins. One night, a few years back, I had occasion to call the police. It was 12:30 or so, and I was sitting at the kitchen table watching some program or another on television when there came a loud knocking at my front door. It startled me!
I wasn't about to open my front door in the middle of the night. I wasn't expecting anyone. I didn't acknowledge the fact that I was home, either, by calling out, "Who is it?" Instead, I turned out the light in the kitchen (I had already turned off the TV), went into each of the other two rooms (Not the living room! That room led to the front door.) that faced the street (groping my way in the dark the whole time) and surreptitiously parted the blinds to try and see who was out there. I could see a small white car parked at an angle in front of my house, its engine running. The pounding on my front door continued.
I grabbed my cell phone - thank goodness for cell phones! - and called 911. I gave the operator my address, told her what had been going on and advised her that I was not staying in the house, that I lived alone and had no weapon with which to defend myself. I told her that I was going to try and make it out back to the garage, get in and start my car, open the garage door and hightail it on out of there (if I could get away with it) to a Stop and Go just up the street.
I told her the route I was going to take (down the back alley to Wilcrest, then up Wilcrest to the Stop and Go) ... ... at that time, the Glencluster 'powers that be' had not yet decided to block that back alleyway, and so I did not have to exit my neighborhood by driving past what I now suspected were potential intruders and most certainly uptonogooders.
I asked if she wouldn't mind staying on the line with me while I did so. I was so scared! She did stay on the line with me. When I was 'safely' at the Stop and Go, she disconnected, but called me back just a couple of minutes later to tell me that a cruiser was in front of my house and how soon could I get back there?
You want to talk about 'shocked'!?! WHY was the cruiser in front of my house? Why wasn't the cruiser at the Stop and Go, its officer ready to comfort and assist me? (In retrospect, of course, it makes perfect sense that the cruiser had gone directly to the front of my house. It's just that, in my state of mind, I think I was just wanting the whole thing to disappear ... relegate it to neverhappenedland, and retreat back into watching whatever I was watching on television in the 'relative safety' of my own home before I was so rudely interrupted.)
I asked her to have the dispatched officer call me. She did. Two 'she's' - both the emergency operator and the dispatched officer, both competent as all get out and exactly what I needed in my frantic state of mind.
The dispatched officer told me that there was no small white vehicle parked in the front of my house with its engine idling. She could see no activity inside my house, either. All was dark, she said. She really needed to have me come back home and meet with her.
Oh, boy! I told her what route I was going to take (same route, only the opposite, ending up in the back alley leading towards my garage) and asked if she would stay on the line with me. She did.
That was one weird experience! She and I were on the phone the whole time. I told her when I was pulling the car into the garage. I told her when I was closing the door to my garage. I told her when I turned on the back yard lights. I told her when I entered the house. I told her when I began turning on lights. I told her which lights! (I told her everything I heard and saw, which was nothing out of the ordinary, as I entered each new room.) I turned on the lights in every room in the house before I finally opened the front door to this blinding police light, which had been focused on my front door from the very beginning.
I NEVER have felt so safe, before or since! She gave me her private cell phone number and stayed with me until I stopped shaking.
I'm usually pretty good at writing letters of commendation and kept both her name and the emergency operator's name for some time, intending to write such a letter for both but never did. Why? I don't know. Time passed, I guess, but that's not an acceptable excuse for not doing so.
But, let's get back to my neighbor. I could have 'white-gloved' his place. I kid you not here! All the while I was there, he was complaining about this and that, this and that, and I kept thinking, "Whaat?!?"
He has a NASCAR collection in two 'white-glovable' glass cabinets. (He has many more in his collection, he says, but he doesn't have 'room' to put them. You have to be ******* me! All he has there is room! No personal memorabilia, no photographs, no magazines or books scattered hither or thither ... ... just a gigantic - maybe 50" or so - digital widescreen TV that was showing a M*A*S*H episode.
I asked, "Channel 33?" "No," he answered, "24." "Oh," I said. "You have cable." "Yes," he said.
I asked, "Did you get my e-mail yesterday?" "No," he answered. "I've disconnected everything from the Internet. Their service is lousy." (Another of the things on his 'hate' list.)
Oh, my! But he did fix my weedeater!!