M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, June 07, 2004  

I Have Met the Enemy

You'll never believe who stopped by the house yesterday.

I stepped out my front door and walked around to the back to clean out my car. I'd already noticed a car full of people parked in front of the neighbors' house, but since I didn't know them, I figured they were there for the neighbors. Then the guy called out to me. I stopped and turned, and he met me in the driveway.

"I used to own this house," he said.

Sweet gelatinous Christ. I was face-to-face with Dr. Jellyfinger.

If I were any kind of a man at all, I would have punched him in the face in front of his womenfolk, ordered him off my land, and threatened to come after him if I ever heard so much as a rumor of his picking up a power tool ever again. But no, I 'm a Minnesotan. I'm expected to stick my hand out, give a welcoming smile, introduce myself, and invite him and his family in for a drink.

To my credit, I didn't do any of that shit either.

He'd stopped by once before, almost ten years to the day. I hadn't been there at the time. It was when we were building our deck onto the back of the house, the refrigerator was broken, and the cat was working on her simulation of paraplegia. He'd knocked on the door, asked to look around, and Trash had let him in.

"You should have told that asshole to fuck off," I've told her any number of times in the intervening years.

Yesterday he asked me if he could look around. I said, "Fuck off, asshole."

Well, not out loud. If I'd said out loud all the things I'd been thinking during our brief encounter, we'd still be standing there. Just looking at him filled me with rage, gazing into that idiot face suffused with pride of workmanship, no clue behind those piggy little eyes that everything he touched in that house was, at one time or another, the biggest headache in my life. I wanted to walk him through and point out to him, in agonizing, unsparing detail, all the things he'd wrecked that my dad and I have had to fix. But here's how it went instead, with my unspoken portion of the conversation in italics:

Him: "I used to own this house."

Me: "Oh." Run, you fuckstick. Run and hide while you have the chance.

Him: "I sold it a long time ago."

Me: "Yeah, my wife and I have lived here for about eleven years now." Most of it cursing your name.

Him: "You mind if I take a look around?"

Me: Fuck, yes! "It's kind of a mess in there right now." And if you step inside, I don't know if I'll be able to talk myself into letting you out alive.

Him: "Oh, well, can I just take a look at the yard, then?"

Me: Hmm, now we're joined by two Spawns of Jellyfinger, Bride of Jellyfinger, and Mother of Jellyfinger. Not enough room to bury them all back there. "Sure."

Dr. Jellyfinger takes in the back door we had installed a couple of years ago, the beautiful curved deck I built with my father, the expansive stone patio we laid with my parents, the stunning landscaping that Trash and my mother did last summer, the beautiful circular pine bench that Mom and Dad built to encircle the base of the tree. He says, because I don't already have enough reasons to hate him:

Him: "Wow, that tree got really big. I planted that tree."

Me: Must…control…fist…of death… "Really?"

Him: "Yeah, it was just a little sapling then. Now it shades the whole yard."

Me: "Yes." Motherfucker. "It does." Kill you kill you kill you kill you KILL YOU!

Things get a little blurry after that. My thoughts cycled between 1) awareness that I was not armed, 2) what it would take to remedy that situation before he escaped, and 3) how much difference it was going to make in a minute or two if my mortal enemy didn't stop grinning at me in that oblivious manner.

Him: "I did the whole basement, too, you know."

Me: Kill you! Kill you! Kill you!

As they left, barely a minute after arriving, Mother of Jellyfinger nearly commited suicide with this remark:

Her: "The basement was pretty."

Me: You belong in a home.

I wonder if Dr. Jellyfinger will be back in another ten years. And if we'll still be there. If so, I hope he comes alone this time. I'll be able to skip the italics if he does.

Today's best search phrase: "John Batman pay a price of 40 blankets, 30 axes, 100 knives, 50 scissors, 200 handkerch." I suspect that unless John Batman is buying something like the Yukon, he's getting rooked.

posted by M. Giant 7:48 PM 0 comments


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