“Hey Neighbor.” The voice penetrates your eardrum like a knitting needle. “Watcha doin’?” It’s a voice that sends chills down your spine. Chills that reach the bottom of your spine, make a quick U-turn and travel back up your spine, then back down again, just to ensure that they’ve done the job properly.
“Gerald…you’re here.” You stop what you’re doing and stand motionless. “Are you here to pee on my garden some more?”
“I’ve told you I’m not the one doing that,” he claims.
You turn slowly to find Gerald standing before you, soaking wet, finger in his ear trying to remove some stubborn water.
“I don’t know who you thought that moat was going to keep out,” he says to you.
“I don’t know, Gerald. I had a few thoughts,” you say in exasperation. “So, learned how to swim did you?”
“I’ve been taking lessons.”
“And those piranha you put in the moat: they don’t do any good either,” he informs you.
“Obviously not, I don’t see a single tooth mark.”
“All you have to do is throw some meat into the other side of the moat, it completely distracts them.”
“I should have gone with the electric eels.”
“You see,” Gerald continues, ignoring your electric eel comment as he works the water from his other ear. ”piranha are really more scavengers than hunters. I guess that you didn’t know that.”
“I guess I didn’t,” you agree.
“You don’t know lots of things,” he tells you. “Would you like to know something else that you don’t know?”
You feel compelled to hear what Gerald has to say next, even though you know that it will make you want to knock the freckles from his ruddy little cheeks.
Note: under no circumstance would you ever strike or do harm to child in any way–that’s what the piranha were for. You’re just kidding–mostly.
“Just what is it that I don’t know, Gerald?”
“Well,” he says, wiping his nose on his sleeve, “that cement barrier you built around your house is useless.”
“Well that’s apparent.”
“All I needed to get past that, was a ladder and a blanket to throw over the razor-wire.”
“That easy for you was it?”
“Yeah. I don’t know where you’re getting your ideas on how to keep people out, but you’re being very smart about it,” he admonishes you. ”An electrified fence would be far more effective.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” A tiny flame of hope flickers in your mind.
“But there are ways around that too,” he tells you, quickly dousing your tiny flame. ”And that Beware of Bigfoot sign that you put up, wasn’t fooling anyone.”
“Do you mean, apart from the twenty or so Bigfoot hunters that camped out on your fathers front lawn, convinced that they had found irrefutable proof that Bigfoot exists?” You challenge Gerald’s assessment.
“That really ticked off my dad.”
You chuckle to yourself. “I know it did.”
“He says you’re a bad neighbor,” Gerald informs you.
“And he uses bad words when he says it.”
“Does he really?” You feel a weird sense of satisfaction.
“Did you know that one of those Bigfoot hunters smashed my dad’s mooning garden gnome with a shovel?”
“Yes.” Your spine stiffens slightly. “It was definitely the Bigfoot hunters that did that.”
“Anyway, do have anything to eat; all of that swimming and climbing made me hungry.” Gerald was hungry most of the time.
“I could make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” you offer.
“How many times do I have to tell you this: I’m allergic to peanuts?”
“I can’t image how I could have forgotten that.”
“You can’t remember anything,” he scolds, “you’re always offering things that have peanuts in them.”
“Forgetfulness is my curse…among other things.”
“You should write this down so you don’t forget.” Gerald instructs. “I’m allergic to peanuts, shellfish, cats, pomegranites, bees…”
“Gerald!” Gerald’s list is interrupted by the sound of his father screaming over your barriers. “What did you do with my steaks?!”
“Uh oh. I think I have to go now. I’ll be back later to tell you some more things that you don’t know,” he assures you as he turns to leave.
“I’ll be eagerly waiting,” you tell him as he leaves.
You stand there for a moment in silent contemplation. “Allergic to bees are you?” you say to yourself in what could only be described as an ominous and sinister tone.
You should be ashamed of yourself.