I had originally thought about including a blurb about The Heathens and golf clubs in a Round-Up edition, then I realized that I’ve never actually introduced The Heathens. This post is dedicated to the little terror suspects living around the corner.
Everyone has neighbors that maybe they aren’t too fond of. Sometimes those neighbors are the ones who play their (horrible) music way too loud and way too late; other times, those neighbors are the ones who insist on mowing, weed whacking, trimming and using their leaf blower at 6:30am on a Saturday. The neighbors that I’m least fond of happen to be a trio of boys in the 6-8 year old range. In our house, these neighbors are affectionately referred to as, “The Heathens.”
Let’s get one thing straight…I am not a person who can’t stand kids. In fact, I love kids, especially when they’re moderately well behaved and not totally covered in stickiness (what is that kids roll around in that causes the sticky shield?) But if you’re kid is a jerk, well, chances are I’m probably not going to offer to babysit.
The Heathens live around the corner from us. Their parents, from what I can tell, work from home. This means they are present for a majority of the heathen behavior, which as far as I can tell, goes unpunished. Visits from the Heathens to our side of the neighborhood are frequent, because the land across the street from our house is a “park.” It’s a preserve the City of Cape Coralbought about 20 years ago because it runs along the Rubicon Canal. Fun fact: our neighbor’s house was on that side of the street when it was first built in the early 90s, and when the City purchased the land, they actually moved the house to our side of the street.
Lots of folks in the neighborhood use the park to run their dogs, throw the football, or go fish in the canal. We all have a mutual respect for each other; if the guy down the street is throwing the tennis ball with his Rottweiler, I’m not going to take my below average intelligence Collie across the street to play.
One Saturday afternoon about two years ago, I was in the living room reading (my favorite thing to do BC: spend six hours on Saturday laying on the couch reading Stephen King novels). Our living room window faces the park. I could hear some commotion, and I saw the Heathens running around like they’d chugged sixteen Monsters and eaten nothing but Pixie Stix for breakfast (side note: this is the glitz pageant standard breakfast). I could feel my annoyance level rising.
The park has about a dozen or so trees. Some are older, and some were just planted about five years ago. The Heathens zeroed in on one of the younger trees. They proceed to jump up, grab branches, and swing from them like the apes they are. Branches were ripped from the poor tree. I contemplated going outside, or calling the police (yes, I will be that lady one day) or squirting them with the water hose. But in my laziness, and assumption that this wouldn’t last long, I just went back to reading.
About half an hour later, I got up to make some tea…and I saw the remnants of warfare. These Heathens had managed to rip every single branch from the tree. They had also disappeared, leaving only their path of destruction behind.
Two days later, the City of Cape Coral sent some workers out who had to cut down the tree and grind the stump, because the Heathens killed it. Yes, those little terror suspects had committed arborcide. And if that’s not a word, it is now.
There are a lot of things that break my bleeding, liberal, love everyone, tree hugging heart. Like those ASPCA commercials with the Sara McLaughlin song in the background (you KNOW the ones), people who litter (especially from their cars – you give me road rage) and people who kill trees.
The following weekend, the Heathens were playing football across the street.
They looked something like this:
Seeing the Heathens made me feeling something like this:
I refrained from marching over there and starting this:
Sorry, ran out of images from 300 I found acceptable. But this is pretty accurate, too.
The Heathens managed to avoid causing any loss of life to plants, animals, small children or elderly folks enjoying the beautiful afternoon. But, they did leave their football behind. Once the coast was clear, I marched my happy butt across the street and stole their football.
Was it mature? No. Was it honest? No. Was it what Jesus would have done? Probably not. Probably. But it made me feel better, and Evan was super excited to have a new football.
Last week I saw the trio loading up into their dad’s SUV, and they were wearing karate uniforms. KARATE. Yes, the battle continues…