Open Letter #1

dear White Trash Neighbor:

let me begin by saying i don't use that title lightly...in fact, because i lived with that stigma for much of my childhood, i hate it...but, honey, you have earned it...take a bow...

i'm not from the south...there's a learning curve that comes with living next door to me...for instance, i'll never understand the concept of putting a truck on blocks...in the front yard...and using it as a fort/dog house...and in the process, ruining a beautiful lawn and sprinkler system installed by the previous homeowners...i will probably never understand why most southern homes smell of pork...or cured meats in general...and why your home, specifically, seems to attract all manner of overweight, unattractive little children who seem as drawn to the smell as i am repelled by it...i know i've completely missed the point of your above ground pool...and your unwillingness to clean it of algae...and mosquito larvae...and overweight, unattractive children...but i'm trying, so cut me some slack...

but i cannot abide by the three-foot tall grass in your front yard...sure, let your three dogs dig holes and urinate all over your back yard...it's fenced...no one can see into the flat mud hole that--before you bought the place--was the lush envy of the neighborhood...let the overweight, unattractive children dance and sing in a black mixture of dog shit and georgia clay...let them fling their retched little bodies around on the trampoline you insisted the previous owner include in the sale...but please, for the love of neighborhood property values, mow your goddamn front lawn...

i've overlooked the fact that you've let it go to seed...that you couldn't use the sprinklers once your dented truck had decapitated several of them...that you cut the shrubs down to twigs, let the magnolia and knockout roses die, and allowed weeds to overtake the day lily patches...who needs all that work? but the grass...the three-foot-high grass...there's just no excuse...

here's an idea...and may i add that it's killing two birds with one stone? i might have mentioned already that your home seems to be the pied piper of overweight, unattractive children...one of whom seems to be a young man of about twelve, whom i've heard you calling "jimmy"...perhaps instead of spending his afternoons peeing in the front bushes or riding his motorized scooter up and down the block, "jimmy" could get out the old push mower and have at it with those weeds?

or, if this is too sexist for you, perhaps one of the four girl children might be free? i was mowing my grandmother's lawn when i was eight, so i know it's not that hard...the oldest girl--you know the one, right? with the sour orange hair?---looks fit enough to run the mower around your fifteen yards of lawn...that might ,then, be an excuse for wearing her tube top and jean skirt out of the house, as she's so prone to do when she goes for the mail each day...

or maybe you're not into the whole "child labor" thing (i doubt it...what other reason is there for having five kids and converting your garage into more bedrooms?)...here's another idea: get your fat ass out there and mow the yard yourself...i'm a big-assed girl myself...trust me, an afternoon in the georgia sun will melt some of that off...then maybe you can expand your wardrobe to include something other than the navy mu-mus you seem to hoard by the dozen...that might help with the "dating problem" i've heard you mention as you scream into your cell phone while pacing around your three-foot-high lawn...

and while i'm writing, i haven't asked in a while...how's your parole officer? now that the kids are back with you--and you've provided them with bedrooms in the garage--i haven't seen her around much...is she keeping your three exes off your back? i hope so...i know you don't really need all that stress...

really, truthfully, 

Neighbor Who Runs Inside When She Sees You Coming

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