On My Suburban Wonderland
So, on our street we have that one house where there’s a couple who hate kids and you can’t even breathe on their lawn and they are assholes and nobody likes them. It’s a man and a woman and we refer to them as “Dick” and “Bitch.”
As in: “Oh no, Pablo’s running straight for Dick and Bitch’s house to crap! Stop him!”
Anyway, what fuels life for Dick and Bitch is one part Miller Lite, one part cigarettes and one part bitterness. Bitch is the kinda lady who gets home from her job (she’s probably, like, the manager of Service or Parts at a car dealership, and you can just imagine her being a stickler about rules and everyone counting down the days until she retires) and lights a cig and then gets on her cell phone and stomps around her yard watering all her perfect plants. She, like, HATE-waters them, though, because she’s not gliding about her lawn in a relaxed way, sighing and barefoot, but in a way that shows she kind of HATES the plants for requiring all the goddamn water.
Then she goes inside and gets loaded with Dick, who hasn’t had a job in years. He also hasn’t had any teeth in years.
Bitch only then comes outside if one of Sid or Owen’s* wiffleballs lands in her perfect grass. (Which I’m surprised isn’t covered in land-mines.) Then she launches out holding her Miller Lite to bitch her face off.
After Bitch is done, well, BITCHING, Dick sometimes slithers out when he’s fully in his cups to apologize for the missus and Sid and Owen sit there and marvel at how he can speak with no teeth while my brother-in-law Jeff stands in the background and waits for Bitch to come back out so he can tell her what-for. Jeff doesn’t tolerate Bitch’s bitchiness when it comes to his sons.
Anyway, they suck and are fuckfaces but that’s not the story. The story is that Sid fell asleep on the sofa on Superbowl Sunday and was woken up at 4 am by ambulance lights flashing through the window. He looks to see Dick being wheeled out on a stretcher. Then the ambulance beat it and Bitch went and followed it in her car.
(Bitch’s car is a WHITE sport utility vehicle that she washes every week. Of course it is, you’re saying.)
My sister calls me up the next morning.
“Did you hear what happened to Dick and Bitch?” she asks. Then tells me what Sid saw, reports that Bitch and her white SUV have returned home, sans Dick. Then she suggests that Adrian and me should keep our eyes open and see if we can get the scoop. She thinks Dick maybe had a heart attack. I wonder if Bitch just shot him dead.
“But then she would be arrested, right?” my sister asks. “I would have gone over there to ask if he was okay but I don’t know her name.”
I told her that that’s what you get when you’re the Neighborhood Dick & Bitch. Nobody knows your real name or bothers to ask if your husband dropped dead.
The story might end there, with some moral about ‘being neighborly’ and blah. Except, I’m a pretty indifferent neighbor and don’t really do much to foster community beyond the people I know or am already related to. I’m a big fan of benign indifference when it comes to my neighbors and I work at it really hard. Our houses are very close together, you see.
But! Then my extroverted husband was outside shoveling snow and stuff and he somehow ran into Dick, who was miraculously recovered and was also shoveling snow. Of course, Adrian bellied right up to Dick and got the whole story, which was some garbled nonsense about him having a fever and passing out in the bathroom – Huh? How’d That Happen? – and then?
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED THEN.
Then he actually discovered their True Names.
*pause for reverential cooing*
Which I will not reveal, lest the universe crack open or Hellboy’s horns grow back to full strength.
*Sid & Owen = nephews, age 17 and 13, respectively