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That Unbearable Hippie Woman Next Door

July 30, 2011

Peace and quiet are important to me. I enjoy living by myself, secure in my solitude from others, but never lonely, for I perpetually rejoice in the unfailing companionship of my greatest friend and confidant, my most dear and treasured pet, my dog, Mr. Twinkle, whose loyalty is unquestioned, whose dedication to my person is without parallel, and whose utter inability to speak intelligible words I count among his most sterling and treasured attributes. For the most part, I find the prospect of having to listen to anyone but myself absolutely intolerable. The efforts of such misguided nincompoops to direct their speech at me is completely fruitless, because just by looking at their idiotic faces, it is readily apparent that they have absolutely nothing to say that is worth even one second of my precious time. Only Mr. Twinkle has displayed the proper degree of humility, respect and good sense by maintaining complete silence in my presence, and by attentively listening to my every word. And for that, in superlative measure, I consider him to be a model of proper bearing and conduct that my fellow human beings might do quite well to rigorously emulate.

Generally speaking, I have not been unhappy with my neighborhood. My house, built upon a spacious parcel of land, was at one time rather isolated from the rest of the town's population, but shortly after my father's death several decades ago, I determined to subdivide my immediate property into smaller lots, leaving the choicest and largest part for myself, and building modest homes upon what remained, thereafter renting them out with the aim of increasing my revenues.

This has proven to be a most sagacious and lucrative decision, but unfortunately, I have discovered that it has not come without its peculiar drawbacks, chief of which is the periodic appearance of a next-door neighbor who, for reasons unknown even to my own penetrating comprehension, feels strangely compelled to attempt to develop a routine and familiar verbal correspondence with me, whether on the phone, by means of e-mail messages, or, God forbid it, in person, standing in my front yard, on my front porch, and one day she even somehow managed to show up in my kitchen while I was eating my customary hearty breakfast of six strawberry-flavored Twinkies washed down with a full glass of Cutty Sark.

Much to my dismay, Mr. Twinkle flagrantly disregarded my order to attack her, and could not be bothered to even muster up so much as a bark or a growl. Instead, involuntarily overcome by her wicked spell, he sauntered up to her, tail wagging, and presented his head so that it might be caressed by the hand of the most hideous and terrifying Medusa imaginable, a woman wearing a shapeless Hawaiian mu-mu dress and ratty-looking tree-hugger sandals, a member of the fairer sex who has striven with heart and soul to turn it foul, a non-stop motor-mouth with something trivial and misguided to say on every topic imaginable, and not one single word or comment issuing from her mouth that does not inspire within me the most profound revulsion and contempt. My friends, after the horrific encounter in my kitchen, I very seriously contemplated tearing up that woman's rental contract and having her personal possessions thrown out into the street, I truly did.

However, the cool breeze of reason eventually prevailed within my heated mind, and I determined that the loss of revenue from her rent payments was something that I simply could not do without. There are very few irksome things in this life that I am prepared to tolerate for even an instant, but when money is part of the equation, all bets are off. Every month she has been unfailingly on time with her rent, which for some reason she feels compelled to deliver to me in person by knocking on my door, even after I have insisted several times that she mail it to me or place it in my mailbox in an envelope, which is what every single one of my renters does, except for her, of course. Luckily for her, I no longer use a bee-bee gun to shoot people who knock at my door. I learned my lesson after I shot my brother Ernie in December 2009 and as a consequence suffered through the worst holiday season of all time -- you can read about it in an article I published about that outrageous experience.

Well, anyway, I suppose I should tell you this woman's name, not because I even care to mention it, or that I might imagine you would want to know -- but then again, knowing you, I wouldn't put it past you -- but simply as a matter of convenience, so that I don't have to continuously write "that ridiculous and preposterous tree-hugging liberal and granola-eater who gives me severe indigestion the moment I see her face or hear her voice." Her name, dear readers, is Karen. As to her age, I am not certain, nor would I care to know it, but I suspect that she is somewhere between 30 and 60 years of age.

When Karen's undesired and unwarranted personal visits began, and when I determined that shooting her with my bee-bee gun, tearing up her rental contract, or having Mr. Twinkle attack her were not viable options for dealing with her, it occurred to me that I might employ other, more subtle tactics in my efforts to permanently banish her from my presence.

So, I asked her if there was a man in her life, hoping that some faint trace of prudence might lead her to reflect upon her improperly flirtatious behavior and subsequently put an end to it. No such luck, however, since, as she happily explained to me, she had never been married, and then, much to my dismay and horror, launched into a highly detailed and emotionally-charged description of the several dozen boyfriends that she has had over the years, most of whom seemed to be of the freewheeling bohemian variety, some of whom she rejected and others who dumped her, and all of whom seemed like complete and total nitwits for having involved themselves in intimate relationships with such an exasperating, enervating and shambling disaster of a woman .

The remembrance of her long and highly varied love life led her to burst into tears at several moments, and she asked me if I had a handkerchief to dry them, to which I replied yes, in theory, but that my handkerchiefs are for me, and I of course do not share them any more than I might share my own toothbrush. She remarked that she found my attitude to be rather uncharitable, to which I replied, tough cookies. She then asked for a paper napkin with which she might dry her tears, and I said that they cost one dollar per napkin. She acted as if she had been deeply shocked by my perfectly reasonable napkin price and then stormed out of the house. Good riddance, I figured, since I had just about come to the point of grabbing my kitchen broom and swatting her towards the door.

Unfortunately, however, she came back a few days later, and seemed to have no memory of having taken offense at me for having stood my ground and for having refused to give a single inch to her contemptible point of view. She blithely continued blabbering away about this, that, and the other, that is, whatever happened to float into her disorganized and scrambled brain.

I decided that I might question her about her political views, which I supposed would be diametrically opposed to mine. My plan was to push all of her buttons and to so thoroughly enrage her that she might never wish to cross the threshold of my abode ever again. Confident in my plan, I commenced to inquire.

As I had suspected, Karen turned out to be disgustingly liberal. I raged against her misguided ideas. I insulted her worthless opinions, and interrupted her as much as possible. Finally, she once again burst into tears, yelled at me that I was a cruel and vicious exploiter of the people, and then, calming herself a bit, promised to offer up some prayers to the Earth Goddess in a Wiccan ceremony so that my heart might be turned. The idea of her doing this so amused me, I let loose with a massive belly laugh. She fixed her gaze on me, and then solemnly promised to carry out the deed, no kidding. What do I care about Wiccan ceremonies, I shouted at her as she mercifully walked out of my house -- go ahead and pray to your false gods and see what that gets you.

But then, I got to thinking that maybe she might try to put some evil witchcraft voodoo kind of stuff on me. I didn't worry too much about it at first, but the more I thought about it, the more concerned I became. Finally, I figured that I'd better get down on my knees and pray to the Lord just a bit and ask him to, you know, form a protective spirit shield around me so none of Karen's witchcraft voodoo stuff could get through. But I wasn't sure if that short prayer was enough, so I stretched it out an hour or two. Then, I supposed that I might need to light a few scented candles for protection against the witch power. Well, actually, I put out around one hundred just to be safe. It was soon around 3 AM and I still hadn't slept a wink, and my bottle of Cutty Sark wasn't helping much either, so I figured I'd just have to go to her house and nip the thing in the bud right then and there.

It turned out that she was pretending to be asleep when I got to her house, she must have known I was coming and switched off the lights and everything. I knocked for about ten minutes until she finally showed up, and she pulled me into the house and made me hot organic cocoa and gave me some organic flaxseed cookies and massaged my back and talked my head off until the sun came up. She talked so much that I didn't even have the opportunity to tell her to stop doing the Wiccan ceremony stuff. I must confess that the back massage felt pretty good, but that was just a moment of weakness which I will never again repeat.

So, I suppose that after that incident, I came to the conclusion that I would just have to learn how to accept her annoying presence in my life one way or another. But don't get any ideas, dear readers. I do not find her in the least attractive or interesting, nor do I ever intend to involve myself with her as she must undoubtedly wish to involve herself with me. Of course, I cannot blame her for constantly desiring to be in my presence, since my full and rounded stomach must be an irresistible lure to her.

There is no woman on this earth who can ever satisfy my exacting standards for feminine perfection, much less Karen, who quite frankly is the epitome of everything that a woman must not be. Except for the back rub -- I will not lie, since she is quite good at that. But again, that was the first and last time.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...