There Goes the Neighborhood....
Last night around 10:30 I was took Alex down for a shoo-shoo (i.e. to take a leak), and I heard something very...odd. It honestly sounded like (for lack of a better word) Islamic music. That in itself is not too odd; Howard County is very ethnically diverse, and we have a lot of Islamic folks in our community. But it was surprisingly loud. Now we have a fellow across the way who on occasion blares what Bobby and I call ranchero music--you know, the sorts of accordion-centric stuff that they play at Mexican chain restaurants--but Islamic people don't strike me as the sorts of folks who will open a window and blare their music.
Alex was perturbed, as was I, so after he took his shoo-shoo, we went back upstairs. "Someone in one of the buildings across the way is blaring Islamic music," I told Bobby, who looked at me oddly.
I am beginning to believe that being entirely honest about what I perceive is not always the best route. The other day, I was sitting in my parents' kitchen, and a woman crossed the yard, carrying a diamond tiara. "Dad," I said, "there is a woman in the yard with a crown." He didn't believe me! I had to tell him five or six times to go to the door before he'd actually do it! And when he came back, what did he say? "Yes, Dawn, there was a woman in the yard with a crown." Sheesh.
Bobby went downstairs to investigate for himself and came back up a few seconds later. "I know what that is," he said.
"It's not Islamic music?" I asked.
"No," he replied, and he told me that apparently some guy sits beside the dumpster across the street from us and plays a fiddle. He's seen the guy before while walking Alex. "Does he work for the community?" I asked because the maintenance shed is over there and sometimes the maintenance guys will turn on their stereos pretty loud. I could see an older fellow maybe passing idle time playing his fiddle while waiting for someone's dishwasher to break...a little hootnanny but not nearly as annoying as gangsta rap blaring at eight in the morning. But no, the guy apparently just sits there, next to the dumpster...and plays what sounds like Islamic music.
As though some random guy coming into our community to sit beside a dumpster and play a fiddle is not enough, on Friday, Bobby came to have lunch with me at my office, and he noticed something odd. He was putting Alex into the back of the car when a guy walked out of the building across from ours. Normally, Bobby wouldn't have paid him any mind but he was--in Bobby's words--"a squirrel": you know, the sort of person you just have to look at twice. He was an older gentleman with largish glasses. And he was carrying a bucket with a hacksaw and towels.
He came out of one building and went into the one next door. Bobby got curious, so he sat in the car and watched for a few minutes. One by one, the guy went into and came out of each building in the block opposite ours. He then started on our block and began to work his way down. We are the fifth building on our row. When he went into our building, Bobby got out of the car and followed him inside.
Our buildings are split-level: You enter and either go down a flight of stairs to the ground level or go up to the first or second floors. The squirrely guy had gone downstairs to the ground level, and he was bent over and inspecting the locks on one of the doors.
Now my husband is an imposing man. He is a 6'3" hockey player with shoulders that practically fill a doorframe. He also has a rather booming voice. He called down the stairs, "Excuse me, can I help you?" in his meanest voice...and the guy snatched up his bucket and bolted up the stairs, past Bobby, and outside.
Three days later, a car blows up, and we apparently have a roaming, middle-of-the-night fiddle player. And this is supposed to be idyllic and crime- and weirdo-free Howard County. Sheesh. I thought that the people next door's dog was bad!
On a completely unrelated note, as I type this, I have a damp golden retriever curled up next to me. We gave him a bath tonight; we give him a bath every two weeks. This is the point where we begin not to be able to stand his special retriever smell anymore. (What is it with retrievers? They all smell like old, dirty money!) Getting a bath exhausts the little guy, and tonight, he decided to thank me for making him smell all flowery again by pressing against and soaking my leg. *smooches Alex*