For over twenty years my neighborhood has been typical and suburban. Maple, oak and elm trees. Small, brick and clapboard houses. Third of an acre lots. Weber barbecues. Soccer moms. Nothing pretentious. We could even leave our doors and cars unlocked because burglars shopped elsewhere.
Then a few years ago everybody
started borrowing low cost money so they could tear down the little
houses and build BIG houses. On the same property. With those
butt ugly turrets on top and giant SUVs in the driveways. For some
reason people want to live here. Probably because we have a Subway
Sandwich Shop, a McDonald's AND a mall.
Some of my neighbors fought back by
adding monstrous additions of their own. Haaa, that'll show ya. But any
houses that were the size of mine have been torn down. I'm the only one
left. The last two across the street just got removed. The foundation
for the new one has already been poured. It looks like the Grand
A third house on the corner has
been under construction all summer. Only four or five more stories to
go. Unfortunately, sitting there on the corner so big and half built,
it has become a billboard for criminals. Yooo Whoooo. There's a
big house here, try to steal some stuff if you're in the
Needless to say, I was not too
happy to see an entire roll of yellow POLICE tape wrapped around this
new, gargantuan McMansion. Oh, great, there's been a murder on my
street was my first thought. Or a rape. Or a kidnapping. Something
terrible must have happened. I came around the corner from doing
errands and there were two cop vans, one of which had EVIDENCE
TECHNICIAN all over it and some guy with gloves on holding a flashlight
in the middle of the day.
I guess there'll be no more taking out the garbage in my underwear
after this caper.
Since the crime occurred as I was about to
leave town for another country, I thought I would try to find out what
transpired in our formerly quiet little enclave. Not that I had plans
to install an alarm system or get a guard dog. Basically I was just
I called the non
emergency hotline to ask who died. I got routed to the community
service officer who wasn't there so I left a message that surely
convinced him I was a crazy old woman with cats. That's silly.
knows I don't have cats.
He did have the courtesy to call back and leave me a message.
Apparently there was an attempted burglary at the half finished
house. Somebody tried to take something that didn't belong to
them. Quelle shock!!
We haven't had anything like that in the entire time I've lived here.
Nothing that required evidence technicians and POLICE tape. There was
one night when my drunk neighbor two doors down shot his 357 magnum
through the living room ceiling into his son's bedroom, but, wisely, his son was
at camp. No harm. No foul. Other than that, nothing.
But now that the houses are getting bigger, the bad guys are getting bolder. More house. More to steal.
Living here as long as I have, I can't help noticing that my house
has been getting smaller and smaller by comparison. On the other hand,
in a country whose motto is BIGGER HAS GOT TO BE BETTER, I'm thinking,
smaller is maybe a good thing.