Friday, September 22, 2006

There Goes The Neighborhood

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 Canyon. 

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 neighborhood. 

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 nosy.

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. Everybody 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, for once, smaller is maybe a good thing.


thisismary said...

Sigh.  Just wait till they form an association and try to force you to chip in for a wall to surround the neighborhood.

Hope that your little house is hanging in there in the terrible weather going on in Mrs. L. land tonight.

lanurseprn said...

I think you must live in MY neighborhood!!  

sdoscher458 said...

They do that in my daughters neighborhood too.  A tiny parcel of land and they build upwards...some look downright silly instead of impressing.  Here I have half an acre wishing someone would tear my house down and build four new ones! Sandi

suzypwr said...

Those turrets always make me think of some sort of insecure penis size issues.


psychfun said...

Where I grew up same thing. My folks retired last year & sold their 4 bedroom ranch after 29 yrs & same thing they built on top of it & it is HUGE!

mombzbe said...

Um, size isn't everything?
LOL, I have to laugh at the McMansions.  I have six people crammed into our little house, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Well, maybe I'd take 1000 more square feet.  I need it for Audrey's stuffed animals and shoes....and my own private sanctuary.  ha!