Friday, September 12, 2008

Inspired by PlanetDan

One of my favorite bloggers, Dan at, posted a funny story about being asked to tie a neighbor's tie the other day. I commented on it with some stories of my Portland, Oregon neighbors and it seems to have tickled some people, so I thought I'd post my comments here.

Oh man, this reminds me of my Phillipino neighbors when we lived in Portland, Oregon.

Three stories.

When the single 50-something mother, Dolly, and her 20-year old son, Charles, spent 2 weeks in the Phillipines, they asked if I would mow their lawn. I did. When they came back, she brought over a bamboo mail holder and said she brought it "all the way back from the Phillipines." Wow, I said, and turned it around to admire it. Written on the back was "To Uncle Nick, love Charles. 1991." Dolly saw it too and panicked. She grabbed it from my hands and ran back to her house, never to mention it again.

Story 2: Dolly bought her son a stick shift car. Charles didn't know how to drive it, so laid in wait for me to get home. I had never done more than wave hello to him, but he asked me if I could teach him to drive a stick shift. I did. The next week I saw the car totaled in the driveway.

Story 3: One late night, we heard a frantic banging on our door. I answered it and Dolly started pulling my hand towards her house. I asked what was wrong, and she just shouted, "Come! Come!" I stepped foot for the first time into their knick-knack filled, hot house, and saw her older brother, who was recovering from a surgery at Dolly's house, spread out on the floor. He had fallen out of his chair and Dolly couldn't lift him. I lifted him up from under his arms and put him back in the chair - but not before he bandage and sweat rubbed against my arms. Ick.


Chelise said...

Those are great stories! I can't imagine how those stickshift lessons went.

My somewhat-brief neighbor story:

We bought a house across the street from some Section 8 apartments. The people are nice for the most part, but a little odd. Late one night, someone started banging on our door. My bf opened it to find one of those neighbors panting on our doorstep. (It helps to picture him: Tommy Chong with longer, lighter gray hair. He talks like him too). "Aw man (pant, pant) are you guys okay? I saw some lights flickering and told my old lady your place might be on fire so I ran over. Is everything okay?" My bf told him everything was fine and he wandered back across the street.

We had been watching South Park. Apparently it looks suspiciously like fire from 100 feet away.

Rob said...

That must make you feel good -- to have people looking out for you.

Rambling Canuck said...

Excellent post. I can't say that I have any nutty-neighbor stories. I mean, I had a real wacky family living next to me growing up (tons of stories there) but they were cool weird - not creepy weird.

Rob said...

Thanks Curtis. Any cool-weird stories worth sharing?

Rambling Canuck said...

They're basically a big (three sons, one daughter) loving, hysterical, quirky family. Our parents still live next door to one another. They're my brothers and sisters. Family. So many strange tales...

- One son, when 16 years old, popped over to the fence one summer afternoon for a "dip" in my parents' pool. He proceeded to swim 100 laps without stopping once, got out, said "thanks" over his shoulder and hopped back over the fence.

- Another son, when he was about 18 or so, had a big party going next door one winter eve. At about 2am the snow is coming down like crazy and there's roughly 12 inches on the ground. We live on a steep hill with a major street nearby, so he decided to strap on his skis and carve turns all the way down this street, with traffic, sparks coming off his edges. Then catches a cab back up and does it again.

- I once watched the third son coerse a mother racoon and its three babies into his living while his parents were out. They had a small door next to the fireplace where they kept firewood and he somehow got the all in there. He called me over and showed me a rag doll. He opened the door and threw it in. Crazy shrieking and scraping sounds emerged and out popped this completely shredded doll.

Those are just a few stories.