Sunday, August 09, 2009
Bike riding hell spawn
Dawn has cracked the horizon with a loud and sonic crack that makes me squint my sleep-gummed eyes and sniff back the congestion muddling my brain. I feel fuzzy and my eyes are beginning to water in the horrendously cheery dawn. Someone turn off the lights or at least put a shade over it so I can sniff and squint in peace.
I have just crossed over the threshold and landed securely in cranky old lady land. Three boys, who believe that the big old mound of dirt and the two boards still straddling the hole over my sewage system after nearly six months is a launching ramp, were clattering over the boards and flying up over the mound of dirt that has slowly diminished in the rains, seeping and weeping down over the parking lot in a flood that courses into the city's sewers. The fluorescent yellow star bursts painted on the blacktop haven't faded, but at least I know what happened to the sunflowers I planted on the mound of dirt that used to be part of railroad tie bordered planter on the front side of the house. Those boys.
While sitting on the toilet, the boy and bike-shaped shadows whizzing by the translucent window caught my attention. I opened the window and there they were about to launch yet another airborne foray over the dirt mound, crushing the budding life of yet more seedlings.
"You boys need to stop doing that." They looked at me with the sneering contempt rowdy boys always favor the hopelessly old.
"Why? Is the dirt yours?"
Let's see. It's sitting next to my house and the boards run across the parking lot and up to my house, so, ignorant hell spawn... "Yes, it's mine. Those boards are over a large hole that goes down to the sewer system. If those boards give way, you'll get hurt. Stop riding your bikes over it or I'll call the police."
The boys shared a secret contemptuous glance and rode away . . . just out of sight . . . as I shut the window and finished nature's call. Whiz. Clatter. Airborne shouts of 14-year-old glory. One. Two. Three. All right. It's time to call the police.
As I answered the dispatcher's questions and waited for what seems like pregnant pauses gone into double digit overtime, the boys disappeared. Evidently, their last ride over the mound was their assertion of their belief that they could get in one more "screw you, old lady" ride before the police came. The dispatcher said that if I couldn't describe them and they were gone for now, the police department would do nothing. "How about keeping an eye on things while cruising through the neighborhood?" The eye rolling was audible even over the static-crackled line. Right.
Almost six months that degrading pile of straggling weeds has sat with its sad little white flag outside my bathroom window. The landlord said it would be gone before this, but someone screwed up because it's still there. The plumber needs to mark out the route of the bathroom sewage line, but it's marked out. The plumber needs to drop in a clean-out drain, but that hasn't been done. The dirt and debris are still there outside the window like a juvenile delinquent magnet for kids who should be playing in one of the parks up the street or some derelict property overlooked by broken windows and fire blackened trusses about to give way, not here.
On the positive side, at least they are no longer launching their bikes off my front deck any more. At least that is something. I wonder how much rebar I can get to plant upright in the dirt mound and provide a hazard to bike traffic? I could always get out there with the gardening trawl and dig troughs in the pile so that it collapses when they launch their bikes or take the boards away and let nature fill the gaping gash in the sewer line that runs beneath my plantar box or booby trap them in such a way they collapse or threaten to topple those brats into the still open hole in the sewer line, except that would add danger to an already attractive bike launch into space. No, best to keep the cops on speed dial and keep a camera handy to take their pictures so I can give an accurate description of their underwear hanging out the backs of their low riding surfer shorts and the tattoos on their contemptuous, gap-toothed, grinning faces. A picture is worth a thousand words and will get better results with the police.
That is all. Disperse.