Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 66

The Time Mookie Got Yelled At By An Old Man

I have to preface this story by saying that it came to me while I was actually writing a different story. After pondering it for a few minutes, I felt that it would be better to do this story first. If anything, it will help reaffirm my argument that a lot of old people are cranky as shit.

My story begins from a point in time many years ago. When I was a kid, my family moved into a house where one of the neighbors was one of the crankiest old men I have ever met. His name was “Winchester (*).”

Why do I say that Winchester was the crankiest old man ever? Well, like a lot of old people - he hated it when people went through his yard for anything. He was very protective of his yard for some reason, which in hindsight is a bit funny since it wasn't that nice to begin with. But if you touched his yard for ANY reason -AND- if he saw you do it...you could be certain that you had an ass-chewing coming your way. It didn't matter who you were either...young or old...male or female...you got your ass chewed. Then one day he decided to chew the ass of the wrong guy - My Dad.

My Dad and Winchester had a personal feud and general dislike for one another for over 20 years. From what I remember, the feud started not long after we moved into our house. The biggest thing that started it was when my Dad was mowing the lawn, and apparently he "crossed" the property line and went into Winchester's yard a bit. I guess Winchester didn't think much of this and chewed my Dad's ass. Not long after this, Winchester planted a long line of bushes down the property line - but yet he did it far enough inside his yard so that there was still a strip of grass between the bushes and the property line dividing our properties. Being the antagonistic old son-of-a-bitch he was - Winchester didn't always feel the need to mow this strip of grass along the property line. Sometimes he would, but most of the time he would not. Eventually the grass would grow to a length that looked totally shitty next to our yard, so naturally....my Dad would mow it. This of course usually earned my Dad another ass-chewing from the old man, which in turn my Dad probably told him where he could put his bushes, lawn mower, and anything else he was pissed about.

Looking back at it now, the pissing match between these two was just hilarious. You know Winchester didn't mow that strip on purpose just to aggravate my Dad. Meanwhile, you know my Dad would mow it just to get a rise out of Winchester. Just classic good stuff.

The a-hole games didn't stop there though. One time Winchester dug trenches in his yard from his gutter downspouts to the street by our driveway. He then ran tile hosing underground so that all the rainwater that came off his house emptied into the street right at the bottom of our driveway. He even crossed a section of our yard with his trench (without asking) to do it. Just a total asshole move. As a form of revenge, my dad lobbed soybeans up onto his roof. The beans would then go down into the gutters, down the downspouts and into his new drainage system. Soybeans of course swell when they get wet, and from what I've heard over the years...Dad put enough soybeans down those gutters to make sure it didn't drain into the street by our driveway. At all.

In a humorous side note to this feud, my Mom never understood why Winchester and my Dad were such a-holes to each other. Whenever the old guy and my Mom had a rare conversation - she claimed he was quite friendly to her. This of course only happened when he knew Dad was nowhere near the vicinity.

As luck would unfortunately have it, Winchester's kindness towards my Mom did not transfer to me as well. Like my Dad, I too felt the brunt of Winchester's ass-chewings over the years. I remember several instances where my basketball (or things like that) would roll into his yard and him coming out of his house yelling at me to get out of his yard. One time he came out and refused to let me retrieve my item. All that served to do was to have me go tell my Dad about it - which he gladly went and got for me. Oddly Winchester never came out when Dad went and got my ball though. However there was one time I was shooting hoops and my Dad was working in the garage. Winchester must not have known he was in there because he again yelled at me about the ball rolling over there. When my Dad heard him, he stepped out of the garage to see what was going on. Winchester turned heel and went back in the house as fast as I ever saw him.

I still laugh when I think about that.

When I was a bit older I got a paper route in the neighborhood, and sure enough old Winchester was one of my daily deliveries. I still remember the first time he caught me cutting across his yard on my bike going to the next house. He must have been waiting for me, as he kind of jumped out in front of me from his garage. He laid into me like he never had before, and I could not believe it. I was so shocked that I just stood there and didn't say anything while he barked at me. Unfortunately for him though, because I was my father's son - it didn't stop me from doing it again and again. I tell you, it didn't matter if I was on foot or on my bike, or if it was warm or snowy - if he saw me set one foot in his yard - he gave me hell for doing it. Needless to say I never got a Christmas gift from him for my delivery services either.

Ever since then, I've been a pretty good judge of when an old person is crazy as shit. I don't think they all are - most of them are sweethearts - but there are a lot of them that are. You can look into their eyes can just "tell" that they are going be nothing but a world of trouble for you.

Sadly, I proved this theory true again a few years ago, and I will share that one with you next week. This one definitely gives Winchester a run for his money.....

One final note on Winchester:
My Dad always joked that the old guy would probably outlive him - just because that's how ornery old Winchester was. However, Winchester eventually passed away at the age of 150 or something (That’s not true..but it seemed that way). While I don't think he necessarily celebrated the man's demise, I do think that as the last man standing - my Dad quietly declared himself "victorious" in his battle with Mr. Winchester.

As he should have. Winchester was a jackass.

(*) Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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