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5:21 a.m. - 2003-03-10

PRELUDE TO THE SUMMER OF WYATT

This was the weekend that I've been waiting a year for.

Last March, one year ago ... we first came to this neighborhood and started casually looking at homes.

In case you're too lazy to go click on that link, here's one of the pics from that link of the wall in the den of the model home, one of the things that made me fall in love with the house.

And a year later, here's a shot of that same wall in our home...not nearly as nice as the model home one.

But hey ... I've got a two year old kid, and the model home doesn't reflect that.

And hey...Jane... can you spot your book in the photo?

Anyway ...two of the things I really liked about the neighborhood at that time ... the quietness ... and the fact that every house we looked at had the windows open and a gentle March breeze blowing through the house.

So this weekend, the weather was an extremely mild 73 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.

Ahhhhhhh...

I got in the car once all weekend and that was early Saturday morning to get groceries.

It was soooo nice, driving home from the grocery store at 9 a.m. ...windows down in the car, breeze blowing through, no need to dodge bullets from rival gangs trying to kill each other over crack-selling territories.

In a word ... peaceful.

So we opened all the windows in the house and had that same gentle breeze that I first experienced in other people's homes wafting through our own home.

Gah.

It sounds so lame ... but it was heaven. And it reminded me of why we moved here.

....For a few minutes anyway.

I take Andrew outside and we see our new next door neighbors are moving in.

Being Mr. "We Moved To This Neighborhood In Order To Get To Know Every Single Person On Our Street" Sr., I decided that Andrew and I would go over there while the people were unloading their U-Haul truck with their friends and introduce ourselves as their next door neighbors.

I first introduced myself to one of their friends who couldn't give two shits who the hell I was. He pointed out the new owner of the house.

I went and shook his hand and was shocked to find out he wouldn't be genuflecting and kissing my wedding band when he met me.

He was all sweaty and nasty but tried his best to be polite.

He introduced me to his wife who is four months pregnant. That's not her name, it's her condition. Yet, that's how he introduced her.

"And this is my wife, she's four months pregnant."

I almost said "Pleased to meet you, Four Months."

Then...then...then...her parents pull up.

With their two dogs.

And the peacefulness and tranquility of our neighborhood quickly swirled down the crapper like a four-star burrito dump.

"ROWF! ROWF! ROWF! ROWF!" barked the bigger dog.

"Heh," I said, wanting to add "I sure hope he stops that shit quickly!", but not doing so.

"C'mon Spike," the guy said. "Welcome to your new home."

Both dogs were shuttled off to the back yard where they proceeded to bark loudly for several hours.

Wonderfuckingful.

The sounds of crickets and birds were now being punctuated with sharp barks and long howls as Spike and Rover introduced themselves to everyone in the surrounding counties.

I promised them a plate of brownies to be coming soon and Andrew and I went for a walk.

Where we met up with Wyatt.

Wyatt is the seven year-old from across the street who was born with the gene that allows him to be an expert at every single thing you talk about.

This comes in handy when you need to know something about Pokemon or the Lion King immediately.

But Wyatt seems to think he can do everything from fix computer problems to solving major plumbing issues.

To wit ... I'm standing out in the cul-de-sac, talking to Wyatt's parents. Nice enough people. Wyatt's pushing Andrew around in one of his Little Tykes cars which Andrew doesn't exactly want to have done, but Wyatt doesn't care. Andrew just wants to sit in the car and play with the steering wheel. He has no interest of flying down the street at breakneck speeds.

So we're talking about the constant water coming from the underground drain pipe that separates our house from the house next door where Spike and Rover now live.

Wyatt's dad asks if the little thing in our front yard where the water is shut off is full of water.

Hell if I know. I don't bother checking crap like that out.

We look and it is.

He says we have the same problem they had when they moved in. The plumber put the water main on wrong or some shit. Basically, we have to call the plumber and get them to come out to fix something. All the water that's been pouring out in the street for the last six months has been coming from our water supply. We've been paying to water the street all this time.

Wonderfuckingful.

That would explain why there's no water pressure in the kitchen sink and how it takes ten minutes to rinse out a cup. All the pressure is being used to pour into the gutter out front.

So Wyatt sees our water box full of water and decides that the reason it's there is because of all the rain we've had and the wind blew the iron lid up and poured all the water in there because the wind is strong enough to do so.

I'm supposed to humor the kid because that's what his parents have done all his life.

"You're probably right, Wyatt," I say.

"I can fix it," he says.

"How?" I ask.

"Get me a cup," he says. "I'll empty out the water with a cup."

"I think I'll just call the plumber," I smile.

"No," Wyatt says. "I'll fix it. It's easy."

Now.

If I really wanted to have a conversation with a seven year-old know-it-all I would have had a child seven years ago and raised it to think that it was the end-all, be-all of children.

But I don't and I didn't.

They left, we went in the back yard to play and five minutes later, there's Wyatt again.

He wants to come inside and play with Andrew's toys.

Now ... his parents know my name and know where I live. Beyond that, they really don't know much about me.

To the best of my knowledge, they have no idea what I do for a living. I don't think it's ever come up in our casual conversations.

They don't know my political views, my religious beliefs or if I like to fuck and torture little seven year-old boys that happen to drop by my house without their parents and want to come inside to play.

I don't like to do that.

But they just don't know that.

Being parents, my guess is that they think Wyatt's out in the cul-de-sac, riding his bike or something.

They probably have no idea that he's in my backyard, wanting to come inside my house and play.

I told him we need to stay outside and play since it's so nice out. Andrew and I are kicking a ball around and I ask Wyatt to join us.

One kick from Wyatt.

The ball is now on our roof.

Game over.

Except ... try telling a two year-old that we can no longer play the game he was enjoying because his neighbor came over and kicked his favorite ball on the roof where Daddy can't reach it.

Never fear.

We have Wyatt here.

Wyatt says he'll go to his house and get a ladder.

This is great. I don't own a ladder. I expect him to have his Dad bring a ladder over to the house to help us out.

Five minutes later, Wyatt's back by himself.

...With a step stool.

This raises me about five inches off the ground.

Technically, if I was 20 years old again, I probably could have dug my fingers into the gutters of the house, shimmied my way up onto the roof, and retrieved the ball.

But I'm 41. I haven't shimmied up anything ever. And this step stool is about as useful as a steel spike up my ass.

I then focus heavily on the situation and by using my common sense, I realize that I can fish the ball off the roof with a broom handle.

Which is what I do.

Just in time to hear Wyatt's Mom call him in for lunch.

Thank God.

Something tells me this weekend was the beginning of the Summer of Wyatt.

And I've got this really strange "Dennis The Menace/Mr. Wilson" vibe going on right now.

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