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4:45 a.m. - 2005-10-17



There's something wrong with one of our smoke alarms in the house.

Every day at about ... ohhhh ... 3:30 a.m. it starts chirping like a horny parakeet through a megaphone.

I've tried changing the batteries and hitting the reset button.

No go, Moe.

This goes on for about 15-30 minutes and then stops.

My wife, who could sleep through a buffalo stampede doesn't hear it. I could be standing on the bed, kicking her repeatedly in the ear with a steel-toed boot on and she wouldn't feel it.

She's what they call "a pretty sound sleeper".

Andrew hears it since it's outside his bedroom and comes to climb into bed with us in the middle of the night because he's scared of the shrieking monster in his hallway.


This smoke alarm is making my family as dysfunctional as the Osbournes.

I'm cranky and irritable because I'm only getting a few hours of sleep a night.

Our son's sharing our bed.

And my wife is blissfully oblivious to everything around her.


I have a plan once the sun rises this morning.

And that plan is doing my dead-level best to kung-fu kick that smoke alarm until it's dead.

Granted, it's up near the ceiling.

And I can barely lift my fat-assed leg up to waist level.

But, as I said, I'm going to be doing my best.

And by God ... in the Special Olympics that's all you need, baby.

So hey ... had the block party this past Saturday.

You remember the block party, right?

That's the party that about a dozen people on our street kept hounding me about every time I saw them.

"Hi, Neighbor Brown! I see you're watering your yard!"

"Hi Uncle Bob! When's the next block party??"


You remember the block party ... I tried to cancel it last week because I noticed that nobody had RSVP'ed or called to say "I'll bring banana pudding!"

You remember the block party ... it's the one that when I announced it was cancelled, the British guy across the street said "Oh cor blimey, bloke! Ye can't cancel the block shinding, mate! We've invited three other couples to come to the party because last year's was such fun! We've got to throw several shrimp on the barbie, me matey!"

And then everyone else joined in by saying things like "Huzzah!" and "Blimey!"

So we trudged forward on the block party.

You remember the block party ... that's the one where we bought 15 lbs. of chicken to grill, made three peanut-butter pies, bought several big industrial sized bags of potato chips, spent over $50 at the Dollar Tree to buy footballs and frisbees and bubbles and toys for all the kids on the street to play.


THAT block party.

The one that we spent $25 on sidewalk chalk and paint that you can paint the street with.

The one where we spent $140 on so that our neighbors could have a good time.


THAT one.

Total number of people who came out from their houses to join us in the street??


A 7 year-old from down the street, and our next-door neighbor.


Oh ... plenty of neighbors were SEEN during the block party.

Seen getting in their cars and driving out of the neighborhood.

Seen walking their dogs.

Seen driving by, rolling down their windows and saying things like "We're going out to dinner and a movie ... have a good block party!!"

The seven year-old's mother drove up the street in front of our house at one point.

"I'm so embarrassed that Stephanie came up here!" she said. "I didn't know she was going to do it! Stephanie, you put that plate full of food down right now and come home!"

Ummmm ... this is the block party. You remember. The one we were talking about in the street on Monday night. The one that you said you were coming to once I said it was back on? Remember?? Am I the only one here who isn't going crazy???

The part that I think almost gave me an aneurysm is when the British guy's wife left just as the "party" was starting up.

I figured she was going to the grocery store to get stuff for the party.

I was half right.

An hour later, she came back, parked her car in the driveway and approached the "party".

"It doesn't look like we'll be coming to the block party," she said. "My sister's here and we're grilling out hamburgers."


Gee ... that's fine. But on Monday your husband said that you were going to be bringing EXTRA people to the block party.

That's kinda why we're grilling so much food here ... for all of the EXTRA people that you were going to be bringing.

But now you can't come because ... well ... you've got EXTRA people in your house and you're feeding them in your house rather than in the street like you said you were going to do.

Gee ... we understand.

Yeah, honey. Don't worry about it.



Don't worry about it.

The five of us will just sit here on the blanket in our front yard and eat 3 lbs. of chicken apiece.

You go, girl.


Get the fizzuck out of my yizzard.

She then skipped back to her house, unloaded her groceries and skipped into the house where five minutes later we smelled the aroma of some British hamburgers in the air.

Susie and I were so taken aback by this announcement ... which ... came with ZERO apology, mind you ... that neither of us could say anything.

Our neighbor, who had been present at the Brit's nervous breakdown as he babbled how we just HAD to continue with the block party, was equally shocked.

Finally, Susie said "Okayyyy" which was the Brit wife's cue to skip merrily out of our yard, past the tables, chairs, sound system, grill, blankets, toys and other assorted stuff and back to her yard to feed her friends that were supposed to be sitting in our street.

The beauty of it all?

Yesterday morning, the Brit put a "For Sale by Owner" sign in his front yard.

Which kinda sucks because my original plan to get back at the neighbors was to put OUR house up for sale and restrict the sale to ONLY crackheads.


Sell the house to crackheads and crackwhores.

There ya go, neighbors.

How ya like me NOW??

Ya fuckity fucking fuck fuckers.

I just got up to get my second Diet Dr. Pepper of the morning and checked the clock.

5:15 a.m.

I thought "Man, something about this ain't right."

Then the smoke alarm chirped for the first time in 45 minutes.

The irony ... the irony ...

So at about 6:00 on Saturday, with our neighbor and the kid from down the street chomping merrily on BBQ chicken, I packed up the sound system and headed towards the party that I was hired to do.

You remember ... the one that I was so FUCKING GLAD that I didn't turn down in order to do the block party that nobody came to.


THAT one.

I get to that party and set up my stuff.

I'm told it's a Halloween costume party and they're expecting 100 people.

I'm all "Cool. Cool. Whatever."

The clock reads 7:45.

People are to start arriving at 8:00.

It's now 8:00.

Two people walk in.


Four people walk in.





Six freakin' people come to this party.

Now THIS party I can't take personally because it has no reflection on me.

People didn't say "We're going to this costume party and it's going to be fun and ... what? Uncle Bob's going to be there?? Screw it. Let's go hang out in the Burger King parking lot all night instead."


One hundred people told the guy that owned the place that they'd be there in costume and ready to dance and sing karaoke all night.

Ninety-four of those people were goddamned liars.

I played for the four hours, from 8 until midnight.

Those six people hung in there the entire time ... and truth be told ... I think they all had a great time.

They danced and sang and basically had a DJ at their personal disposal and bombarded me with requests all night which was fine with me.

The owner of the place said I did great and that he was just sorry more people didn't show up.

I was all upbeat and saying things like "Hey! The people that did show up had a great time and they're going to go tell their friends about what a great time they missed and next time will be better with more people! You'll see!!"

When ... inside my head ... all I was thinking was "Gimme my money. Gimme my money. Don't tell me you didn't make enough to pay me. Just gimme the money. I don't want to hear no shit about "Can we send you a check in the mail next week?" Just gimme the money."

He paid me half in cash and half in check.

And you can bet your sweet ass I'm cashing that check first thing this morning.

I just finished my second Diet Dr. Pepper of the morning.

It's 5:30 a.m.

The smoke alarm has stopped its tortured chirping.

I think I'm going for a walk while it's still dark out.

And while I'm out, I'm pissing all over the Brit's "For Sale" sign.

Just so this afternoon as he pulls up in his driveway after a long day at work, I can yell "Cor blimey, mate! Your "For Sale" sign reeks of urine!"


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