If there is one thing the current quarantine situation is going to leave us with, aside from the obvious disasters, is a glut of personal blogs, memoirs, and remembrances of the plague time. And those could very well be coming from me at some point. Lord knows none of us are going anywhere (and if you are, without reason, I’m judging you right now.) Leslie has written some wonderful serious, reflective pieces on what we are going through, and simple things we all should be doing, and I highly encourage you to track those down here on Medium.
Nope, this isn’t going to be about me, about my family, or my friends, or all the people struggling to do the right thing during these trying times. This is about my angry neighbor across the street, a man who is in the running to be the Goofus of the Coronavirus epidemic to Leslie’s Gallant. Warning, do not do anything the angry neighbor does during the quarantine. Honestly, just don’t do anything he would do at any time, public health emergency or no public health emergency.
For your horror and amusement, I present you a composite timeline of a Day in the Life of the Angry Neighbor, a man who looks like the worst version of your third stepdad, in the time of Covid19.
Look, my neighbor may be an angry man, but I never said he was lazy. He’s a working man, I respect that, looks like he runs an overhead door company out of his house, which is something that is probably a lot harder than anything I’ve ever done at work. But given everything going on the world, I’m thinking maybe people can wait for their overhead doors? So, what this all comes down to is, Angry Neighbor gets an early jump on the day. Which means shortly after 6 a.m., he starts up the trucks, and starts banging around ladders on his trucks, in order to get out to the essential overhead door business. He has a couple employees, including the woman, administrative assistant/ex-girlfriend maybe? who will show up later, because fuck it, the overhead door business doesn’t need your social distancing. She’ll be in and out all day. Anyway, there’s usually another guy early in the morning helping Angry Neighbor with the trucks. There is a good chance he will get called an asshole for some ladder-based offense. Likely repeatedly, and loudly. But at least they are wearing disposable gloves, to protect against what I am 100 percent sure the Angry Neighbor refers to as the Chinese Virus. Oh yeah, and if you are wondering if he is drunk, or hungover, seems like a no go. Once heard him say he hasn’t had a drink in 20 years. So if he was an angry drunk in his youth, the AA or whatever he’s into hasn’t been much for the angry part.
7:03 a.m. Other than the questions I have about how essential overhead doors are (and to be fair, I don’t think a fucking thing besides grocery stores and pharmacies should be open at the moment, so I’m trying not to sound too judgy on that one) the morning has been a typical one of banging ladders and yelling at that dumb asshole, what kind of asshole do you take me for? that could happen on your typical weekday morning. Now we get into the true not giving a damness about saving your nana, papa, or anyone else’s life, because goddamit, Angry Neighbor doesn’t give two shits about your Chinese Virus. We live on a pretty quiet side street, which is even quieter these days because of, well, you know. So we get a few people out for a walk, or walking their dogs keeping the respectful distance from everyone else. But soon as Angry Neighbor sees someone walking down the street with their dog, he is all over her, patting the dog, chatting up the neighbor from less than a coffins-length away, and generally treating social distancing like the socialist deep state conspiracy Fox News tells him it is.
9:47 a.m. — interlude Angry Neighbor is out doing his work thing, he’ll be back and forth during the course of the day, definitely not taking off his shoes or washing his hands when he comes into his house/office.
But Angry Neighbor does not live alone, in addition to the employees traipsing in and out of the house. I have no idea what the relationship is, and I’m not asking anytime soon, so I don’t know if they are people he rents to, or family members, or what, but it is also the address of unfriendly cigarette smoking woman and older man with a cane who always wears gym shorts. That’s as much as I know of their stories, other than they are definitely not staying inside. I’ve been out of the house twice in the past three weeks for shopping trips, which is two more times than Leslie or Isabella have left the house. Unfriendly woman and Cane guy seem to be out of the house that many times by noon every day. I’m not saying they don’t have their reasons, but although I am no licensed doctor, my quick visual health assessment of the duo leads me to believe that if they do contract the Coronavirus, they definitely have what the media has been referring to as “underlying symptomatic issues.” In other words, they touch the wrong door knob and don’t wash their hands, these idiots are in prime position to be taking away two of those ventilators everyone is telling us they don’t have.
Quick aside, used to be a younger guy who lived there. One night the cops knocked on my door looking for him. I kindly pointed them across the street. Haven’t seen him since. He did have the creepy perv mustache, so, you can put two and two together.
Noon — Lunchtime! Hope you are all getting some idea of the total lack of social distancing and isolation going on with the Overhead Doors R Us enterprise across the street. Round about noon, Angry Neighbor, Asshole worker, and the admin/woman who gets yelled at more than the Asshole worker come barreling back to the house. Of course they have gotten takeout food for lunch, because the stay at home order to them means going out in public as much as possible. Woman gets out of the truck with the bag of food, Angry Neighbor starts to pull away again in the truck, woman starts to say something, he backs up the truck in the middle of the street so he can roll down the window and yell at her. Don’t catch what he yelled at her about this time, but at least once a week, can hear a conversation from my living room that goes along the lines of “You’re just a dumb bitch like your sister” or “How the fuck am I supposed to get anything done when you keep fucking it up?” You know, lots of fun, respectful conversation like that.
So she takes the takeout food into the house, to probably share with Unfriendly Woman and Cane Guy without washing her hands or taking off her shoes.
2:45 p.m. Because it is the friggin’ Grand Central Station of home-based Overhead Door companies, of course there is a girlfriend in a Mercedes who comes and goes as she pleases, because, once again, the Chinese Virus is being way overblown by the Lame Stream Media. Oh, also, when Angry Neighbor is in Sexxxy Date mode, he fires up the yellow convertible Corvette (of course) while wearing a tank top with the big cross on a gold chain. I swear, I wish I was making this up, but this is the proof that cliches become cliches for a reason. Right about now, girlfriend has pulled into the driveway and Angry Neighbor is home from work.
Shortly after girlfriend rolls in to join the rest of the crew, I open my living room window for some fresh air. Because unlike the half dozen or more people coming at going across the street at all hours, I am taking this crap seriously, and might be the only spring air I get for the day. And then the noises begin. Loud noises. But not the “Dumb bitch” or “Stupid Asshole” yelling noises. No, there are yelling noises, but they sound like … oh, god, no, no, they can’t be loud sex grunting and yelling noises? For the love of all that is holy, Unfriendly woman and Cane Guy are right there! I pray that maybe Angry Neighbor is working out in his basement, or moving heavy overhead door parts in the backyard. I close the window before Isabella asks me what all the noises are from outside.
If they were doing it, once again convinced they did not wash their hands afterwards.
5:45 p.m. Frankly, I’ve been too horrified to even glance toward the street side of our house for the past few hours. But taking a quick peek outside around dinner time, there’s the delivery guy from the pizza place bringing food just like he does every night. To be clear, I feel for everyone who is hurting financially, but I am strongly Team Shut This Shit All The Way Down. Going through the Dunks drive through and ordering Sully’s Pissah Roast Beef six times per day might make you a proud Masshole, but it’s not going to stop the pandemic. Seriously, cut the shit. Close it down. Eat at home. Stay home. Read dumb articles on Medium.
Angry Neighbor doesn’t stay six feet away from the delivery guy. Fuck it! He invites him right into the house, because of course he does. Unfriendly woman is on the front steps smoking a cigarette, increasing her underlying symptomatic causes. I’m sure they all go inside to eat and don’t wash their hands.
11:07 p.m The lights are still on across the street, and the ambulances haven’t shown up yet to take away Unfriendly woman or Cane Guy. And if they do, they are not going to be in the company of the great unwashed angry overhead door house. They are going to be sick and in a hospital bed alone. Because that is the price we are all paying. And not all neighbors are helpful, and not all neighbors are good neighbors.
Just be a good neighbor, wherever you are. I’ll buy you a wicked pissah regular roast beef and a pack of Camels when this is all over. #stayhome