Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Neighbor's Tree

One quick word on Strangerville Live: I did what the kids are calling "the social medias" and made an actual Facebook event page. Do us a solid and go join that page and invite all twelve trillion people you know to it.

Also, in case you need a reminder:

Then Meg Tweeted this:

Get tickets below:

When I bought the house two and a half years ago HOW HAS IT BEEN TWO AND A HALF YEARS YOU PEOPLE ARE SO OLD I noticed that my next-door neighbor had this tree that needed to be pruned like Duncan needs a breath mint.

Note: Duncan desperately needs a breath mint. We're in crisis here. It is getting very hard to give him one thousand kisses on the mouth every single day. And I know. I could give him fewer mouth kisses. But you are monsters for suggesting it.

I should clarify, as if clarification is needed: I'm not talking about The Perfects. The Perfects's's's'es' trees and bushes just spontaneously grow from the land they own in exactly the shape of cherubim whispers, if cherubim whispers had a shape.

I don't know how they do it. Every spring, when I look out my window eastward, I think Disneyland is relocating to my neighborhood. Hopefully without Fantasia.

My yard is what I suspect Bob and Cathie refer to their friends and behind my back as "a good effort."

"A good effort" is a veiled insult when uttered by Bob and Cathie about their offspring.

Nonetheless, my place is presentable. Simple, clean, and with fewer than one dozen mole rats.

But the house on the other side of me needs help.

The guy who owns it has been working in another state for the last year or two and so he rents the house out and the renters do some general maintenance, but not much beyond that.

As a result, our strip of neighborhood looks like the three degrees of glory, with The Perfects's house appropriately at the top of the hill.

Last Thursday I saw my neighbor Lynn (the lady who stole that guy's cat a while back) out in her yard, so I thought I would stop by.

We hadn't seen each other in a few weeks so we both spoke 12,000 words at each other about every embarrassing thing we've recently done and every animal we've accidentally adopted, and then we turned our attention to the house between us: the one referenced above.

Lynn told me that sometimes when she's feeling brave, she just goes onto the edge of the property that abuts hers and rips out plants she hates. On occasion she plants something she likes.

Once she made the confession, I could actually see a pattern I couldn't believe I never noticed before of Lynn-type landscaping on certain parts of this neighboring yard.

I told Lynn that I had been tempted many times to go out in the middle of the night and prune the tree. She enthusiastically encouraged this.

And then finally I said to myself I said, "Eli. Why have you been dragging your feet on this. That tree has been driving you crazy for over two years. You are too beautiful of a man to have to experience inconvenience on any level."

So then I texted the home owner and told him I was out doing yardwork and I was going to prune his tree and he could sue me later for trespass. He responded immediately with an enthusiastic thank you.

I borrowed some tools from Lynn and the two of us ventured onto the property like we had just gotten the last Golden Ticket and we were about to find out how Everlasting Gobstoppers were made.

And we pruned the hell out of that tree. And it was glorious to behold.

As I was hacking off the last branch, Bob, the renter, pulled into the driveway, giving us a look you might expect from someone who comes home to find his neighbors on either side cutting down vegetation in his yard.

I don't know why, but I actually started to run when this happened. Like I was reverting back to my toilet-papering days when I was 11 and Sam repeatedly tried to talk me out of it because he didn't want to go to prison.

Bob was barely interested in what we were doing anyway.

I walked back home, and that's when I saw The Perfects pull into their driveway.

Eli: I pruned Bob's tree!

Mr. Perfect: Oh? Did . . . uh . . . does Bob know?

Eli: So, I know that you have good reason for wondering about my questionable decision-making considering, well, everything you have ever seen me do. But, yes. I gave notice first.

I then engaged in a SEVEN-MINUTE conversation with The Perfects about yards and "how is your grass so green" and "these things sure are a money pit heh heh" and whatever else it is that normal neighbors say to each other.

Knock on wood, but I legit think The Perfects and I might be friends now. Like, I'm getting pretty close to feeling comfortable enough to show them pictures of Tami!

~It Just Gets Stranger



    We might have to break up now. One of my best friends doesn't like it either and it's a good thing she lives in New York and I only see her maybe once a year because I don't know if I could stand the sight of her Fantasia-hating face otherwise.

    What's more - I just found out that her sister (whom I'm also friends with) doesn't like Lilo and Stitch! My only conclusion is that her sister doesn't have a soul.

    1. I'm sorry, but I don't do horror films.

    2. I'd have to break the Ohana rule for that sister. SHE, I would leave behind!

    3. It's okay Eli ... I can forgive you since you've got such great hair . . . and Mr. Doodle helps too.

    4. I just read your paragraph in Eli's Lost Journal Series voice. haha!

  2. Calm down, Eli, there's no Fantasia at Disneyland. They don't have EVERY Disney movie in the park. Just let the relocation happen, because then when I move to Sandy this fall, Disneyland will be much closer to me than Anaheim, and I can finally fulfill my dream of becoming an annual pass holder.


  3. That tweet made me actually LOL

  4. If you show them Tami, you'll have to move.

  5. Eli McCann - Master Ninja Gardener

  6. I am weirdly happy that you've become friends with that neighbor. It makes me smile to read about it and imagine what an odd-but-perfectly-matched couple you must be.

  7. I took a pruning class in college wherein the professor talked about how he often waited until night and went around the city pruning troubled trees, like a vigilante.

  8. My former hairstylist was tired of living in a street with no trees except for in his own yard. Several years back he purchased decorative trees when they were on clearance in the fall and planted them in some neighbors' yards in the middle of the night. He admits he was a little drunk the at time. However, the neighbors left them so now he does it every year and leaves a note with care instructions signed the Tree Fairy. All the yards on his block now have trees.

  9. No one has ever been as enthusiastic about any of my work than you are about that tweet.

  10. We have a vigilante tree trimmer in our neighborhood. He cuts the branches that are too low and get in the way of people trying to walk on the sidewalk. It's caused a lot of commotion (I live in a really boring neighborhood!) I thought it was hilarious and secretly cheered his efforts, until he hacked one if my trees into a mess. And yes, I know its a he. He's been captured on several cameras, but always with a hooded face. You can even see him hiding the clippers when cars drive by. Oh the drama!

  11. Get Mr. Doodle some of those toothbrush bones! My dog Jedi thinks they're treats so he happily gulp it down and it takes away the nasty smell so now he can continue giving me a million and one kisses every day! Plus our vet says he has really healthy teeth which I think is due in part to those treats

  12. My neighbors might refer to me as a vigilante gigantic weed puller. There's something therapeutic about yanking a huge weed hanging around the sidewalk perimeter or from my yard (since I haven't the time or courage to trespass on my neighbors yards). I have literally stayed up until midnight pulling gigantic weeds from my yard.

  13. Revert means "to go back." Saying "revert back" literally means "go back back." Redundant. Fix it asap!