Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All the Young (Straight) Dudes meet Grass Man...

Guelph: a city of contrasts!

A bursting population of youth, many now aged 17, having foregone the maturing rigours of "Grade 13" (having been eliminated a few years ago by the powers that be) only to move away from mommie and daddie and right into my neighbourhood.

In fact next door. Most demoralizing is that they, at aged 17, have far, far better cars than me.

Is there a contrast to this 'Guelph'? Another 'Guelph'? Could it be the man we refer to as "The Grass Nazi", the neighbour to the immediate left?

We are now sandwiched between a straight, lawn obsessed weirdo who despises us, no doubt because we are gay, and an unofficial frat house peopled by sweaty, acne ridden boys with big feet, khaki shorts and an apparently bad case of ADHD. I believe this to be so because everytime I try and talk to them they pretend to whack imaginary "hit runs" while making a "pow" noise, dribble basketballs or just generally hop about like a toddler who really has to pee.

"The Grass Nazi" spends most of his time with various environmental children of the Devil: weedwackers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and other manual 'labour saving devices' obsessively clipping his 20 by 10 front and back lawns to golf course precision. The only true conversation we ever had is when he queried where "the hell" I found cosmetic weed killer the year after it had been banned.

Perhaps the most awkward encounter was when I allowed my grass to grow to, oh let's say 1 1/2 inches, and then I finally pulled out the mower and reluctantly got to work. As I'm walking the "mow" walk he elected to cut his lawn at the same time, refusing to acknowledge me yet staring ahead with cold, glassy eyes but following my movements in tandem, wearing a Henry Blake fishing hat.

I thought he might actually be a Stepford Husband or Conehead Alien except that I've never seen a wife and he doesn't drink cans of beer. I could only conclude this was some chilling suburban mode by which the 'lone wolf' marks his territory.

Now the frat kids are newbies having arrived only in September. Nice guys and all. In fact they have been excellent neighbours: they actually talk to us, acknowledge us and love to play with our puppy. It also helps that one of them is a dead ringer in both voice and looks for Toby McGuire: who can't help loving that you live next door to gentle Peter Parker?

On the down side the day after their first party I awoke to find an entire bottle of Kahlua poured over my car and plastic beer glasses squished under my wipers.

I was then warned by Guelph Alumni co-workers to soon expect vomit on the lawn (which I clearly neglect by allowing to grow to 1 1/2 inches) and fence hopping midnight drunken sex in the backyard. Or even worse: a "death by misadventure" Cornoner Inquiry finding following the day I open the back door to find some guy face down in my pool.

Clearly the drunken "Homecoming" day (yes apparently they really do this US football shit) caused me to be a bit tense, but really the only time I was truly worried was Halloween.

While "Grass Nazi" sat in the dark next door with all the lights off like Raymond Burr in "Rear Window", my frat boy neighbours hosted huge party. A gang of jock boys thought it would be a scream to come to the costume ball dressed as a "Gay Pride Parade".

10 fag punching, neanderthal gorgons came charging up to the house dressed in the most "Bruno" of faux gay fashions screaming "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" in falsetto and falling over each other on the lawn laughing. They had even gone to the trouble of getting a Rainbow flag.

I decided not to barbeque that night and brought the dogs and cat in.

I think maybe next year I will go out on Halloween as a "Grass Nazi".