How to Traumatize a Neighbor

I’ve been out of commission for a couple of months due to a few factors.  We moved from Northern Phoenix to Maricopa, Arizona which is about an hour away.  Packing after over four years of being in one place took forever.  Not to mention the UN-packing which isn’t even finished entirely.

Aaaanyway, when we moved we found ourselves situated a LOT closer to the Aunt and her family (you know, the one who wanted to sell her other half on Craigslist).  The following is a 100% true and accurate account of The Event, which occurred yesterday…

As it was a comfortable 78-ish degrees in the Arizona desert the Aunt decided to head outside to do some yard work.  Watering the trees, pulling weeds, compulsively scrubbing the stucco walls, etc.  All the while grumbling under her breath at her other half who, by Man Code, should have been pulling the weeds himself.


During her crusade for a cleaner lawn she noticed a van driving slowly down her street.  Squinting her eyes, she immediately came to the conclusion that this MUST be me coming by to visit (even though we hadn’t spoken on the phone or made ANY sort of plans for me to do so).  Rather than throw up an arm and wave sociably she instead chose to try to scare me.


Conjuring up her best zombie stance based on countless hours obsessing over The Walking Dead she waited until the van was right in front of her house before leaping out from behind the bushes into the middle of the street, directly in front of the unsuspecting vehicle.  Her posture bent in unnatural ways, she let out her loudest, fiercest, and most frightening zombie battle cry while contorting her features and holding up her arms menacingly.


This went on for about 45 seconds before she really began to pay attention to the lack of response coming from the vehicle.  Squinting her eyes against the desert sun she peered through the windshield, humiliated beyond belief to realize that no, that was not her niece.




A mortified look graced her features, enhanced by the immediate reddening of her cheeks as she mumbled an apology and tried to explain herself.



Not surprisingly, the woman was in no way about to roll down her window, let alone get out of the car to listen to the words of what was obviously either an escaped mental patient or a housewife about to drag her from the car and beat her to death over a man who wouldn’t pull weeds for her.  After a few seconds of trying to apologize, Aunt simply hung her head in shame and stepped back onto the sidewalk, allowing the traumatized driver to pass.

Adding insult to injury, the woman pulled into her own driveway…two houses down.

Now folks, I drive a gold-ish Pontiac Montana van.  Aunt drives a Green Pontiac Montana van.  One would assume that she would know what a Montana looks like.  But after admitting her indiscretion to her other half he (after he regained the ability to speak and wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes) took a peek at the woman’s van parked in her driveway.  His response?

“That doesn’t look a thing like Chrissy’s van.  It’s not even the same color.”

Several hours later Aunt called me to recount the tale of her indignity.  After I laughed myself purple it was decided that I would pop over for a visit after all.

Myself and my young son arrived just in time to catch Aunt in the front yard.  “Let’s go check the mail,” she said.

“Don’t jump out in front of any cars on your way,” replied her other half.

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