Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mean Mister Mustard Sissy-Fit #612

Beware Of Neighbors In Shorts

I see my fat creepy neighbor, Lucky from across the street, is out in his driveway and is again prancing around in his flattering Bermuda shorts and tight tee shirt. I can't quite explain it, but he reminds me of some member of the Addams cartoon family. An overgrown still-roundy Pugsley with an adam's apple and a five o clock shadow. Lucky, along with his beer barrel belly, and the profusion of azaleas up and down the block, are always a sure sign that winter is past! Actually, he starts dressing like that rather early, long before I would call the cool season over. But people are strange.

I don't know why, but sloppy and curious as he looks in that permanent state of semi-undress, he has always seemed weirder than sculpted dog turds to me. I know there are other men who fail to acknowledge ever being cold and so they dress perpetually like little boys on the baseball field. Some younger men—they seem to cluster around the 7-11 convenience stores—appear to dress in their shorts, tee shirts and canvas shoes all year round, 24-7. But I guess they can get away with it because their eyes don't have such an odd and vacant stare as Lucky's. I guess Lucky thinks he's the working class version of Hugh Hefner back when he used to live permanently in his hundred pairs of silk pajamas. I understand Hugh wears clothes more often now. I wonder if I could get him to give Lucky some sound advice? Anyway, I'd be glad to just continue having nothing to do with him. Lucky, I mean, not Hugh.

Now I Can't Even Hold It Against Him?

Of course, since first forming all this suspicion and negative opinion of Lucky a few years back, I've learned (at least, I've heard) that he suffers from Alzheimer's and so I guess I should feel more sympathetic toward him. I try to remember, was he like this the first time I met him or did he develop it later? If he's getting progressively worse, I can't detect it, and he damn sure isn't getting better. I've never heard that Alzheimer's disease just lets you stay "the same" or that it reverses itself. I've found him peculiar and boring for so long now that it's difficult to brush myself up and adjust my attitude! I don't think that it will happen, except in some life-threatening change of circumstance. I am still suspicious that I have been misled by rumor!

I've resisted the friendship of much more attractive people in the neighborhood and I don't like the idea of being blackmailed by illnesses into being friendly with strangers where friendship was never going to arise. I've said intolerant stuff like this before, I know; it still applies.

I was in Mr. Bone's yard the other day talking with Mr. Bone, one of my older neighbors who minds his own business and whom I therefore never have to avoid. Lucky approached us and joined us on the lawn furniture. I didn't leave immediately, but within a few minutes. Later, Mr. Bone kidded me about how I'd ruthlessly left him to bear the brunt of Lucky alone.

Every Man For Himself

"Every man for himself," I told him.

"Well, if I coulda, I woulda!" Mr. Bone nodded. I knew what he meant—he's a gentleman of the old school and sometimes gets trapped by it.

I don't know what it is—I guess I'm deranged, or maybe just cruel—but I have no comprehension of people who think that a display of a little friendliness on my part is necessarily a precursor to friendship. It's just politeness, you know. Judge the particulars of the situation, I say! If I speak briefly in a friendly way and go on, that's politeness. If I seek you out often and speak at length in a friendly way, THAT could be considered an act of friendship. Just keep in mind that the Mean Mister Mustard in me is mostly unfriendly!

Well, there's no civilized "out" for me, is there? Even average people sometimes do these presumptuous things without ever taking a hint about it, so how much of a monster will I have to be to escape Mr. Alzhammered Lucky? I'll just have to hope that he's let out of the house less and less as time goes by; he already doesn't leave home very much. Well, I sound terrible, it's true. I am a neighbor, but I'm a stranger, too, and don't want to be a babysitter for someone else's family. For each of us, our own friends and family have travails enough, with troubles that come both freely enough and often enough. I don't want to adopt Pugsley, and that's final!

Mean Mr. Mustard, lyrics

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