Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Some time ago, I was watching an Elvis impersonator get arrested, interrogated, searched, accused, and observed for possibly whipping up a batch of Ricin in his kitchen. 

It made me wonder. What would our neighbors say about us on cable TV, if we were hauled off for cooking up crazy crap in a crock-pot? 


See something. Say something. 

I’ve been trying to imagine what the neighbors are “seeing” at our place when they peek over our wire field fence, realizing if I said something every time I saw something at my neighbor’s house, I’d have the See-Something-Say-Something folks on speed dial.

I mean how weird does it have to be to qualify as something?

It’s not hard to imagine one of those breathless, throaty cable reporters stuffing a microphone in my next-door neighbor’s face and asking, “So, is it true that the Zern family had some unusual weekend rituals? Allegedly?”

“Rituals, no, but they seemed to be overly found of circling.”

Reporter nods and asks, “Satanic symbols? Hex signs? Crop circles?”

“No. Nothing like that, but when they sit outside in their crappy lawn chairs they always wind up in a circle. But it migrates.”

“What does?” The reporter will look perplexed but intrigued. 

“The yard circle. In the summer they circle under that big maple tree, but in the winter they land on the septic tank.” At this point our neighbor gets tired of pointing and drops his hand. 

“And did you see that as an indication that they were cooking up crazy crap in a crock-pot.”

Hesitating, my neighbor will scratch his head. “No. But those grandkids are constantly peeing on stuff.”

There it is. Public urination and yard circles. Our family would be good for at least one charge of felony mischief.

But that’s not as bad as what goes on at our next-door neighbor’s house. Allegedly.

Our neighbor’s eight-year old son informed my daughter that on Sundays his family likes to practice “knifing.” 

She asked, “What’s knifing?”

“You know,” he said, “when you make a target and practice throwing knives at it.”

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that our family is way behind on its knifing practice. Don’t tell.

Linda (Don’t Look. Don’t Tell.) Zern 

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