It's hard to describe Washington state. It's got a lot of natural beauty. It's clean. There are nature trails. The people are mostly polite. They drink lattes. If the news is anything to go by, they worry a lot about trees, but they don't spend much time worrying about the homeless. They don't want you to move here. If you already have moved here, they hope you'll move away soon. They don't like the war; they like to protest it. One local lady, who enjoys quilting, went on a hunger strike last year – to protest the war. Apparently, it didn't work.
There are a lot of ex-hippies here too. Like the former dead-head who wallpapered my dining room two years ago. He was great. He told me he had moved up here from San Diego with his wife and grandchildren after selling his house for a killing. He also told me about forty years of amazing drug trips. That was a new one for me. I had never had a building contractor tell me about their drug trips before. It was pretty interesting. He seemed like a happy guy and he brought treats for my dogs. What's not to like?
I have some really great neighbors. They are competing in a contest to grow the world's largest pumpkins. Last year the largest ones they got were over six feet in diameter – and weighed over 800 pounds. This year, they say they'll be even bigger. I believe them. The other neighbors, however, are making me crazy. There is the bulldozer guy, who has continued to dig at his damn pile all this week. He refuses to quit.
And now there is back yard guy who reminds me of a character from the Bob Newhart show: "I'm Larry, and this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl." My backyard neighbor is the other brother Darryl! He always wears a baseball cap turned around backwards. I see him all the time when I am out there pottering around with my dogs. He will catch my eye and look away. Sometimes he looks away and grunts. What is THAT?
Anyway, I let the dogs out this afternoon and my other brother Darryl was hanging around the fence between our yards. I have no idea what he was doing, but whatever it was, it apparently required the use of a pitchfork! It is really unnerving to have this peculiar guy who has never, in two years of seeing him repeatedly, done anything more than turn away and grunt, suddenly be lurking on the other side of my little picket fence with a pitchfork! He was not digging or forking or whatever it is you normally do with a pitchfork – and I know this because he had the forked end of the thing up in the air.
Of course my dogs ran over there and started barking furiously. I would have let him have Prissy, but there was no way I was not going to save Pippin, so I went to retrieve them. I'm not sure what I thought I'd do with it, but as I went out, I picked up a heavy crystal vase that was sitting on the table by the door and tried to be nonchalant as I walked toward him. That vase is big. Today was one of our rare sunny days, and it was REALLY sunny. The vase was clean. It sparkled like a diamond. There was NO way in hell Backyard Darryl didn't notice that I was carrying it when I went to get my dogs. I'll bet that guy thinks I'm a lunatic. That makes two of us.