I've been living in my new apartment for a little over a month now and things are going well. There are a few minor complaints, but nothing major. I was concerned about moving to this area before because it has a reputation for being a, er, trailer park. Growing up, this community seemed to have the highest incidents of both interracial dating and hate crimes. So I was a bit reluctant to move here, but the price was right, so here I am.
One thing I noticed is that my location is defined by two big box stores. I can tell people the name of my apartment complex and my address, but they won't know where I live until I say that I'm near the Target or the Wal-Mart (I'm near the Target, btw). And the nearby Target is definitely this area's selling point, but more on that in a later post. There are some other sketchy establishments in the area, like the Chinese restaurant called Fortune Cooky. Yes, that's how it's spelled. There's also Rick's Kwik Korner and Sasha's Delly. I've heard of a place called the Shaken Rooster's Butt, but I haven't seen it for myself. My friends told me about it -- it's a real place. It's a Chinese restaurant with a picture of a Rooster on the front, along with all these Chinese characters. The literal meaning of the sign is Shaken Rooster's Butt. Go figure.
Anyway, I say all this to say ... my neighbors are crazy. I was sitting at my computer last weekend with my desk facing the window and my blinds were open. Two cars pull up and two men in their 40s get out, one is a rather rotund man driving an SUV and the other is thin in a Saturn. The guys started screaming at each other and shoving fingers in each other's faces. The thin man grabs the rotund around the throat and starts choking him. Then thin man gets in his car and drives off, leaving rotund to call the cops on his celly.
So the cops come, and everyone is in the parking lot telling 5.0 what happened, except me. I'm having too much fun watching this from my living room. Rotund looked at me several times through the window, probably wondering why I wasn't there giving my two cents. Whatever. There was no bloodshed, no one was seriously injured. And I don't have a good track record with police. I discerned that Rotund lives across the street from me and had a road rage incident with the Saturn driver while on the freeway. The choker followed him to our parking lot, where the melee took place. Everyone gives their side of the story and the cop drives off.
Finally, I head out to the parking lot, on my way to my favorite place....TARGET. Rotund is sitting on the porch, screaming into his cell phone: "F*** this, that's totally wrong. I'm not putting up with this s***! Everyone's acting like this is f****g my fault!"
Immediately, I grew concerned. Did he somehow get the telephone number for the choking Saturn driver? Or was this man involved in another altercation. Finally, he said something that cleared it all up for me.
"But Mom, you just don't understand!"
Heavy sigh. These are the people in my neighborhood.