Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everyone has a weird neighbor

It's true. Everyone has, has had, or is going to have a weird neighbor in their lifetime. When I was younger it was the lady in apartment 8A who gave out pennies at Halloween and swept the green hallway carpet. When we moved to the suburbs it was the kid who talked about being a train engineer and refused to sleep inside the house. Now that I'm 22 and living on my own in the ghetto of bum fuck Egypt northern Illinois, its the Ronald McDonald guy.

I have lived in this run down excuse for a townhouse complex for almost 3 years now, which is 2 years longer then the cornfield that now resides as my backyard. Although I miss the view of the vacant dog poo filled field that once resided there, the cornfield is growing on me (no pun intended). It is working out to be a welcomed distraction from the fact that without it, the Laidlaw Trucking company lights up my life (and my bedroom) from 5am to 11pm 7 days a week 365 days a year. When there aren't overturned lawn chairs and half inflated kiddie pools filled with leaves and cigarette butts, it's a pretty pleasant place to hang out. But of course, the laws of crazy neighbordom are as follows:

1. No matter where you live, even if its on an ice berg floating in the most frigid, remote part of the entire planet, someone will move in next to you that you cannot stand.

2. This person will, no matter how blunt you are, never get it through their heads that you cannot stand them.

Enter Ronald McDonald. The guy that moved into the apartment next to me, and possibly the whitest person of all time. Now Don't get me wrong, I am as white as they come, but this guy is the poster child for Ginger kids. The day he moved in he rang my doorbell to introduce himself, and when I opened the door I was momentarily blinded by a red afro so crimson and flaming, I was suddenly overcome by the urge to watch Carrot Top do stand up for the first time in my life. I blinked uncontrollably, hoping to my retinas would return to their normal size long enough for me to regain my depth perception and shut the door. Instead, my hesitation must have cued my new neighbor to start in on "Hey I just moved in next door wow you have a cool place it looks like mine but backwards you have cats...?" and with that he invited himself in. So now I'm thinking great, he's not peddling chicken McNuggets like I hoped and hes actually my new neighbor and now he's in my kitchen for some reason.

Being the quick thinker that I am, I somehow managed to reel in my shock long enough to make some awkward small talk about tattoos and electric bills and motion wildly in the direction of the door... a not so subtle herding tactic that works better with people who are socially aware enough to take hints. Not Ronald. Ronald decided that since we had become such great friends since he had made himself at home on the wrong side of our wall, that he would invite me over to watch The Big Lebowski and look at his new poster wall art. Agreeing that "we'd see" was enough to get him out of my house, I was relieved.

Maybe it's the fact that I didn't factor in the proximity to which we live door to door (about 4 inches) or maybe it's the fact that no one else sneaks outside in their PJs to take out the trash at 1am on a Monday, I thought I was safe. Nope. As soon as Ronald heard the squeeeeeeek of my screen door as I crept towards the dumpster like a ninja, he was out on the front lawn in a pair of what looked like blue swim trunks asking me to come in and "see what he'd done with the place". Because I blanked on the "I'm allergic to recessive genetic hair pigment" speech I had been practicing, I found myself inside his apartment and staring at the meticulously black and white color scheme that was his leather chairs and bean bag home decor. He continued to go on and on about the Chinese symbol poster art he had gotten "on sale at bed bath and beyond" until I finally mustered a "Wow, I thought MY apartment made me look single. you win"

And with that, he did not get the hint.

On and on he went, repeatedly trying to usher me upstairs because "the DVD player is up there" and trying to coax me into complimenting his sad single man bachelor pad in the ghetto because of his ability to color code things that are black with things that are not black. All I could do to stifle an "I'm lovin it" (ba da ba ba baaa) was to wander up the stairs which were indeed just like mine, but backwards.

About 20 minutes into the Big Lebowski (and 15 minutes into my incessant efforts and spontaneous mind generated teleportation back into my own apartment with the door locked, I said I was ridiculously tired and had to go to bed. Which was true, I was tired of hearing about his dead father. Ronald MacDonald does not have parents. He's an alien from planet Big Mac and the fact that he was trying to convince me otherwise was an outright lie. I also had not yet seen the Hamburgler around, which made me nervous because I KNOW he's always lurking and I will NOT be a victim of hamburger theft. Period.

So Ignoring Ronald worked for a while, because he stopped asking me when we were going to "finish the movie" after about 3 months. However, thats when Ronald started having parties. Not just any parties. It wasn't a gathering of other pigment less genetic lottery losers, no, it was like gangbang night at the taco bell. Yep, thats right, every single one of mr MacDonalds friends was of the Spanish speaking persuasion, which I thought was amazing, hilarious, and dumbfounding. Watching Ronald blast Reggeton music from the second story of our 1970s townhouse complex and scoot around like he was DJing the Latin Soul awards was funnier then anything I could have ever hoped to fall directly into my living space lap. He looked like he was in the worlds easiest page of "Where's Waldo" for beginners.

The next morning, there were chips and beer cans and paper plates strewn all over our lawn. This happens every time he has a BBQ, which pisses me off almost as much as the fact that I cant sleep over the thumping base sounds of his delusional siestas. So I taped a sign to his door. It read:

"Please clean up our lawn. Unless you are planning on growing a chip and beer tree, all of this shit needs to go in the dumpster. You should also return your assorted lawn chairs to their upright position and put them neatly on your side of the doors. Otherwise I will be forced to hide them in the cornfield, and you don't want that. PS: How come you are the only white person you know? -Your neighbor"

Haven't spoken to him since. It was more or less the same way I got rid of my college roommate, except this time I didn't have to use clam chowder... which is good.... because that was a mess.

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