Gentle Humor

I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Witchteria Lane

I played a really fun game called Mexican Train tonight with some of my friends.

The evening was great except for one thing. Patty’s house, where we had it, is on a flag lot down a narrow lane. She warned those of us who hadn’t been there before, “Whatever you do, don’t park in the lane because the neighbor thinks she owns it and she’ll get really mad.”

I stayed at work too long so I arrived at Patty’s about an hour late. I drove up her long driveway but there was nowhere left to park, and it was too narrow to turn, so I had to drive the few extra feet up to the cranky neighbor’s. She had ample room for me to turn around.

When I got beside her house, I saw her coming out her door toward me, but I pretended I didn’t see her and started maneuvering my turn. She came up to my car and tapped on the passenger window. I rolled it down and said, “Hi!” all bright and cheery.

“Could you please tell Patty I don’t want any more of you people turning around in my driveway. There have been 5 or 6 cars already.”

“Oh, I’m SO sorry,” I said, turning on my southern charm. “I’m really late so I know I’ll be the last one.”

“Well, we’re expecting company tonight and I need this lane clear and I don’t want anyone else coming up here.”

Before turning I noticed a ladder next to her hedge, and an extension cord running from the house, across the driveway, to a set of electric pruners lying beside the ladder. Who trims their hedge at 7:00 at night if they’ve got company on the way? I decided not to bring this up because the woman gave me the creeps.

“Well, I can assure you that I’m the last one here because no one is ever as late as I am.”

“Well, you be sure to tell Patty what I said.” Then she looked at me and said, “I think I’d better go over there and tell her myself.”

I could just see this half crazy woman with her unnaturally black hair and her black flashing eyes twitching and blinking as she cussed sweet little Patty out in front of all of us. I wasn’t going to let that happen. Not on my watch. For one thing, this group of women might have pounced on her and stuffed her into a garbage can. We’re pretty feisty. The police would be called. Someone would go to jail.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” I cooed. “Trust me, I have always been the very last one to arrive every single time, and I can guarantee that no one else will come.”

She glared those black eyes at me and I could see that she thought I was no better than coughed up bile. I rushed out of her lair before she had a chance to get the hedge trimmers after me.

I found a parking spot a million miles away and jogged across the street carrying my brownies and a bottle of red wine. When I turned into the driveway I saw that the old hag had put that ladder right in the middle of the road so no one could go on her property.

Now there’s a welcoming sight for her alleged “company.”

I don’t know why people have to be this spiteful. If I hadn’t been so late, maybe I would have climbed out of my car and said, “Well! Since you don’t want me to turn around in your driveway I guess I’ll just leave my car here and you can have it towed. And by the way, that’s what you are. A warty old toad. Why don’t you get some civility and quit acting like a constipated badger?” But I didn’t. I smiled and told her to enjoy her evening, and left her to her private fuming.

Silence is often the best way to goad a toad.

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Copyright © 2018 by Suzanne Olsen