"In 1948, psychologists asked over 10,000 adolescents whether they considered themselves to be a very important person. At that point, 12 percent said "Yes". The same question was asked in 2003, and this time it wasn't 12 percent who considered themselves very important, it was 80 percent." -- David Brooks
An event occurred Sunday afternoon that shattered the bucolic stillness of an otherwise very dull and boring Staten Island neighborhood.
My neighbors got into a fight.
A physical one.
It began, as it always does, with someone's rank stupidity. I shall explain:
There is a young man who lives across the street from me. I reckon him to be in his early 20's. By all measures he is not such a bad young man; he's not openly disrespectful; I don't think he has a mean or vicious bone in his body and would not take it to hand or mind to deliberately hurt anyone. He's dumber than a box of rocks, though.
I've had some interactions with this kid and my general impressions are these: he's a very sensitive boy. Like liable-to-break-out-in-tears-at-any-moment-sensitive if you should accidentally use the wrong tone of voice. He has mental issues, I'm told, and when I say that, I don't mean like Cerebral Palsy or Mental Retardation or Autism, I mean the kid is fragile beyond belief with a mixture of anxiety, probably a learning disability or two, and the acquisition of the fucktard gene that is a typical result of your mother being an unconscionable whore who makes poor choices in sexual partners. His mental problems are probably of the kind diagnosed by school nurses, that is, by an educational bureaucrat with no psychological training.
Personally, I think he's just lazier than all Hell, not to mention totally irresponsible, and he and his mother have developed a wide range of excuses for it over the course of many years. I would not be surprised to discover he was receiving disability payments for a "mental disorder" that could probably be cured with six months of therapy and a kick in the ass.
But then Momma would have to work for a living.
I'll get to her, the mother's, special brew of dingbat in a second...The chickens, too, since they are the axis upon which our little melodrama shall revolve.
His sister -- I'm fairly certain neither child shares the same sperm donor -- is 14 years old. She is grossly obese. Another neighbor once remarked to me upon her bloated form that it was just "baby fat".
Which caused me to ask "Just how many babies do you think she's eaten, then?"
In any case, this 14-year-old has several problems of her own beside incipient diabetes and a bright future as a welfare cheat, most likely towing 6 children by 11 fathers in her wake. At least one might be a crack baby. I'll take odds on that.
This 14 year old has a big mouth. And when I say "Big", I mean "the kind of mouth that gets you killed when you open it to the wrong person."
Their mother is something akin to a bad smell in the sense that should you enter an area or room where she is, something tells you that something is not quite right but the source may be difficult to detect. Dealing with her is sort of like entering an elevator that the previous occupant has farted in and then fled before it gets to you. The doors open, you enter, the doors close and only then do you perceive the peril of being trapped within a gas chamber that will either make you sick with disgust, or stop at the next floor where someone who doesn't know it wasn't you who farted will enter, causing a great deal of deadly embarrassment.
As an aside, her sister, very much older, is what was once referred to as "a bull dyke". Not just a lesbian (as if anyone cares?), but one which is under the false impression that if she just wishes hard enough, a set of testicles will one day magically sprout and save her the trouble of the operation. Fortunately, this piece of work does not enter into our tale.
The home is owned by an elderly grandmother who is probably 207, and resembles Popeye the Sailor. This example of why Darwin might have been right about the monkeys is harmless enough, but she is desperately lonely and on the verge of Alzheimer's. You say "Good morning" to her at your peril, for she can talk the wheels off a bus, repeating herself the entire time, barely stopping for breath and unaware that you could give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about her late husband, and what a great dancer he was in 1957.
In winter, I often use my snowblower to clear her walkway and driveway because the 20 year old might get a blister and committed to a sanitarium for six months, the 14 year old is too busy practicing her oral sex skills on the dog, and the mother doesn't do a damned thing that doesn't involve getting paid and perhaps a drug dealer.
And yes, I know those are your drug dealers. Black men in BMW's who arrive at your mother's doorstep at all hours of the day and night are not dropping off pizza or Chinese food.
Anyway, these all live in the grandmother's house, obviously using up whatever savings and inheritance this poor wretch might have bit by bit.
This family puts the "fun" in "dysfunction".
But, the chickens...
Crybaby keeps chickens as "therapy pets". Here, we must make a careful distinction between what you or I would consider "a pet" and what this flaming dumbass considers the role to be.
To us, a pet is a companion. It is a member of the family. It is a animal that we have taken an emotional attachment with that adds some value to our daily lives. Your pet doesn't exist only when you need it to; likewise, it is not a hobby that you take up and abandon according to the whims of mental retard or your sheer laziness. A pet is a commitment.
Not so with Wailing Willie.
The combination of crazy, lazy, instability, and clueless jerkoff runs strong in this boy. His chickens "live" in a half-completed coop. For three years. The coop has no door; it has no chicken wire or glass in the windows. His chickens are exposed to the elements all the time. He has lost a few birds to predators, particularly the falcons that are common around here, and he's had at least two, that I know of, run over by passing traffic. This is because the open coop allows his chickens to fucking roam wherever they please.
Which he doesn't know about until you ring the doorbell and ask him to get the clucking, shitting mass of feathers off your front stoop. "Caring" for chickens, apparently, involves leaving a great deal of food out for them in a shallow tub (this, too, exposed to the elements), not cleaning up their shit, and ignoring them for days on end until you can collect enough sanity to "deal".
If he wasn't chasing down runaway chickens, this kid would never be outdoors. You never see him outside the house.
The chickens have become a nuisance, and not just because they roam. The availability of food and disgusting conditions in the back yard where they're kept has attracted rats (I caught another one, Saturday night). At all hours of the night, if you happen to be outside smoking, like I am, you can watch a steady flow of rats enter and leave that backyard. There's almost a neon sign for rats advertising "free food". I wouldn't doubt he's lost a bird or two to them, either.
Recently, it's been extraordinarily hot in these parts. Anyone who has grown up on a poultry farm will tell you about the copious amounts of waste just a dozen chickens can produce, and the pungent perfume this produces in great heat.
As neighbors, we're all concerned. We don't want rats in the neighborhood, and we don't want to have to live with the smell of old chickenshit decomposing in the sweltering heat of a New York City August. Several of us have offered, on many occasions, to help this kid complete his coop; to help him clean up the yard; to help him do something about the rats.
To no avail. He starts crying about how his poor chickens are being "harassed" by rats, always disappearing, getting run over by cars, and then comes the litany of complaints regarding his mental issues and learning disabilities, like anyone gives a single fuck. You get the distinct impression -- because the speech is always the same -- that he probably learned to use his stupid and poor DNA as a defense for everything when he was about 4. It's not only a habit now, it's a careless habit, reflexive, automatic, a shield trotted out to blunt criticism and excuse apathy and dumbfuck.
Nevermind anti-depressants, this kid needs a beating.
The Great Castleton Corners Chicken Stampede is now a near-daily occurrence. Apparently, chickens are not so stupid and once one learns how to escape, the others soon follow that bird's example.
Which brings us to The Conflict with the next-door neighbor.
For it has been the Next Door Neighbor who has had to suffer the brunt of the consequences from Snifflin' Sam's menagerie. The rats have dug a series of extensive tunnels beneath her deck and yard (undermining her deck and the supports for the terrace on the second floor) which they use to enter and leave the Free Food Place without being seen. The rats have chewed through her garbage pails to get at the contents. There is rat shit everywhere. Her dog is bringing dead rats into the house on a regular basis.
The chickens, when they fly the coop, often roost outside her bedroom window. They shit on everything. The aroma from fermenting-in-the-heat chicken shit is such that she cannot open any windows in her home. The chickens will often fight with her cats.
Yesterday, the last piece of silage finally ruptured the dromedary's spine.
One of the chickens had fallen between the two fences on the property line. These fences are separated by mere inches. No one knows exactly when this chicken fell between the fences, but it had obviously become trapped and died there. The Next Door Neighbor's dog kept digging at it and digging at it and entered the house with a chicken's foot in it's mouth, crusted with dried blood.
This is the story as I've been told. What happens next is anyone's guess, because I did not see the actual combat...just the aftermath.
Apparently Next Door Neighbor knocked on Tearful Tom's door to complain, an argument erupted.
Bad Smell Barbie emerged, went all ghetto and a fight ensued, which caused Fatass Fourteen-Year-Old to leap to Mom's defense. Apparently, Chubby McFuckface got her ass kicked, too.
It was at this point that I emerge from my front door for a regularly-scheduled Marlboro to hear the following:
Jellybelly: I'll fuck you up, Bitch *clap* You hit me, and I'm 14 *clap* I'll call the fuckin' cops *clap*
(Apparently, when you clap between taunts and invectives, it's a symbol of personal toughness and willingness to engage in physical combat. I seem to recall seeing this in a gladiator movie, once.).
Jellybelly: *now beating her chest* I'm crazy, bitch! *slap the chest* I'm hood! *back to clapping* I'll fuck you up, fuckin' cunt! *clap*
It is at this point that Your Overlord is concerned. The Bad Smell looks in a poor way, and Husky McLardass is bleeding from the mouth and nose. I decide the thing to do is to get between them, now that the actual fight appears to be over, and keep them separated until the police arrive.
My personal opinion is that it couldn't have happened to two more-deserving people.
Crying Dipshit is now on his fifth or sixth hanky, standing there on the front porch while this has all transpired, with a snot bubble extending and contracting from his nostril like a croaking frog's dewlap. The 400 year old woman, who has already had one triple bypass operation, is frantic with hysteria. If there's anyone to feel sorry for, it's this one.
The Police arrive. The first car (because there were two that eventually arrived) had three cops spill out of it. Two more would eventually arrive. There are two Dunkin' Donuts within a five block radius of my street. Coincidence? I think not. They talk to all the combatants and get their stories. They ask me for a statement and I can't tell them anything: I did not see the actual altercation. Only the post-bout shouting and chest-beating.
"So, you're of no use to me?", asks the Sergeant.
"No, Officer, I am as useless as tits on a bull to you right now."
Eventually, an ambulance arrives to tend to Momma Crackwhore and her Battered (and I don't mean that as in "Deep-fried", but it would be appropriate) Bundle of Bovine. Next Door Neighbor is taken into custody (but not arrested) because, as the Officer explained, "even if the kid jumped you, God forbid she has an aneurysm or something --because she's bleeding -- and we didn't do anything about it."
And here is everything that is wrong with America in a neat little package:
An entire family of dysfunctional wads of diseased protoplasm live in the same house feeding on grandma's carcass and public assistance. In an Upper Middle Class neighborhood.
There is a single mother, normally disinterested, not quite as smart as your average hamster, with a drug habit, who has produced two damaged children: one can't blink without his emotional superstructure crumbling to dust, and the other is laboring under the mistaken impression that she is The Shit. She only got so brave because she believed no one would hit her because she's underaged; she bet wrong. Her only response is play Jenny From the Block, that is to say, a display of false bravado that was neither helpful nor necessary, and if it were up to me, she'd get a second ass kicking for not learning how to keep her fucking pie hole shut.
And judging from that ample muffin top, "Pie Hole" is the proper terminology.
News flash, Potbelly Patty, you are not tough. You are not ghetto. You live in a nice home, in a predominantly white-neighborhood, are obviously well-fed, and apparently spend your days sinking deeper into the couch and sucking in Twinkies by the truckload. I'm thinking that prior to yesterday the most physically-demanding task you'd ever undertaken was wiping your own ass. Pull that shit on someone who actually IS tough, who IS "hood" and let me be there to record it for YouTube. Let's see how big your mouth is after you've been stabbed in the face and the gravy...excuse me...lifeblood...is draining from your body as you cry for Momma.
Who will be too busy trading blowjobs for meth to be there for you.
An irresponsible, lazy, fucktarded, useless mass of quivering jelly with severe emotional problems is permitted to keep animals that are allowed to become a fucking nuisance to the entire neighborhood. If you don't approach the kid in the right way to discuss this, he fucking cries. If you do approach correctly in order to discuss this, he fucking cries. Offer to help him take care of his birds, he fucking cries. Call the Health Department, Animal Control, ASPCA, the Police, and no one does anything about the birds or the filthy conditions they are creating and live in.
Complain at the wrong moment in time, say, when Momma Douchebag just happens to be jonseing, and a relatively minor dispute suddenly becomes a gang fight.
Somehow the rowdies are the victims; somehow the source of all this discord isn't even involved because he's sucking his thumb uselessly on the sidelines; somehow a teenager with a mouth like a sewer and an attitude that isn't matched by her fighting skills, has been assaulted; somehow, a mother who is just at the end of her tether for smells, rats, and dead animals in her house, has to tell her five year old that Mommy has to go with the policemen for a little while, while he asks "Why?"
Somehow, the cops have to take someone in just to cover their asses.
I've found another fucking chicken in my driveway this morning and no one will answer the doorbell.