Hey Chicago Ridge!! Piss Off!!
If you haven’t got the memo, we are finally, blessedly moving out of this godforsaken town. For what might be the first time in our nearly eleven years together, the gods have smiled on us a bit and things actually worked out in our favor. We are moving into a HOUSE, and for the first time since we moved in together eight years ago, will not be sharing walls with potheads, drunks, or, in one instance, crackheads. Or ANYONE. And being that today, Tony yelled “Shut the fuck up,” at a 13 year old girl while I actively wished for her to fall off the swing she was standing on, I can confidently say it’s about time. (In our defense, while I hate our neighbors upstairs, they hardly deserved the racial epithets and obscenities this rotten little girl was yelling up at them.)
Below I’ve listed our neighbors in the past seven years or so, spanning both of our apartments since we moved in together. Make your own judgments on why I am doing the happy dance to be getting out of this rotten area. Some are current, some are not, but they all suck.
Jack (or Jackass, as he’s more well known around these parts.) I will not miss your knocking on my door, asking me to move my car because you think you deserve a special parking spot as you have an SUV. Nor will I miss your wife’s friends who continuously block the driveway and also don’t speak English, rendering my yelling “Move your fucking car!” at them useless. I will not miss the fact that despite the fact that there is one buzzer labeled in Arabic and you are the only Arabic family here, that your friends will only press my buzzer (which is about as loud as a police siren going off in your bedroom) to be let in at all hours of the day and night.
Matthew. What are the chances a manic depressive, schizophrenic with MS would glom onto us like he was a kid just presented with a brand new puppy? Just because my patio door is open does not mean that I would like to be treated to an evening filled with your rambling, misogynistic missives about all that is wrong with the world while you mooch cigarettes, beer, and often food off of us. GET A JOB and then talk to me about how unfair life is. (I realize this sounds slightly cold as dude did get dealt a rough hand. However, he was perfectly capable of holding a job and instead preferred to sit on disability at 24 and bitch and whine about the state of the economy while he smoked his day away.) I still cringe at the thought of your, “Hey, neighbor! Whatcha doin?!”
Drunk neighbors. Oh, Rick and Diann, I might miss you. I will miss your little girls and hope every day that they realize there can be more out there for them than this shitty little town. I’m going to say thank you here, for the entertainment you’ve provided. For the screaming matches at three am that had me and Tony huddled in the bathroom listening through the vents, for the time that you threw all of Rick’s clothes over the balcony into the front lawn, for the time she left him on the side of the road on the way home from Christmas dinner. For the heart attack your children have nearly given me multiple times, holding onto the burglar bars on my bedroom window and screaming “Courtney! Let us in!” because you were “sleeping” when they got home from school. I will not miss not being able to sit on my patio (again) when it’s nice out for fear that your drunk asses are going to come down and talk my ear off, because there is nothing more fun than being treated to a discussion on politics and race with two relatively ignorant people hammered on cheap vodka. I will not miss waking up to very loud machinery and looking into the parking lot to see Rick, Natural Ice in one hand, chainsaw in the other, taking apart a dresser. But in all honesty, you were the lesser of many evils, and we did have some fun, lighting sparklers on the 4th of July, playing football, occasionally grilling. I hope you finally “get your shit together” as you’ve been trying to do for so many years. Also, many thanks for feeding the cats when no one else would for fear of getting their face clawed off. (Sure, we gave em a key to our apartment. Why not?) One more for helping us get Tony’s car out of the frozen parking lot the morning that we nearly got divorced. I’m pretty sure that without your quick thinking problem solving skills and bag of kitty litter, I might actually have gotten hit with that shovel. (Apparently, my depth perception and logic lacking suggestions are NOT HELPFUL to an already furious, freezing cold man at 5AM. The resulting tears were also not welcomed.)
Ah, Beavis. And your dad. Gone will be the days of listening to your dumb ass spout off about whatever pops into your tiny little brain. If you think I’m being mean, I’d like to challenge you to find someone who has a tattoo of a barcode on the back of their neck (so original and edgy, dude,) and wears Muppet covered flannel pajama bottoms with a wife beater OUTSIDE. I shall not miss your nonstop, nonsensical chatter about (again) all that’s wrong with the world. Dude, you’re 27, live with your dad, and your crowning accomplishment is not your cute little baby who vomited all over my new Cubs shirt the first time I held him, but your Xbox and hockey jersey collection. You are the EPITOME of a “This is your brain on drugs,” commercial. I will not miss your horrifying, explicitly detailed accounts of your ex, Princess Fiona the Ogre’s, sex habits. I will also not miss having to see Fiona when she comes to drop off that poor kid, in her miniskirts, fishnet tights, and her tanktops that lace up the back. To your dad ~no, thank you, I would not like to buy any of your handcrafted wood creations of sports logos. I would also like you to stop working on them at 7AM on Saturday.
RIP Terrell. From the first day you showed up in your fake Louis Vuitton head to toe suit to the day they found you dead in the stairwell, you were a constant source of entertainment. Terrell was our very own Saturday Night Live sketch; “It’s Terrell, your Unicycle Riding Crackhead!” When they first moved in, we saw him from the balcony and Tony, being naturally friendly (this was in our first place, before we developed the instinctive hate and irritation of neighbors) in response to Terrell’s, “Hey man, gotta beer?” replied, “Sure, man! Come on over when you’re settled in!” resulting in a frantic, furious call to Autumn “HELP ME. There. is. a. CRACKHEAD. on. my. balcony.” He was a hot mess in every sense of the word and we kind of laughed to ourselves after he left. And then, the following weekend, he brought out the unicycle. Which he then brought out any time we were out on the balcony; particularly if we had friends over. He was a big fan of putting on a show. His daddy was in the circus, you know. Trisha and Marc would come over all the time, ever hopeful that they’d be treated to a unicycle show. (BTW, he was not a good unicycle rider. There was much falling about; it was more him balancing on it for a few seconds and going about three feet before yelling, “Oh, wait, lemme try again! I’m real good!”) Once, when we got hit with a nasty microburst storm that knocked out the power not only in our complex but the entire block, we were sitting in the dark with our candles when we heard a knock on the door. Here’s Terrell and “his lady” Linelle, “Hey Tone! Your power out? What happened?” One of my all time favorites was when he asked Tony to come over to help him hook up his VCR. (Yes, VCR. 2003 or so, still acceptable to have one, a bit strange to have JUST bought one.) Tony, after examining all of the wires and connections, finally diagnosed the problem, which was that it wasn’t plugged in. I hope you have mastered that great unicycle in the sky.
And to the various vagrants that have graced our neighborhood over the past several years. To crazy Kathy, who provided us much entertainment by trying to leave her apartment multiple times with her hanging plants and shopping cart, only to make it to the sidewalk where she took a nap. To the fucking weirdo across the street, who first had stripper roommates and somehow has moved onto midget roommates; while I once pledged that when I moved I WOULD pound on your door and ask why the fuck you glued 5,000 pennies to the sidewalk that one night, I’ve decided I’m too scared and weirded out by the Discovery Channel sized occupants to do so. To Megan,I hope that you left that loser. To the rotten kids that hang out at the park and scream obscenities at passerby, I hope that some bigger, meaner kids come along and teach you a lesson. To the tweaker that is always trying to bum a smoke off of us – NO. To Jimmy at the liquor store next door, I hope someone else finds your weird ass likeable enough to bring you Thanksgiving dinner, cause I do kind of feel sorry for you.
And finally, finally, to the people at WalMart ~ From the checkout person who basically makes me scan and bag my own items without a word, to the teenage mothers whose children swear at me in Spanish, to the several of you who bring a full cart and several children with you into the 12 items or less lane with a full cart and say that each of them has their own stuff which you pay separately for with cash, check, and Link card respectively, to the big scary lady who called me a little bitch, to the lady who stopped all productivity by demanding to speak to the manager over a $0.37 difference ~ may you all spontaneously combust. And may I never, ever have to darken your doors again.
So in other, shorter, less violent words: I’m not going to miss it here much. While we’ve obviously had great times while living here because me and Tony could probably have fun trapped in a cellar, for the most part, it’s been a study in why there is a three day waiting period on guns. I have high hopes for our backyard, for some privacy, for a lack of smelling what everyone else is cooking, for the absence of nosy drunks/potheads standing on my porch, for some calm; a weekend without red and blue lights flashing through the windows, if you will.
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to the number of certifiably insane people living in Lincoln Square and their proximity to us?