Tuesday, August 4, 2020

IWSG: Neighborhood Watch


It's time for another edition of the  Insecure Writer's Support GroupBe sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh  and the rest of the talented bloggers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.
                               Neighborhood Watch

Ted Abel was known for being a good neighbor who enjoyed history, The Chicago White Sox, cycling, classical music and pickle ball. He could often be seen strolling hand in hand with his wife of 40 years down their quiet wooded street.

The Abels tried on several occasions to be friendly with their next door neighbors, the Cains, but the wife was more interested in sun bathing and six packs (tin not skin) than any form of socializing. The husband usually kept to himself.

Consequently, their paths would soon cross again, and Ted's life would never be the same.

Fast forward to early June when many thought the pandemic was slowing down and several states were optimistically moving into Phase 3. Ah, the good old days.

Shortly thereafter, Ted's landscaper found him climbing down a tree with a nervous cat in tow. The landscaper warned him that someone was throwing yard waste into his backyard, Outraged, but playing it cool for the cat's sake, Ted was determined to keep his fly dumping degenerate neighbor from disgracing his yard again.

He quickly went next door to confront Cain, but was rudely greeted by his wife. Ted tried to divert his eyes, as Cain's wife was sunbathing in a bikini that was stretched out in all the wrong places.

"Is your husband home?"

Her whole body creaked, as she struggled to free her entangled thong bikini from the lounge chair slats.

"He's busy working. What do you want?"

Ted calmly explained that if her husband dumped his yard waste in their backyard again, the landscaper was going to add it to his bill. 

This set Mrs. Cain into a rage. How dare Ted accuse her husband of any wrong doing. At first she threatened to blow Ted up, but then decided it would be a better idea to shoot him in the face. Yes, she never liked his face anyway.

Remarkably, Ted remained composed when he asked her if they had any firearms in their home. But his delusional neighbor wasn't listening. She just rambled on about how much she hated Ted and his excuse for a wife.

"You two definitely deserve each other. Your wife is a vile woman."

Awakened from the one woman shouting match, Cain stormed out of his house.

After Ted filled him in about the yard waste fiasco followed by his wife's threats to shoot him, he casually asked if Cain had any guns in their home. When Cain refused to answer, Ted said he had no choice but to call the police.

Cain just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Do what you gotta do."

The next day, two police officers escorted Ted to the house of Cain where they  spoke to the couple on their front porch. Ted almost didn't recognize Mrs. Cain, as she wasn't dressed like a retired stripper. The Cains politely denied any confrontation with Ted, and the police went on their way.

Ted couldn't believe that the police weren't taking her threats seriously. When he asked why they didn't investigate further, the officers explained that they couldn’t legally search or even ask the couple if they owned a gun.

In an ill attempt to set Ted's mind at ease, the officers added they were going to file a police report. Ted wanted to say how the report would really come in handy when he's shot to death by a screaming bikini wearing gun moll, but he thanked them anyway. 

Later that night, Ted told his wife every sordid detail about his life threatening confrontation with the Cains, as well as, the futile follow-up with the police. Upon hearing the news, his wife's face drained of color, and she couldn't speak. 

Ted tried to put on a brave face while reassuring her that she needn't worry, as he  was getting his affairs in order, so she would be well taken care of in the event of his sudden demise.

Within minutes, his wife miraculously rose to announce that they needed to notify the family. She went into the den to call their eldest daughter and Ted quickly followed.

After repeating the story verbatim to their daughter, Ted couldn't believe his ears when he realized what most upset his wife.

"Yes, she did threaten to shoot Daddy in the face, but can you believe that no good former street walker had the nerve to call your mother a 'vile woman?'"


  1. Unfortunately, like relatives, we can’t pick our neighbors. The quarantine has brought out lots of frustrations and anger. No one should poke the bear during these times.

    I would move.

  2. That's the only thing she heard apparently!

  3. It's sad when neighbors are so hostile with each other. I saw some bad situations when I was an attorney.

  4. The Cains are really Trump and Melania, right?

  5. Goodness. That was sure a crazy situation.

  6. Sure glad they don't live next door to me.

  7. Arleen - It's true that Covid has brought out the worst in many people, but it's also brought out the best. It's the old heredity versus environment issue. Unfortunately, this nice couple live next door to the latter, but I think they're continuing to stay more than six feet apart from each other. Thanks Arleen!

    Alex - That also struck me funny. Thanks for hosting another great IWSG, Alex! I missed you guys.

    Natalie - I can't begin to imagine all of the neighborhood disputes you witnessed. Some people just aren't happy unless they're needlessly stirring things up. Thanks Natalie!

    Debra - Haha! Yes, they could be Melania and Donald in reverse roles. Thanks Debra!


  8. Chrys - Yes, both crazy and frightening! I hope things continue to stay on an even keel. Thanks Chrys!

    Diane - I feel the same way. It's an awful feeling to know that a walking time bomb is just steps away. Thanks Diane!


  9. Hi Julie - lovely story ... thankfully my neighbours seem to be ok - mind you it's a sedentary quiet town - suits me! Great telling ... love it - stay safe and well and craft away some more for us - Hilary

  10. I'm glad my neighbors aren't like this. That was quite a story!

  11. Hi Hilary, It’s always a joy to hear from you! I’m glad all is peaceful in your neighborhood. Thank you and I hope you stay safe and healthy too.

    Connie - You always hear stories about crazy people, but the thought of living next door to them is pretty frightening. Thank you, Connie!


  12. Very funny twist at the end! Thank goodness, we don't have Cain and his bikini clad wife as our neighbors. Meanwhile, thank you for the laugh. I think we all benefit from sharing humor that comes with thankfulness for so much. So, thank you, and may your coming month bring you more stories and less of Cain!

  13. Some people just can't resist raising cain
    whenever they're able. [;-D

    ~ D-FensDogG

  14. Beth - Thank you for your kind words about the “twist!” I’ve always been a fan of surprise endings. This weekend, we’re invited to a social distancing dinner at the Abels. I’m packing in case we run into the Cains, but it won’t be easy squeezing into my 40-year-old bikini!

    Stephen - This is one of your best lines ever! Now I feel unworthy of Beth’s praise of my “twist” at the end. Stephen, you are truly a gifted punster! Thank goodness you use your powers for good some of the time!


  15. I really enjoyed it.
    Thank you.

  16. I reckon it takes all kinds to make up a community, but I believe I could do just fine without people like the Cains. It'd be reeeeeal easy to maintain a safe distance from them, even without a pandemic.

  17. Thank you, R Rue!

    Susan - Fortunately, their paths have not crossed since the incident, and they intend to keep it that way. You’re very wise as always, Susan!


  18. story might happen in any neighborhood....
    thank you for sharing the interesting story of a life

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