Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yes, But He's Our Crazy Ed

"Mom, can J. and I go play basketball with Ed?"

"Sure, just watch out for cars," I tell Youngest as he and his pal ditch the backyard soccer pitch deck to go down the street to play with the character we all refer to as "Crazy Ed."

This is the neighbor who, before being popped for a DUI in November, would drive one of his beat-up old cars around town, waving a finger in greeting to everyone he passed. The finger might be the index one. Or it might be the index one made to look like the middle finger. Or it might be the index one made to resemble the Uncle Sam point. Or it might be the index one joined by the thumb made to look like a gun.

Those who don't know Crazy Ed beyond having been the recipient of one of the odder gestures would be appalled that I let my 8-year-old and his friend play with him in the street. He is quite menacing to those who don't interact with him regularly. Hell, he sometimes appears menacing to those of us who do have the "pleasure" of knowing him.

Like a week ago when I had to go tell him to stop yelling the F word along with ramblings about cops and firefighters and random passers-by.

Or a few days ago when he was telling me he would beat up my next door neighbor or have him arrested if he threatened him again.

Or a month ago when he told the woman across the street, a woman who does many things for Crazy Ed, to "Shut up and go inside, you old lesbian."

The list goes on and includes diatribes against the cult church members who own a house nearby or his backyard neighbor who wants to drive him out of his house so he can get it on the cheap or the Pakistanis who live nearby who have built a hidden secret house under their existing house and are smuggling in fellow Pakistanis in a clear terrorist threat.

Damn, writing it makes him sound so wingnut. And he is.

But he also gives us bags and bags of tomatoes he grows and lemons he steals takes from a neighbor. And he walks the miles to the library to obtain a plot map showing where our boundaries are as we debate what to do with our retaining wall. And he keeps an eye all day long on that "old lesbian's" house when her husband neglects to close the garage door before leaving for work. And he buys my kids huge chocolate bars for Halloween. And he buys Girl Scout cookies from Daughter. And he builds baseball fields and basketball courts in the street for my kids to play in.

Those of us in the immediate 'hood know he's crazy. But we know he's our crazy. And we expect that when he finally does crack, we're safe. I'm not so sure about the imaginary Pakistanis up the road, though.

You can read more about Ed in this post done a couple of years ago.


Cricky said...

I like Ed. He's my kind of neighbor. :)

I bet you're right. If/when he does crack, you'll be safer than anyone in your county.

Patois42 said...

Cricky, I'm hopeful!

Tara R. said...

Every neighborhood needs its own Ed. We have Mary, our own, one-woman community watch.

Jocelyn said...

You've hit me where I live: yea, I love the concept of He's Our Crazy.

Plus, I'm still hooting at "that old lesbian"...

Patois42 said...

Tara, You know, I think Ed might like warmer climes. Perhaps I can send him to hook up with Mary?

Jocelyn, Oh. My. God. It's YOU! Finally made it your way yesterday (having been lurking so long through Google reader). God, I need to get there every time again because the comments you get nearly match your prose. Hope you continue to find such fine adventures in the exotic lands!


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