"Sure, just watch out for cars," I tell Youngest as he and his pal ditch the backyard
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
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.