So Mike has trashy neighbors. There are at least two families living in the two-bedroom condo, they turned their garage into another room, and they treat both the parking lot and their "front yard" as their own personal domain.
There is constant screaming, breaking of things, stomping, and absolutely amazing amounts of swearing. And with a minimum of five children living there, you can imagine how horrifying this is to hear.
They had a small little terrier for a while. It was constantly yipping, which, of course, resulted in constant yelling and swearing. Mike watched two of the kids chase it around a tree until the leash was wound too tight for it to go anywhere. Then the kids put a bag over its head and started hitting it. Mike ran outside but realized he couldn't do anything. That's when one of the mothers came out, picked up the dog and dragged her kids inside. We never saw - or heard - the dog again.
They have had many different cars parked outside of their garage, including a twelve-foot trailer, two motorcycles, and, my favorite, an SUV with a decal advertising a church's website. Ironic, no?
One of the worst experiences happened this summer when Mike was golfing. I was at his house getting ready to meet a friend for lunch, and the parents had been fighting for a good hour. The kids were screaming and crying, I heard things smashing against the walls, and the swearing was absolutely unbelievable. I wanted to call the police, but I wasn't sure what would happen since I still have a DC phone number.
Luckily, when I decided to just leave, there were five police cars outside, tons of policemen, and still - lots of screaming. I was just relieved that someone had made the call. I will next time.
Today was no different. The children were outside playing. With a box.
No big deal. I remember playing with a huge refrigerator box once. But I'm pretty sure that I was wearing shoes. And possibly socks. And probably PANTS.
And if I was a toddler, you can bet that I probably wasn't outside by myself. At least not for longer than a few seconds. Oh, have I mentioned that the high to day was 49 degrees? FORTY-NINE DEGREES, and this poor kid was not wearing SHOES, SOCKS, or PANTS. Just a sweater and a diaper.
I'm not a parent. I don't know what's best for kids and I'm not trying to pretend that I do. But I am guessing that constant swearing, constant yelling, and NOT PUTTING PANTS ON YOUR CHILD in cold weather do not a great parent make.