Friday, January 13, 2012


Dear Bloggy Neighbors,

Let's start the day off right with good news. The one, the only, the fishducky, will make a guest appearance here next week on Wednesday. Fishducky, I can  already hear the applause. 

Now I'm going to return to Monday's topic: neighbors. The What? Monday post didn't get much of a response this week. I think many of you were still trying to find me.

You might think it's strange that I've waited till Friday to talk about what I wrote on Monday, but my mind does not work in a linear progression. It jumps from this mountain to that molehill.

So if you don't remember Monday's post, or didn't have a chance to read it, please click here.

I want to regale you with tales of neighbors I've had over the years.

When I married Dr. X, he was a student. We lived in married student housing at a university.

Our little home was at the end of our building -- Apartment K-9. Wasn't that amazingly perfect for a dog lover?

Our very first neighbors were lovely people who had a two-year-old daughter. They were pleasant and friendly. James had been a mortician or undertaker, whatever the correct word is, but he tired of it and went back to school to take pre-med classes.

Linda explained to me that the funeral home owned their lives. Beepers and cell phones didn't exist yet, so he had to stay by the phone 24/7. She said, If we even wanted to go to Dairy Queen for ice cream, we had to find someone to come over and sit by the phone just in case someone died.

I guess the living wanted the deceased outa the house in a New York minute.

James and Linda owned a house and sold it so James could go back to school. Linda was very unhappy living in that crappy little married student apartment. Sadly, when James finished his classes, he couldn't get in to med school.

Happily, he found some other job that didn't require him to return to the penultimate resting place of the dead.

After they moved away, Linda and I wrote to each other for a couple of years. And I mean we used pens on paper.

In one letter she told me how bored she was. I responded that I just kept busy and didn't get bored.

Linda wrote back after a couple of months and said, I took your advice to keep busy and I started a children's music class. I'm so much happier.

Wow! I didn't even intend to give Linda advice. I'm so glad her mood improved, and I hope Life treated their daughter well. She had a huge red birthmark on most of her face that couldn't be removed till she was older. Starting school with a big red bumpy thing on one's face probably led to all sorts of teasing.

I hope a surgeon  eradicated the birthmark  (maybe laser surgery had been invented by that time, which was during the Ice Age) and she didn't spend the rest of her life as a hermit or in a convent because  she once had a red map attached to her face. I think it was Europe. I kind of remember Italy hanging down like a boot, to the left of her mouth.

After James and Linda moved, we moved too: to a different almost as tiny apartment. Favorite Young Man had joined us, so we absconded to L Building, where we had two bedrooms.

Right after we moved, my friend Suzanne, who was majoring in speech pathology, called to tell me about a terrible incident at the university speech clinic, where students could be treated for free. She said they were treating a little boy and his mom, and the dad, who was huge, had caused a terrible ruckus, cursing staff members and screaming threats of violence at his wife and son. Campus Security had to come to the rescue.

Then I met our neighbors. The man was very large. The woman and the little boy had speech impediments. I called Suzanne and asked, What was the name of that little boy whose dad was such a jerk?

Ah, yes. Of course. The jerk and his speech-impaired family were my new neighbors.

We steered clear of them and they didn't really give us any trouble. One time the mom came over with a baby's blue jacket she had found stored among some other stuff. She said, The onwy thwing I cood thwink of was to give this to youw baby.

I thanked her, we chatted with some difficulty, and she left.

Then I wooked at the bwoo jacket. It had aw these weird witta bwown things on it that wooked wike popcorn husks, but were much warger (O.K. That's more than enough of the speech cwap). The brown thingies stuck to the jacket, yet could be pulled off.

When Dr. X arrived, I showed him the jacket. What are these brown thingies? I inquired.

Dr. X frowned and said, Those are from cockroaches.

Did pieces of cockroach stick to the jacket, or did they shed their backs, kind of like a snake shedding its skin?

I didn't know.

I don't want to know.

The bwoo jacket went in the twash.

So, those were my second neighbors following my marriage to Dr. X : The cockroach baby jacket people.

Long gone, but never forgotten.

Sometime in the future I'll tell you more neighborly stories. We moved a lot, so I've had more than my share of new neighbors to whom I had to adjust. And they had to adjust to my slightly offbeat sense of humor. Some of them never understood I was joking.

Remember -- fishducky on Wednesday. Mark your calendars, dear ones.

And the What? Monday post will have to do with weight. Remember how proud I was last spring when I lost 15 pounds? If I can figure out how to do it, I'll put a poll/survey in my sidebar where you can guess how much weight I've lost altogether. Hope you'll participate. I wanna know what you jokers think.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


  1. We've lived in this house for 51 years--gypsies that we are--so we haven't had to adjust to very many new neighbors. We loved our first neighbors here. There was a 5 or 6 feet area of dirt between our house & theirs. We went back & forth so often that when we redid our lawn we decided to put stepping stones down so it would be easier to go to each other's homes. The mailman appreciated that, too.

  2. That's so nice. They must have been the ideal neighbors. But fishducky, don't you ever sleep?

  3. I was wondering about Fishducky's sleep habits as well!
    I have the best neighbors right now. Couldn't imagine not having them as neighbors!

  4. Happy Friday the 13th from your far away neighbor. I suppose that is why we get along so well! Wow! Mr. Roberts --what a great reminder of a gentle man who impacted so many lives. When I lived in WWI Navy housing there was a toddler who lived next door that had learned all sorts of curse words and used them to season her little speech in just the right pots. Who knew the cute little girl could sound just like a drunk sailor!

  5. Like fishducky, we've been in this house for a long time, too. Not quite as long as she has, but longer than anyone else in the neighborhood. When we moved here in '71, there was a strange old couple next door. I liked them a lot, but still, they were very unique. Come to think of it, now WE'RE the strange old couple in the neighborhood. Damn.

  6. You know about my neighbors. I'm really lucky with neighbors--except that Miss Priss woman lol

  7. I usually go to bed between midnight & 1:00am, Pacific time & get up around 8:00am--or 9:00--or whenever. My kids once gave me a decal which I still have. It shows Snoopy hanging over his doghouse & says, "I think I'm allergic to mornings". Is there anything else you'd like to know? I've already told you my bra size in "ODE TO BEING 73" on Inger's post--40 long!

  8. Stephanola, Nice neighbors make life so much easier, and they can provide entertainment, the way hot, hot young Anthony does when he takes off his shirt. I strongly suspect that Fishducky never sleeps. She's afraid she might miss something.

    MPH, Uh, Mr. Roberts was played by Henry Fonda. We have Mr. Rogers as our guest. I loved Mr. Rogers. I think he was much better than Saysme Street, the show that has ADHD (are those the correct letters? Every kid seems to be diagnosed with something now and I blame Saysme's hyperactivity). I think we could be real neighbors and get along fine. Once upon a time, we saw each other almost every day. And I guess a cute little girl could sound like a drunk sailor if she had a drunk-sailor parent!

    Hey you two -- and everybody else. Please vote in the Janie Junebug weight loss poll. How much weight do you think I've lost?

  9. fishducky, I know you've been interviewed before, but I'd love to interview you myself. I would probably have naughty questions.

    Elisa, Piss on Miss Priss. I can't remember -- do you have a dog? If you do, make sure he poops in Priss's yard when she's not home.

  10. Susan, I think as we get older we're no longer strange. We're eccentric, which is far more interesting.


  11. OOOHH, naughty questions! Do with me what you will. I have no idea of how to get the "fishducky approved" button off your sidebar.

  12. fishducky, I am keeping that button even if I have to fight you for it, though I'll be very embarrassed when a lady of 70+ years knocks the crap outa me. Then you'll feel bad because I'm crying and let me keep the button. I'm going to start thinking of questions -- naughty and very naughty.

  13. Ewww I bet those people knew the cockroaches were already on there. Deeesgusting.
    I've lived in the same house my whole life so I don't really have any crazy neighbor stories myself.

  14. I don't really communicate with people in the real world. My neighbors are nice enough. On the one side, a 90-year-old couple. On the other, neighbors my age with a special needs son, and an unhealthy obsession with Disney and Christmas decorations.

  15. 20 Something, I remember her saying the jacket needed to be washed, so yeah, she knew, but I don't think she was smart enough to understand how gross it was. Some people can live in filth and don't get that they live in filth. And then there's me with my OCD. If you use something in my kitchen, make sure you put it back exactly where it was.

  16. Joshua, Now that you mention it, I realize I'm spending less time in real world communication. It's too annoying and people hardly ever get my jokes. I had a real world encounter with someone from the blogosphere. It ended in disaster, and I'm still not over it. On the other hand, I think if I met my bloggy girl buddies, we'd have a great time. Sorry you have neighbors with too much Disney and Christmas, but maybe the stuff makes the son happy.

  17. We moved into our house in 1990, and immediately the across-the-street neighbors were very welcoming and friendly. They bought their house new when it was built in 1955, raised their kids there, and were beginning to host grandkids on occasional weekends.

    Over they years, they have remained friendly and kind, and have watched us raise our kids in this neighborhood, as they once raised theirs here. They give us oranges from their tree each year at harvest time. They always wave hello and wish us well when they see us. They keep an eye on things when we are not home.

    Now we are over halfway through raising our kids, and our across the street neighbors have become ... elderly ... frail ... they are starting to have many health problems.

    They remain some of the kindest folks and best neighbors. One or more of their children, children's spouses, and/or grandchildren come by each day to help them with anything that needs doing, to make sure they take their meds -- just to make sure they are ok.

    Their kids, kids' spouses, and grandkids are as wonderful as they are.

    It warms my heart to see how well cared-for they are, while at the same time my heart is breaking because I know they won't be around much longer and it is hard to imagine life in this house without our across-the-street neighbors.

  18. Oh, Legal Eagle. That's so sweet. We had some neighbors who were older folks when we lived in Maryland. I'll write about them sometime. They were wonderful.

  19. It finally worked! Yay! I am now your newest follower! :)

    Your cockroach-giving-speech-impediment-neighbors cracked me up. More so, your use of language when describing them made me laugh so hard!

    Thanks for the invite! I'm honored!

  20. Aliciamarie, We are honored by your presence. I'm glad you laughed. Your blog is very interesting and heartfelt. I'm with you all the way.

  21. I handle most bugs just fine...but cockroaches! EEEEEEE!!!! I would have flipped my lid over the bwoo jacket! Ewwww!

  22. Pwincess, Fortunately I didn't know the bwown thingies came fwum woaches until Dr. X. got home. I think he took care of throwing out the bwoo jacket while I soaked my hands in bleach cuz I'd picked off a couple of the brown pieces. Have you ever seen a palmetto bug? They are huge flying cockroaches that we have in Florida. Fortunately, they don't usually want to get in the house because they just die. So they don't come in and build nests and procreate like other cockroaches. But I go insane when one gets in. I've only seen them during the summer, and they're worse some years than others.

  23. Princess, It's a good thing I didn't know that the bwown things were cocowoach pieces until Dr. X got home. I detest cockroaches. Have you ever seen a palmetto bug?


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