Monday, April 26, 2010

Ave Atque Vale, Houston

This blog has been a downer lately.

But I have good news.  We're moving.  No, no, not the blog.  The crew.  Yep, the Houston Curse has finally won, and won out big time.  We put Home Port 2.0 on the block and sold it for
the hood ornament from a 1963 Mercedes, two Slim Whitman eight-tracks, and a handful of magic beans.  Whatever.  To Suburban Middle Class Utopian Utopia we go, skipping, giggling and frolicking like the complete fools we are.

Anyway, we'll miss our mildewy little slice of steamy, near-inner city heaven.  Some of our finest memories/things/places/people:

1.  The baby.  No, not ours, this was another one.  We had just moved in and H.M. went for a walk.  She sees, to her surprise, an INFANT playing in the yard... alone.  No fence, no gates, nothing between the little tyke and the passing traffic.  Mom is nowhere to be found.  No answer from the house.  Nobody's around outside.  The child is just filthy, and crazy, crazy wet.  Like wet that screams "Dude, I haven't been changed in 16 hours, and I am SO pruney!"  Majesty hops on the cell to the polizei, and they'll be right there.  The World's Stupidest Mom walks out 45 minutes later, and leads with, "Oh, that's where you were."  The cops never show.

2.  Art Cars.  About 5 blocks down from our house sits a car that's been modified to look like a dog.  That's right, it looks like it's straight out of Dumb and Dumber.  In our sojourn in Houston we've seen the old Acura that's encrusted with mirrored glass (it's way cool).  We've witnessed the F-150 with Mexican dinner plates, plastic roosters and dinosaurs glued directly on the paint.  We lived down the street from the guy with the VW bus dubbed The AlamObile, painted with every conceivable event in Texas history.  The "O" is the VW emblem.  Yeah.

3.  El Tiempo's patio.  No, things aren't the same since they sprayed insulation (?!?!?!?!) under the thatched roof, but the grub is still fine.  You'll no doubt ponder, as I have, the operational efficiency of insulating a structure with no walls.  Reminds me of that Robert Earl Keen song where the guys have the window unit A/C running on a table in the back yard.  "It's a cultural thing," he explains.

4.  The guy and gal in our 'hood that ride little scooters in helmets that feature 8 inch mohawks.  I'll miss them.

5.  Angus and the 5.0.  I was driving in a baaaaaaaaaad neighborhood* one morning, trying to get around whatever 18-wheeler that had unsuccessfully pirouetted on I-45.  At a stoplight, I look over at the Church's Chicken parking lot.  I see 4 police cruisers, about 6 or 8 of Houston's Finest, a skinny guy and a BIG guy.  Pick whatever ethnicity that you need to make this story enjoyable.  (I'm going to go with Scots-Irish, but suit yourself.)

Skinny guy, looking as lit up as a Christmas tree, his hat cocked to no particular angle, is gesticulating madly at the heat/5.0/cops/fuzz.  We'll call him Angus.  Angus is pointing to what was once a HUGE picture window, and a flagpole of sorts on the ground in a pile of shattered glass.  There's a used car lot next door that seems to be missing a flagpole or two.  BIG guy, we'll call him Seamus, evidently a witness to the hilarity felony is pointing accusingly at Angus and then to the erstwhile window.  And then back to Angus.  Everyone at the stoplight is laughing just as hard as I am.

I would give 100 dollars to have video of the crime and the interviews following.  Really.

6.  I'll miss my neighbor that can barely keep their collection of empty diet coke cans, broken yard implements, socks (yes, socks), Sonic cups, fertilizer bags, and dozens of other items out of their own yard, much less mine.  The scene every afternoon of walking the 6 or so dogs of extremely questionable  parentage (and condition) is priceless.  I think what does it for me is the hand-drawn rickshaw (fashioned from an old bike trailer) taken along for the mongrels as they get tired.  While I'm at it, I'll miss all of our truly great neighbors.

7.  The middle school kid that got knocked dead cold unconscious on our driveway.  He got crosswise with some little slimeballs that infest the local Future Felons of America Chapter public middle school.  Majesty drove them away, and drove him home.  The rock through our window later on?  Not.  A.  Coincidence.

8.  The number 23.  I drove to the grocery store about a year back, and no less than 23 police cars surrounded my bank.  I counted.  In the center of it all was an old van, some really salty looking characters including a few women of ah, considerable heft, let's say, and some bedraggled little scrawny dudes that looked like they had been in a fight with the entire 101st Airborne Division.  I asked one of the sheriff's deputies what had happened, and evidently an identity theft ring needed to stop at the ATM.  Naturally.  A fistfight erupts.  The cops are called.  The fistfight then engulfs the officers, who basically call in every lawman lawperson in a 650 mile radius.  The lesson from the (enormous) deputy was straightforward:  "Don't fight the po-po."

Those are words to live by, amigos.

*TREMENDOUS amount of sheep over there.  TREMENDOUS.

Picture Caption:  Jack shares his parents' love of quality Tex-Mex.  This is how he finished off a bean and cheese burrito yesterday.  The kid's not afraid.  At all.


Jennifer Reinsch said...

I love any blog post that is able to reference Slim Whitman. However, I am not happy about this move.

Gentry said...

Dude... look out suburbia! congrats. Sounds like your old hood will be losing a few IQ points when you guys leave! Nice REK reference to boot. I have tried the swamp cooler on a picnic table before. Conversation sure wasnt much due to the noise, but it sure beat the heat that hot July afternoon.

El Comodoro said...

Bitte schoen, Frau Reinsch-Schroeder. We're happy to be your one-stop yodeling clearinghouse.

RG, if you're using a swamp cooler (AWESOME, btw) it's way to hot for talking, anyway.

I wonder if all those refined, sedate folks up there know what just invaded their quiet little neighborhood. I even got me wonna them cee-ment ponds!!!! Yee-doggy!