Sunday, May 18, 2008

Suburban Graduation Party Shenanigans

End of the school year parties are all around this week. High school and college graduates are celebrating their accomplishments. And anyone within earshot can hear the noise.

Well, that's what I thought of all the Saturday afternoon and evening noise behind the house. So, I tried to allow for the party which seemed to get progressively louder each hour after 4:00 PM. I tried not to get aggravated with the those youthful voices.

I mentioned earlier that we have been keeping our windows open day and night as the mild spring has been very enjoyable. With a medical mission team leaving town at 6 AM Sunday morning, I wanted to get a decent night of rest so I could get up a little earlier and see them off. With the cool night air, the ceiling fan on, and dreams of turning doors into tables, I went to sleep with graduate party noises in the background.

All was well until around midnight.

At 11:45 I jumped out of bed to a woman screaming!

The neighbor in the yard directly behind our house was yelling "What are you doing? Get out my yard."

She was so loud it sounded like she was in the room with me. You know that feeling of being instantly awake, not groggy at all, but not sure what is going on? I ran to the window to see what was happening. And heard her scream the same phrases again. Then I heard the noises of someone coming over our 6 foot fence, and our dog and the next door neighbors dogs going crazy. While our back yard light was off, the yelling neighbor behind us had turned hers on. I could see movement in the back corner of MY yard. Sirens coming closer added to the Saturday night noises.

Racing out the back door, I flipped on the light, and ran off the deck. I was just in time to catch an older teenage boy in the middle of my yard. He was blocked going out the yard gate since our dog was in that path (he barked a little and then hid but that's another story as we might need a "back up" dog who will bark and possibly bite). The side neighbors have two massive dogs whose barks alone keep everything out of that yard. I was yelling "what do you think you're doing?" and for my wife to call the police.

Like a scared rabbit, all he could do was find a dark, quiet hole and hope for the best. I heard the noise of him attempting to get over another 6 foot fence facing the road in front of our house. I ran through my house, and coming out the front door, found the police in front of the next house (with the large dogs) talking to another neighbor. I was still yelling, and the cop asked if I'd seen anyone. When I went around the corner the boy was hiding behind my air conditioner unit. Hiding in the dark, almost like a child playing drunken hide and seek, hoping to avoid capture. Caught, his confession was quick, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He walked out on his own, and I left him to his captors.

I went to survey the damage and see if anyone else was in my backyard as the police handcuffed the suburban party boy.

It was hard to settle back down even though the morning's work was soon to come. Adrenaline was flowing fast. Aggravation was close behind. Uncertainty about the people around us wasn't far behind.

The damage included some plants he'd stepped on as he climbed my fences and then attempted to hide. My tomato, cucumber, and squash plants I'd started from seed and cared for since February were the casualties. I'm not sure about our peace of mind, though quickly after the regular quiet night returned I could hear our local owls talking to each other. I wonder how the rest of his night turned out?

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