...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

You Know the Phrase "You Couldn't Make That Shit Up Even if You WANTED To..."?

First lengthy Old Guy Neighbor roof-conversation of the year...


Me: Hey, J.

OGN: Hi, Cat Lady.

[Insert niceties: How you doings, etc.]

OGN: So are YOU the one who does the laundry down there? [pointing to the basement of my house]

Me: Nope. Not me.

OGN: Well, I have to talk to whoever that is, 'cause I think I'm allergic to their fabric softener.

Me: [said to self] What?!?

[OGN lives on the second floor of a house next door. The person doing the laundry would be doing it in the basement of my house. How the scent would travel two stories, in through his hallway, down his hall, and into his apartment THROUGH closed windows, I am unclear on.]

OGN: Yeah, I don't know if it's Snuggles or Bounce or what fabric softener, but whenever they do their laundry, it makes my eyes water, my throat start to close up, I start coughing terribly.

Me: [said to self] Are you kidding me?

[Insert recurring conversation about how OGN hates my landlord because she kicked them all out of her houses so she could charge new tenants more rent--a story I've heard about 37 times]

OGN: So what do you think of Boom Boom?

[Boom Boom is OGN's nickname for Obama. I have no clue WHY this nickname but can only assume it's something weird and/or racist.]

[Insert recurring conversation about the feeding of the city birds and which birds OGN hates and likes. Hates: Starlings. Pigeons. Bluejays. Likes: Sparrows.]

OGN: So what you reading there? Homework?

Me: Nah. Just a book for fun. [Book is a graphic novel about a high school lesbian with extremely detailed pics of chicks eating out other chicks. I keep that to myself.]

OGN: I'm still reading the Koran. [He told me he was reading it when I bumped into him on the street a month or so ago.] It's all just the Bible until about halfway through it and then I have NO idea what's going on. The second part is all crazy and stuff. But that's their teachings and stuff. I can't make heads or tails of it though.

[Insert recurring conversation about the guy who lived up front for about five minutes and the shockingly true story of how he went from football-player physique to feeble wheelchair-bound after getting high on the dope and driving off a cliff.]

OGN: Oh, so hey! You got me eating vegetarian.

Me: Oh yeah??

OGN: Well, except for the chicken.

Me: Aha.

[I told OGN IN PASSING about 6 months ago that I was vegetarian, after finally getting tired of him asking me what meat-food he should have for dinner. If only EVERYONE were this easy to convince.]

OGN: I should let you get back to what you're doing...

Me: Oh ok. Well, have a nice night.


OGN: Oh hey! So do you go to the library ever?

Me: Um, yeah. Once in a while. [Reality: 1-3 times a week.]

OGN: You think you could pick me up a book about making sweet potato pie?

Me: Um, yeah. I can look next time I go.

OGN: And puddings. That kind of stuff. Sweet potato pie and puddings. Somebody stole my cookbook that had the sweet potato pie recipes in it.

Me: That sucks.

OGN: And I'd check it out myself but I lost my library card. So if you can pick it up for me sometime, then maybe I could make a sweet potato pie. I like baking pies. Haven't baked a pie in forever. If I bake one, I'll bring you over a slice.

Me: Cool.

[Insert recurring conversation about all his friends either being dead or having moved away.]

OGN: So I've seen you outside a few times--one time with a guy--but I didn't wanna bother you because I don't like to bother people.

Me: Uh huh.

OGN: I don't like to be a bother to people. I mean: if you don't want to talk, you just say, J: I don't wanna talk right now, and then we don't talk. Because I don't want to be a bother.

[Noting the fact that he's hard of hearing, so even if I WANTED that, he wouldn't be able to hear my request anyways. Brilliant mastermindishness.]

Me: [smiling]

OGN: Yeah, I don't like to be a bother. Anyways, I should let you get back to your reading.

Me: Ok.

OGN: But yeah, if you're at the library and could remember to pick me up a book on sweet potato pie next time, I'd appreciate.

Me: Okey-doke. Have a good night.




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