Monday, February 7, 2011

Howard, The Code Police And The Portugese Nanny

In a delightfully ironic twist, someone has reported Howard's junkyard to the city.  You'll recall that Howard serves on the Homeowners Association Board, while his wife, Moira works in the front office.  This makes complaining about them rather a challenge.  But today, for some inexplicable reason, on the hottest day of the year no less, Howard is mowing his lawn for the first time since November.  Keep in mind that in Florida grass grows year round.  Howard's lawn is quite high.  Therefore, the motor on the lawn mower conks out every few feet.  With a strong urge to get in a few quips, I went outside to remind him that if he didn't wait four months between mowing, it might be easier.

At this, he rushed to the fence, out of breath, demanding to know if I'd called code enforcement to report them.  Despite my undying desire to have done just that, I had not.  It goes against my nature as a conflict avoider.  I was, however, quite pleased to learn someone had called.  After all, the weedy yard is only the start.  Add the stolen golf cart, now parked in between our houses, discarded furniture, bar room neon signs, televisions, refrigerators and the (thank God it's never been used) hot tub, all on the back porch, not to mention stacks of plastic containers on the other side of the house, there is plenty to complain about. 

Who complained doesn't really matter.  I am in their debt.  But while talking to Howard and Moira (clad in her Bret Michaels headband) a few suspicions were confirmed.  Mrs. Sarcasm and I had joked that they had simply stopped caring and were waiting for the bank to take the house.  In fact, Howard informed us this was under serious consideration and until he decided saw no sense in upkeep. 

Then Mrs. Sarcasm announced her pregnancy.  I can't explain how, but that turned the conversation to their one-year-old son, Eddie.  Thus, our second confirmed suspicion must serve as a warning to parents everywhere considering day care.  One-year-old Eddie is as fluent in Portugese as a one-year-old can be.  He speaks almost no English.  In fact, they had to get an interpreter over one day just to communicate with the kid.

Having a bilingual child, especially in South Florida, is nothing but a positive.  However, I hold out little hope the boy will learn English anytime soon, not from his parents anyway.  That would require the same kind of initiative needed to put away the deflated bounce house in the backyard, rather than mow around it.


Amy Saia said...

This reminds me of the Bumpus' in A Christmas Story, which was actually taken from Jean Shepherd's book, "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash." He goes into length about his neighbors, all their dogs, the junk cars, etc. Really funny stuff. I think you have enough material here for a similar story!

Lt. Cccyxx said...

Oh man, that's hilarious. I mean, a little sad about the kid, but hilarious.

Travener said...

My guess is these folks are Brazilian, it being Miami and all? The kid will pick up English in no time in kindergarten, if not before.

MC Howe said...

Amy - Have you read through the archives of this blog? Stories abound. I'm partial to the Shower Groomer escapade myself.

Lt., and Trav - The daycare nanny is Brazilian, the parents are as ethnically non-diverse as one can get. They're just too busy with their own lives to spend any time with the kid.