Play dem bongos!

29 05 2003

We live in a quiet neighborhood. If houses could speak, most of the ones around here would detail long histories of their current occupants. But the house across the street? It’s a rental. Years ago the man who owns it put on a new roof, painted inside and out, basically spruced the place up. “Oh good,” we thought. “Maybe someone nice will move in.” Actually, what the owner had in mind was an appeasement for his ex-wife, a certifiable nut-case we’ll call “Luna.” He hoped she would be induced to leave him alone. So he gave her a house, furniture, and a car. And she moved in. Parades of her, um, “friends” came and went day and night.

Amy’s apartment burned down, and we offered her Jacob’s former bedroom upstairs. She moved in “until she could find another place,” which ended up being a year. She quit looking actually, and stayed until she had finished college. But we all loved having her here. Everything was dandy.

Luna met a transient: a man with two dogs and some bongos. He had brown scum on his teeth, and he called himself Caveman. She invited him to live with her. Luna and Caveman made an interesting pair. Thankfully my children were too young to comprehend some of what we accidentally observed. (Luna left her front door wide open much of the time.)

Around 1:00 PM one afternoon, Amy was home alone when she heard a strange sound. Perhaps the dishwasher was acting up, or the clothes in the dryer were unbalanced? She began to investigate. The kitchen was quiet. Nothing in the utility room. The sound seemed to be coming from the living room area. As she entered the room, the volume increased noticeably. A rhythmic thumping. Almost tribal. Amy looked out the window.

There’s an open front porch on the house across the street. Amy gasped. There he was, Caveman–in all his glory–playing those bongos with the abandon of . . . well, of a naked caveman.

We live in a quiet neighborhood. Honest.


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13 responses

29 05 2003
Anonymous

I thought you were about to say

something even worse than full frontal bongo playing.

Whoa!

I loved your poem about your snoring spouse.

— A fan

29 05 2003
ragamuffen

I have to admit that my mid was roaming over to the places that your anon. fan was too…not to say that naked bongo rituals is much better.

You put this together nicely. Please don’t take this the wrong way…but your grammar and spelling and everything is so great…are you a teacher or just thuper thmart?

As for quiet neighborhoods…I have lived in a few of those myself.

29 05 2003
jeannedamoff

Turn down the AC, honey . . . I have a fan!

My very own anonymous fan. I think you just made my day. :o) EZ

29 05 2003
Anonymous

At the risk of disappointing you enormously…

…I must tell you I’m not really anonymous!

You know me. In fact, we’re from the same town. In fact, I taught two of your delightful children.

(Not that my identity changes the fact that I loved your poem and your story about your street!)

29 05 2003
jeannedamoff

Do I have to choose one or the other?

Aw, c’mon . . . PLEEZ can’t I be a teacher AND thuper thmart?

Before I answer your question, I’ll tell you about a recent encounter. I was introduced to a friend’s brother, and his first question was, “What do you do?” I paused, then said, “Do?” Then I just started laughing as he watched me in quiet confusion.

So, this is the deal. I have a degree in English (and one in Sociology, and one in Social Work) and have been an English teacher in the course of my life. When my kids were young, I home schooled for three years. I’ve also taught history, music, art, Latin, and Bible. I’m not promising I taught them all WELL, but sometimes private schools are desperate, so they take what they can get, ya know? I’m currently not teaching. Not getting paid to, anyway. Wives and moms are always teaching (or–let’s be honest–“manipulating” as the case may be).

What I currently DO is create choreography for musical productions, play piano and sing at church and weddings (and anywhere else the opportunity arises), cook, clean, work out, enjoy relationships, laugh, and occasionally cry. Oh yeah . . . and I’m writing a book.

You probably just wanted a simple yes or no. I’m not great at those. :o)

Thanks for the compliments! I’ll try really hard not to take them the wrong way. EZ

29 05 2003
ilitherian

Re: At the risk of disappointing you enormously…

hmmm now I’m intrigued…

even though you probably didn’t teach me otherwise i think a word other than “delightful” would have been used…

love,
luke

29 05 2003
jeannedamoff

Okay, the cat is dying here…

Hmmm. I know you. Same town. Taught my children. My delightful children, no less. That narrows it down to, oh, about fifty people or so.

I have no clue, but I’m truly glad you loved the poem and story. And I don’t mind having fans that I “know” but don’t know, if you follow me.

I’m not disappointed, enormously or otherwise. Have a great day, dear fan o’ mine. EZ

29 05 2003
Anonymous

Pish tosh!

You’re quite delightful. Not to say I never begged you to be still for a couple of minutes!

29 05 2003
Anonymous

Good point.

At least 50.

I’m glad you couldn’t figure it out immediately. I rather enjoy being mysterious! I may not give you any more hints for a while.

When you write your book, I want to read it. You’re a very good writer!

29 05 2003
ragamuffen

Re: Do I have to choose one or the other?

Apparently, YOU can be both!! Wow. Color me both impressed and intimidated!

29 05 2003
jeannedamoff

Be ye not afraid!

Oh, believe me, I’m far from intimidating. Ask Luke. No one around here seems overly impressed either. And I can’t remember ever being accused of being thuper thmart by anyone but you. (That’s why I like it here so much!) I just sound good on paper. That’s all.

But I do like to color! So let’s pick out a more realistic shade, since impressed and intimidated just won’t do. Dahling, I see you in something lovely and endearing, eye-catching but not overly flamboyant, sincere, pleasant, comfy, and cute. Yes, it’s YOU!

29 05 2003
allenb

I hear Jean Crupa started out much the same way …

WOW! What a well spun yarn!! This was great! Although … I’m not sure the actual events were quite as much fun as they were happening. lol. Wow… an anonymous fan! I don’t have one of those! Mine says “Windmaster” on it.

Great yarn!

A.

29 05 2003
jeannedamoff

Epilogue

Thank you kindly, sir.

Yeah, the actual events were rather horrifying. Especially with young children around. I cringe at some of those memories! Thankfully, Caveman disappeared shortly after the bongo incident. He was a bonafide transient. Couldn’t stay anywhere too long. Luna moved out eventually, too. She left with two rough looking characters in a beat-up motor home. Her grown daughter came and confiscated the furniture from the house. (Delightful family they were!) I heard that the inside had to be painted again, because someone had drawn lewd pictures on the walls. (Big surprise there!)

When it was all over, we celebrated with tambourines, dancing, and joyful shouting. Well, okay, we didn’t have any tambourines. And we kept the shouting under control. But we were HAPPY!

Thanks for reading! Have a pleasant night. EZ

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