Tales from next door

Monday, August 28, 2006


Today, in a rare turn of events, it is MINW's turn in the Idiot spotlight.

It was Friday night, and we were just sitting down for dinner, when, like clockwork, the doorbell rings. And neither MIN nor MINW are ones for ringing the doorbell just once. Oh no. The button just begs to be jabbed half a dozen times in quick succession when they want our attention. It's charming.

My husband goes to the door, opening it to a hysterical MINW, whose husband, MIN, is away for the weekend. "I NEED YOU TO COME OVER RIGHT NOW" she huffs out, the panic unmistakable in her voice. I freeze, thinking something terrible must have happened with the new baby, and my husband runs out the door. Meanwhile, MINW, red, crying and shaking, explains the emergency: "There's a cockroach in my apartment."

A cockroach.

My husband backs up into our apartment to grab a shoe (because he's much nicer than me -- this is where I would have backed up into our apartment ... to slam the door in MINW's face). Then MINW shrieks something about how he can't kill the roach, not in her apartment. Because when you come to your neighbor's house declaring an "emergency" that turns out to be a fucking bug, you should definitely be picky about what form that help takes. So my husband (again, nicer than I am) rummages around to find something he can rig up to capture and then free the roach. MINW, meanwhile, waits in our doorway, whining about how she keeps her apartment clean and how could this happen and why, etc. All while her baby is left alone inside her place, at the mercy of the cockroach, I guess.

My husband goes over there and gives it the old college try, but the cockroach skitters off, defiantly refusing to be captured. My husband, even his infinite-seeming good nature having run out, shrugs and leaves, with a pointed reminder to MINW that we had early morning plans the next day, so any other "emergencies" brought to our door would be severely frowned upon. Thankfully, she apparently suffered the rest of her ordeal -- because a cockroach in one's home is such an ordeal -- in silence. The next day, she went parasailing.

I don't even try to understand anymore.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Oh yes, the crazy is returning, slowly but surely. There are reports from my husband that MIN came over yesterday to show him something on YouTube. He sat at my husband's laptop and began loading up the YouTube thingy as my husband sat nearby doing something very important. And by that I mean "playing a video game."

Lining up YouTube thingys to show someone else is hard work, of course, and sometimes you just need the pause that refreshes. For MIN, that pause entails picking at his toes. So he sits back for a moment, lost in thought, picking between his toes. And then he goes back to the laptop, now with toe-cheese hands. Mmmm!

MIN, you see, has a history of toe picking. When he comes over, he's usually barefoot -- not all that strange since we live in next-door apartments that open into an indoor hallway. One time, he came over and sat on the couch for a while watching some movie on TV with my husband. My husband reports this was going reasonably well, so he even offered up a bag of Doritos for movietime snacking. The bag was being passed back and forth, as apparently happens when dudes share snack food (girls, you see, tend to dump the chips into a bowl), when MIN decided to have at his toes. He did several minutes of intense inter-toe digging, and then -- to my husband's horror -- goes right for the Doritos. Now, my husband is not one to pass up Doritos -- just because one falls on the floor doesn't mean he'll give up on it. But in this case, he had no problem saying no to any further Dorito consumption. Because he prefers his Doritos without cheese.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


It's not out of laziness that there's been a several weeks' posting drought here. Surprisingly, it's lack of material. We saw a decent bit of MIN after the baby was born, but all the interactions were startling normal ... a few of them almost, well, pleasant. For a minute there, we were starting to think he was a changed man.

But lately there have been hints of a backslide -- bad news for reality, but good news for the blog. Much like animals can sense some subtle change in the earth's magnetism before an earthquake, I am sensing a return to crazy, though I can't point to any specific events that justify the feeling. Just trust me.

I think there will be more stories soon. And if not, we'll just take a little peek into the archives of our history with MIN and get things rolling again.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


The spawn of MIN has arrived. I have not yet gotten to meet him, but early reports say he does not have multiple heads or an Xbox-controller-shaped hand as I'd feared. Which of course is good news. The poor kid is gonna have a hard enough time of it as it is, so it's good he doesn't have any other setbacks to contend with right off the bat.

The question now is whether MIN is a changed man after a life-altering event such as this. We shall see ... however, I have a feeling that there will be many more posts to this blog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Another day, another note on the door from MIN. This one, found by my husband this afternoon, said: "I have something to show you."

Their car had been gone all day, and there had been yesterday's contractions, of course, so my husband thought surely this time we must be talking about a baby, or at least a picture of the baby, or maybe a trip to the hospital to see the baby.

Wrong again.

As my husband found out when he knocked next door (because we knock, see) , MIN wanted to show of his bouncing new bundle of ... Xbox live service, of course!

My husband politely (because he's nicer than me and can manage to be polite most times) declined, explaining that he had homework to do for his graduate work. This provoked the dreaded MIN pout. That's really the subject of a whole 'nother post, the pouting, so I will just briefly explain by asking you to picture a seven-year-old who's just been told he can't go to the county fair as planned because it's hailing outside. And yes, that means no cotton candy today, either. Now, take that pout, kind of heartbreaking but cute on a seven-year-old, and imagine it on a 25-year-old (alleged) man. Go ahead, let it sink in. I'll wait.



MIN tries again, as he is wont to do, claiming it'll only take a second ... "if [MINW] will let me."

And from here I'll let my husband pick up the story, because it really needs that first-person touch to adequately convey the horror. From the e-mail my husband sent me right after this happened ...

"I hear from the living room a rather weak and annoyed but forceful nonetheless 'No, [MIN].' He replies to the pregnant [MINW] voice: 'I know you don't have pants on, but this will just take a second.'

I excuse myself as quickly as I can and lock the door behind me.
This keeps getting creepier and creepier. "

Doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


My Idiot Neighbor's wife is pregnant with their first child. Verrrrry pregnant. Her due date was last week, and yesterday she started having contractions. So when I came home from work and could see a note on our door from all the way down the hall, I figured I must be in store for some baby-related news.

Not so.

The note, upon closer inspection, said in big scrawly lettering:


Which means, as I came to understand, that he was at the store buying said Xbox 360 while his wife was having contractions.

I had had enough time to make dinner, eat, and let the amazing idiocy of the situation sink in when there came a knock on the door (a grand change from the bad old days of when he used to barge right in without knocking, you see). It was MIN, incredibly excited.

"Come see it, come see it!" he said, in usual his endearing way of talking through me to address my husband.

He was not talking about a baby.

We went over, my husband because his inner geek would not allow him to refuse, and me because I wanted to see how MIN's wife (MINW) was doing.

She was in bed, you know, contracting, as well as being completely ignored by her husband, MIN. While MIN gushed on about his new toy (showing us wildly innovating features such as "play CD" and "pause game"), MINW's visiting mother was making MINW some food and keeping an eye on her. Because god forbid MIN suspend play of the college fund payment -- I mean Xbox -- to do so low-tech a task.

And I realize that this post has turned kind of sad, not so much funny. But so it goes with MIN. Sometimes you just have to laugh, but mostly you feel more like crying. Or punching him directly in the face.

But lest I leave you bummed out, here's a funny: The baby is not here yet (but I'm thinking that's gonna change any second now), but when it does arrive, MIN will be prepared. When my husband recently asked him how he felt about the impending new arrival -- scared? nervous? -- MIN replied: "Well, it's just a baby. It's not like it's going to change anything!"


We have an idiot neighbor.

Yes yes, don't we all?

But our idiot neighbor is special. So special that we are devoting a blog to him and his unique outlook on life. Through the lens of My Idiot Neighbor (heretofore refered to as MIN), we shall explore the art of barging in, the hidden potential of toe-cheese as a foodstuff, the Zen of being an ass to your wife, and the glory of having hobbies such as Dungeons and Dragons when you are (allegedly) a grown man.

Who this is, and where this is, are not important. What is important is that we recognize that maybe, just maybe, there's a little idiot neighbor in all of us. Or at least right next door.