Like babies, people around here do whatever the heck they want and get a little whiny if someone tells them “no.” I was in the grocery store parking lot the other day and a big Dodge ram of a man pulled up by the woman getting out of her car next to me. He yelled at her, “If I don’t stop, you don’t pull out in front of me. Understood?” She had South Carolina plates; she was shocked. A friend of ours also told us that one of the unhinged followed him into a gas station and exclaimed furiously that our friend had cut him off. Here, people aren’t afraid to take road rage off the road.
They also do weird things to their yards and live in homes made out of Tyvek. Every neighbor on our block is working on, and often leaving unfinished, some kind of strange pet project. That white stuff is Tyvek.
One guy lives in a rickety old trailer but has a huge, shiny airplane hangar. Another has a sign by his mailbox that says “Homewood Taxidermy” and an extensive, landscaped maze in his backyard that can only be interpreted as his personal mini-golf course where you can putt the golf ball through the mouth of a taxidermed grizzly bear. Someone else is building an above-ground pool out of glass. Tons of people have tiny greenhouses that we all know are used to grow their basil and marijuana year round.
Another neighbor has this mysterious home for aliens in his yard:
Although marginal behavior usually makes me uncomfortable, it does remind me of a baby. I mean, it’s kind of cute when people build their own airplanes or want to make a swimming pool out of windows. (Though “cute” isn’t really the right word, is it?; that’s like telling Aaron he looks nice in his outfit. He hates the word “outfit.”)
Anyway, babies are crazy, too. For example, Clara’s morning ritual is to put my undergarments around her neck.
She also doesn’t mind being dressed like this, which Aaron defends as “it’s warmer this way.”
And, regardless of where we’re at, she dances whenever she hears music. This morning at the gym, she got down to John Mayer’s surprisingly explicit “You’re Body is a Wonderland.”
We’ve encouraged certain precautions against complete savagery, like loosing all of one’s teeth by the age of forty, and incorporated teeth-brushing into our bedtime routine.
Even then, Clara is convinced there are no such things as germs (she gets this from her mom) and that tooth brushes are meant to be shared. She likes to brush her dad’s teeth, too: