I’m squatting at my balcony, smoking and minding my own business. Apparently, me minding my own business does not impress on others that they had better mind their own business too because after a while, I’m hearing some high-pitched shrieking noises that won’t stop. Then I notice it’s the neighbour’s kids jumping up and down at the common backyard and screaming, Mornin’!

They seem to be looking straight at me, though I can’t be sure, as I’m badly short-sighted. I turn my head antagonistically in their direction and yell back, Morning what? The kids, pleased to have established contact, enthusiastically cry back, G’ mornin’! I grunt, I wish it were, and continue minding my own business, hoping the kids will take the cue.

They don’t. Soon they’re yelling again, We have a tiny little problem here, missus! I interpret this as an act of war and rise up to the challenge. My joints squeaking a bit, I stand up to the full extent of my medium height. I do a hair toss with the half of my head which has hair and rub thoughtfully the half of my head which is buzzed. I pet the cat sitting on my shoulder and cough up a furball.

IMG_20180507_193151-01.jpeg

How is this picture relevant to the story? I don’t know. You tell me.

While I’m preparing myself thus to confront the enemy, the kids shout that they accidentally threw a ball on the roof. I’m genuinely dumbfounded, so I say, How is that any of my problem? The boy kid says, Duh, and, Can I climb for it? I take a long draw of my cigarette in lieu of a dramatic pause. I say, I don’t know. Can you? The boy kid accepts the challenge and assures me he can.

Then it dawns on me that the kids are of the tender age when they still believe that grown-ups have answers to all the world’s problems. So I decide to take responsibility and yell at the kid that using a shopping trolley to climb somewhere isn’t a good idea because, duh, wheels. Unless you’re suicidal, of course, I add. The kid doesn’t know what suicidal means. One lucky bastard.

While I’m at it, I warn the kid that if he damages the roof, his parents are going to pay for it. Literally. Finally, I suggest that they summon their parent or legal guardian, finish my cigarette and retire, hoping the kid won’t break his neck. On the other hand, it would probably discourage him from nagging random people in the future. I’m great with kids, aren’t I?

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

13 Comments

  1. Gosh this was such a swell story, miss!

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    1. Ha! Glad you enjoyed! The kids probably enjoyed it less.

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  2. Ha ha! Wonderful rapport that you have with children, Mara. 😉 At least you spoke to them and didn’t walk away. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! Normally, I would run and hide, but since I was at home at my very own balcony, I decided to hold the post.

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  3. You did pretty good with them, Mara. It was a good choice to ask them to get a parent first. I thought at first regarding the photo, perhaps these kids were trying to railroad you!

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    1. Haha, no, the kids didn’t do anything to me, except disturbing me from my contemplation. Hopefully next time they’ll know better…

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  4. Kids always gravitate toward the cool ones blows smoke rings and nods head That’s right……

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    1. Haha 😀 You’re a cool kid. That’s the only kind I like.

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  5. Showing off your hidden talents, Mara 🙂

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  6. You did good! That sounds just like something I could have said too “unless you’re suicidal”.

    There haven’t been any kids in this building during these ten years we’ve lived here, but now there’s all of a sudden two families. One from the Ukraine. They have a little one that shrieks on the top of its lungs like … all the time! There must be something wrong with it. The mother looks like a ghost … almost transparent.

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    1. That sounds like the classic stereotype of a Slavic family… Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.

      There is a bunch of kids in my building and it’s mayhem. In turn, they’re stereotypes of neglected children of impoverished parents. I’m trying to find something nice to say – uhm, sometimes they’re funny…

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      1. The guy seems to be really perky, though. He works in the IT business … otherwise they wouldn’t be able to pay the rent here.

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