I’ve Died and Gone to Suburbia

Let me tell you how fantastic the 4th of July weekend was around our neighborhood.   Almost every house on our block had firecrackers and about every other house had the super big cannon ones that should be sold only to those with a license to own an automatic weapon.   Chris and I just sat on our back deck and watched all the neighborhood kids try to blow their brother’s hands off.   I loved it!   And it reminded me of how different this Land o’ Stratford is compared to the arm pitt that is New Haven (and by arm pitt I mean threshold of hell).   In Stratford these loud booms went off and Chris and I clapped and cheered.   In New Haven whenever something boomed loudly it was usually followed by someone yelling, “He’s got a gun!”

Today at work I got an email from the Yale Chief of Police saying that there had been an attempted KIDNAPPING in New Haven just down the street from where I used to live at 1:30 PM today.   1:30 PM.   As in broad daylight 1:30 PM.   Two guys in a van pulled up to a woman on the street and demanded she get into their van.   Thankfully the woman had the good sense to pass up the ride of death and hauled booty in the other direction.   In Stratford, this would not happen.   So far I have seen a total of 3 vans in my neighborhood.   One is from the 1980s and is driven by a 16 year old kid who had the teenage sensibilities to put rims on his mom’s old van.   One is parked next door and totes around our adorable neighbors who are 4 and 5 years old and have an apparent intoxication with bottle rockets which we found all over our deck this morning…strange.   And the other belongs to a mom who has about at least 17 teenage sons which she is constantly chauffeuring around.   She always looks scared.   Or hysterical.   I’m not sure which.   Whenever I see her van coming I just want to throw a cup of coffee and some eye liner at her.   But still, these are the people that are supposed to be driving vans.   Vans are for making out and ballet lessons, not for drive-bys and lame attempts at kidnapping.

Another thing I love about Stratford are the birds.   In New Haven there were squirrels the size of small children walking around.   And these weren’t normal nut-collecting furry friends.   These were carnivorous, steak-eating, trash-digging, ankle-biting squirrels.   Here in Stratford, the squirrels are much more normal sized and are far outnumbered by the birds.   My dogs think they have died and gone to suburbia heaven, too.   No more tucking and running when a squirrel-like beast strolls into the backyard.   Now, they frolic.   They actually frolic.   One morning I fully expect to look out my kitchen window and see Molly sitting in the yard with a sparrow on her shoulder and a little squirrel at her side.

Oh suburbia, I adore thee.

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