Won’t You Be My Neighbor…

Please think of me as this


All right, the time has come. I am ready to admit it: I’ve been posting so infrequently because I’ve been up to much bigger things as of late.
I was happy that you’ve believed I’ve been wallowing in the Will the warm weather never come? crapulence but I’m finally ready to allow that there’s a bit more than a pity party going on.
I’ve been hard at work on things which occupy most of my free time. Things which have kept me away from the keyboard. Things you might find a little surprising…
How I would love for you to think I’ve been scouring the planet for the source of the new and deadly strain of E. coli! Or feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, encouraging the meek! Performing anonymously generous acts of random randomness such as finding and curing the reason for Colony Collapse Disorder, and donating libraries. Ahh, yes that would be so cool. Let’s live in the moment of me donating a Trinity College Library, shall we?

In her spare time Ms. Sweetman donates Something Like The Trinity College Library!


Now that you think I donate libraries and cure incurable diseases it’s time to confess to my true actions of late: I have made the singular and sole purpose of my existence to become The Absolute Worst Neighbor That Ever Lived. Period.
My horrific neighbor status had humble beginnings. We moved in on Memorial Day weekend over three years ago when everyone was away, therefore, the neighbors had no idea when we showed up. We weren’t an unusual family–both adults worked, we had one kid in school, one kid in college. We did have a strange terrier who glowered malevolently yet silently at the neighbors but at some point we got another terrier who barked at everyone. Which made every dog within four blocks a barking maniac. The peaceful neighborhood turned into a bark-fest in early mornings, during family cookouts, when people strolled down the street, if someone within earshot of any dog coughs into a hankie…

The usual perch for indoor barking.


Because we humans are guests on the Dog-Ruled Planet, I’m certain I could easily get away with the barking dogs as just a mere annoyance. And I honestly tried to operate within the constraints of being merely annoying until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to take it up a few notches.
In my mad rush to work I was backing (make that speeding backwards while turning on the radio) down the driveway, I plowed into our neighbors car. It looked like it was rammed by an elephant with a huge dent in the rear quarter panel.
I woke them up at 6:30 in the morning (correction: woke them for the second time a 6:30–the dogs got them up at 5:00) to say I’d hit their car. They were very gracious but slightly wary after they saw the size and depth of the dent. We’ve handled it in a very neighborly way with me apologizing endlessly, emptying the checking account to pay for it and hearing the blast of an air horn signal whenever I turn onto our street–it’s the warning to their kids to run for shelter when I show up in a car.

Hey neighbor, I think I dinged your car. Didn't see you parked behind me!


I guess I can’t be happy with the honor of making others duck and cover when I’m driving on our street. I really wanted to reign supreme and become The Bad Neighbor reference on Wikipedia. Well, I’m happy to report that the antics of last week may have landed me that honor.
Last week my bandit backyard bees swarmed right into our neighbor’s tree.
The neighbor who hates bees.
The neighbor who predicted this very disaster when she found out I keep bees.
Evidently they heard a noise like a cargo plane landing in their back yard and looked out to find a 10 pound ball of bees hanging off a branch of a tree that’s right next to their swing set.

Oh come on, that's not a swarm! It's just a few bees!


My insides dropped when I saw the swarm. After I stopped pulling my hair out and screaming, Why, why, what THAT tree, you stupid bees!!!! I called my bee-guy friend who came right over and helped me capture the swarm. I discovered it wasn’t just one but TWO swarms in their tree, which is amazing if you’re a beekeeper but awful if you’re a beekeeper who lives next to someone who hates your bees.
Thankfully it has been relatively quiet since the bee disaster. Things are actually pretty good between me and the neighbors–they were very happy with my quick response.
It makes me wonder if they really thought I’d just scratch my belly and say, “Them ain’t my bees!” and walk away when they called to say they had an emergency in the back yard.
I am using this peaceful time to think of ways to be a better neighbor and to pray that no one in the area decides to flush one of these down the toilet because I am certain everyone would blame me.

Blame Sweetman for the 'gator in the sewer!

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
This entry was posted in blogging, Blogroll, cautionary tales, Dogs, essay, family, humor, Observations, pets, society, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Won’t You Be My Neighbor…

  1. Seasweetie says:

    I am delighted that you haven’t lost your sense of humor – you can come “bee” my neighbor anytime!

  2. chlost says:

    Oh, my! That is a LOT of bees. Did all of these things happen to the same neighbor?
    Perhaps you can smooth over the neighbors’ feathers by inviting them to a cook out or something……well, maybe not-if the bees might swarm again.

    Enjoy your summer. Wish I could get some honey from those bees.

    • sweetman says:

      Fortunately (or unfortunately for my reputation) it was 2 separate neighbors.
      I’m moving my bees which will give us all a better peace of mind although I’ll miss seeing them every day quite a bit.
      I hope you have a great summer too Chlost! We’ll see how much honey these bees make at the end of the season!

  3. You do have some seriously bad luck! Although I’ve also backed right into a neighbor’s *&^#!!& car in our apartment parking lot, and had to pay a ton of cash for the damage.

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