Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brass Balls

Where do people get the nerve? That's what I'd like          to know. Over the years we have had several strange people who want to impose on us. I don't know why, but they do and it's not even people that we know. I don't know their names or know where they live and, like Rhett Butler, "frankly, my dear I don't give a damn." Strangers would come knocking on our door and ask to use our telephone.

We have had numerous people come to our door expecting me to let them use the telephone. It was really creepy to let strangers into my home when I was alone. I finally bought a cordless telephone so I wouldn't have to let these strangers into my house.

Every time anyone asked to use the phone they have said it was because they were having some trouble and needed to call someone. Well hell, pardon my French, but if they are having trouble in their homes I sure don't need them bringing it over here. I've got troubles of my own and I sure as heck don't go running around the neighborhood when I am in a crisis trying to get my neighbors to help me. They probably wouldn't anyway.

My family was in the living room watching TV and I was in the kitchen when we heard somebody knocking on the outside door of the house one time. Our friends know to come on into the porch and knock on the inside door. That was my first clue. I turned on the outside light and looked out to see who was out there. I saw a stranger.

A young woman stood outside. She asked me to let her use the telephone. I scowled at her and reluctantly growled, "Well, okay." I turned to go get the phone to take to the porch but she followed me into the living room and took the phone from my hand. She said the line was busy and she asked if she could stay here until the line wasn't busy. She told me she had been throwing up and some guy had been putting the make on her while she was puking. Can you imagine? Anyway, she said that she had been having trouble and needed to call someone for a ride. I think she had been drinking or something. She might have been one of the neighborhood crack hos. I don't know.

I was really pissed. I told her that I really didn't want her waiting around to use the telephone. I said "I'd like to know why everybody seemed to think this was some kind of open house where they could stop in and use the phone and ask for a drink of water." I said that because she had the nerve to ask me to pour her a glass of water while she was standing there. I told her "I might as well since everybody in the world seemed to think this was some kind of restaurant or something." She kept talking about being sick until I finally told her, sarcastically, that really made me want to let her use my phone. I told her that it looks like strangers who didn't even know us but who thought it was perfectly fine to come by wanting to borrow something ought to have the decency to come by when they weren't wanting something to meet me and my family and maybe buy honey from us. We sold honey and had a great big old sign by the road when we had honey for sale. She finally handed me the glass and the telephone and said she would leave. She never did answer my question.

Oh yeah, I don't want to forget to mention that she came by that same summer while Donny and I were struggling to lift and carry the huge storm windows off of the windows so that I could clean them and put them back up. She came up to the door and asked to use the phone. Donny gave the phone to her and she stood out front, in our way, while she was trying to call somebody. She could see we were very busy. I was on the makeshift scaffold cleaning the windows when she asked me for a glass of water. I got her a glass of water but I was pissed to think that some kook would be bothering me when it was obvious that I was busy and didn't need to have her here. I'm just too nice, I guess. I was more pissed that I didn't run her off.

I'd like to know why everybody seems to think that anything we've got we should share with them. I wouldn't mind so much if it was friends or relatives but these people are crazy. God knows what they are into. There are lots of loonies around here. I did help friends and neighbors sometimes but they didn't usually bother the crap out of me, either. They knew better. "Neither a borrower, nor a lender, be." I remember Daddy and PawPaw shared tools but PawPaw had most of the tools and Daddy did most of the work on the farm. It was communal living because we lived by my grandparents and my aunts. We never borrowed from the neighbors, though, because they weren't kin. That would be presumptuous and rude.

One time I got so tired of strangers coming and asking to use the telephone that I put a sign on the door that said "Phone Calls $5 - Emergency Only" and people quit coming for a while. That worked okay until God finally blew the storm door off the hinges! Honest. A real strong storm came up and blew the storm door off the hinges. I was amazed. It was a flimsy door but it shouldn't have blown off the porch. I figured it was God's way of telling me to be nice. I didn't put the sign back up again. I don't want God to blow the porch away next time.

I don't mind helping anybody who honestly needs help. There is always somebody who's car breaks down and they pull over near the church across the street. I can see that people like that are probably on the up and up. That's when I don't mind lending my cordless phone. But I don't want to get into some no-account neighbor's problems, who may be sick and breathing germs on my phone, exposing my family to god knows what. They can go bother someone else. I truly believe that we meet angels, unaware, but I don't like being taken advantage of and I don't have to put up with it.


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