This is a collection of stories and articles created by writer / artist Holly Dare. All materials, including photographs, on this blog are copyright protected and are the sole property of the writer or original publisher. Do not steal intellectual material!

Sunday, September 1, 2002

The Old Codger - September 02

The Old Codger was a series written by the publisher of the Foothill Sentinel and was usually an opinion piece written in the voice of an elderly complainer. I filled in for the Codger on several occasions.

I got me some new neighbors who are keen on blastin’ the radio and it got me to thinkin’ bout bein’ neighborly and noise. When I get home, I don’t want to hear another soul, and darnit, shouldn’t have to!

Noise is the reason I moved to our foothills. I usta have a family whose idear of a family barbeque was 50 people. Them folks ‘ould come round bout 4 and cook, laugh and sang Opera into the wee hours. I had to leave for work about an hour after they shut up! They did dat ever day!
‘cross da street, they was a gangster hopeful who would blast that awful rap music and pace back n forth in front of his house cursing into a cell phone. What’s wrong wit his regular phone? Why did I hafta to hear all those curse words??

I got me a friend dat had a rock ‘n roller fer a neighbor dat would practice his music so loud, the winders rattled. Next door was a family who allowed their children to bounce a dern basketball, screaming at the top their lungs until midnight ‘ cause “that’s when children are supposed to go to bed.” In my day, chil’ren went to bed early to get enough sleep for school and what the heck are they screamin’ fer anyway? Why, my mama, God rest her soul, put the fear of God into me with just a look all fer raising my voice above a whisper.

So I called up Foothill Station of the LAPD and asked about noise. The desk officer there said, “ It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or exactly how loud someone is. If it’s bothering someone else, you are in violation of the law. Furthermore, if we are called out to the same location repeatedly, we can take the television, radio or even the musical instruments away.” This means, if yer too loud, yer too loud - period.

This nasty behavior has come here to da Foothills and I just don’t like it! Needless to say, my idea of a good neighbor is one ya don’t see but especially ya don’t hear. I’ve had folks tell me it is their right to play their music as loud as they want. Not so. See dem trees ova dere?? That’s where my right to peace and quiet begins. Besides, what makes ya think you’re da Disc Jockey fer the whole neighborhood? All you folks who blast your music aught to be hogtied and forced to listen to chil'ren’s singalongs for 12 hours straight!

Dear Aunt Sister - September 2002

When I wrote for the now defunct Foothill Sentinel, I was the ghost writer for the Dear Aunt Sister advice column. When writing the column, I channel my beloved aunt, born in 1913, known affectionately to her five brothers and all their offspring as "Sister." She handled everything with charm, fantastic wit and always a twinkle in her eye.

Aunt Sister:

I get so mad at people who just walk up and barge into conversations. The other day I was having an important conversation and this woman just walked up and started talking to the person I was talking to. I even said, "Excuse me, but you're interrupting." She completely ignored me and just kept talking to the other person. How do you handle people like this? Are they really just thick-headed and rude, or do they just think they're more important than everyone else?

Dear Annoyed,

Yes dear, they ARE just thick-headed and rude. It makes me wish it were acceptable to carry around duct tape to shut the traps of the offensive party. However, you know the old saying, "Do unto others..." Well, I would simply pat the thick-headed one on the arm and say, "Oh, I'm ssoooo sorry. I'm interrupting you. How rude of me!" And then, I would turn on my heels and wander off to greener pastures. Hopefully, the thick-headed one got the message. If not, you've at least had a little fun at their expense.


Dear Aunt Sister,

My friend's husband sometimes makes advances toward me, especially when he's been drinking. It's nothing really obvious that I can make a fuss over. He might stand too close, or keep complimenting me about how good I look, or kind of follow me around. What should I do?


My Dear Embarrassed,

What a predicament. You can’t exactly follow your friend around and hope she will intervene on your behalf. As my dear mother used to say, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” You need to socialize somewhere else. If this is not the solution you were hoping for… learn to take a compliment and keep backing up.