by Slo Mo
Dog and I have some new neighbors, and their last name is... Bollock.
(Note to American readers and other wildlife: "Bollocks!" is a British expletive which makes gleeful, scoffing reference to bull testicles. It's the same as saying "horseshit!", but with fewer slaps on your wrist from upstanding citizens and/or little old ladies who may be within earshot.)
Don't worry, I haven't joined the Welcome Wagon or anything friendly like that. I only learned about the neighbors because the doorbell rang last week and it was Captain FedEx.
(Note to UPS customers: This isn't a cheap plug for any particular courier company. It just happened to be Captain FedEx - maybe next week I'll see the UPS guy in his droopy, dung-brown uniform. There's always hope.)
Please keep in mind that my mail deliveries are, as a rule, embarrassingly lean. So when I thought there was a special overnight package just for ME, well I got waaay excited. Even, perhaps, more excited than Dog, who loves nothing more than a plump, juicy delivery man for his mid-morning snack.
(Note to personal injury lawyers and other scam artists: Dog has never, while under my care, caused actual harm or injury to another person. But don't push your luck.)
Plus, this was Captain FedEx, he of the bulging muscles and cute little navy shorts and bronze skin and twinkly eyes. He's like a Ken doll come to life, but with a much better anatomy AND his lips move.
(Note to gay rights advocates: If you prefer to visualize a Billy doll, go right ahead. Dog and I are all for equal opportunity fantasies.)
So anyway, I opened the door, all breathless and flustered, and the first thing out of the guy's mouth was, "Bollock?" I've never heard it expressed as a question before, let alone in the singular, so I countered with, "You mean bollocks?" To which he replied, "Yeah, sign here." I looked at the clipboard he'd pushed in my hand and it had a waybill addressed to the house next door, with the name at the top reading Mr. B. A. Bollock. "Sorry, I misunderstood. You want that house across the street, the one with the moving truck and the minivan in the driveway."
(Note to immature people like me: My new neighbor's name is Mr. Be-A-Bollock AND he drives a minivan! Ha, ha, ha!)
But instead of, like, doing his damn job, Captain FedEx just dropped the package on my welcome mat and said, "Take it over to them, will ya? I'm behind schedule." Then he walked away. I almost shook my fist and shouted, "Lazy bastard!", but then I remembered I shouldn't judge until I've walked a mile in his clunky shoes. Besides, I'm told things are pretty busy for those guys now, what with all their extra drug smuggling activities and everything.
(Note to FedEx employees: Everyone knows y'all got busted in N.Y.! Bite me!)
So there I was, standing barefoot in my pajamas with a package for someone else, while Dog calmed his frustrated bloodthirst by chewing on a sofa cushion. I thought about getting changed and maybe even running a comb through my hair before I headed over to meet the new neighbors, but I was already halfway out the door so I figured I'd just march down the driveway and get it over with.
That was my first mistake.
My second mistake was to knock on the Bollocks' door. Sure I could have just stuffed the package in their mailbox and scurried back to my morning coffee, no harm done, but that wouldn't have been the nice, neighborly thing to do, and after last week's mini-breakdown over the shabby state of my soul I thought it wouldn't hurt to show some love. Or at least show some good manners.
So I knocked, and in a couple of seconds the door opened and an impeccably dressed, perfectly coiffed woman (Mrs. Bollock, I presume) greeted me with pursed lips and a cold, bollocky stare. I held the package out to her and smiled. "Hi, I'm-"
But that's as far as I got with my little experiment in good manners before she cut me off and hollered over her shoulder, "Honey, there's a terribly disheveled mentally handicapped gypsy urchin on our doorstep! I think she's selling envelopes!" Then she turned back to me and barked, "How much do you want for that, dear? Hurry up. We're very busy."
Okay, so maybe I could have been gracious about it. Maybe I could have chosen to be a big girl and just laugh it off. Maybe I could have shouted, "April Fool! I'm really a millionaire super-model in disguise, and you've just won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes!" But what I actually did was this:
1) Gave Mrs. Bollock the evil eye,
2) Put a mentally handicapped gypsy curse on her and all her descendants for the next thousand years,
3) Took the FedEx package back home with me, and
4) Sent Dog out to poop all over the Bollocks' front lawn.
Thus I came to be the proud owner of a rather interesting FedEx letter from the Junior Achievement summer camp, in which it is explained that B. A. Bollock Jr. was caught in the act of "sexually defiling" himself with an archery implement and will now be sent home in disgrace, as the Junior Achievement organization wants nothing more to do with the Bollocks and their perverted progeny. Which isn't half as funny as the fact that, according to this letter, Mrs. Bollock's first name is... Iva.
(Note to Mrs. Iva Bollock: "I-have-a-bollock AND I drive a minivan!" Haaaaaaa!!!)