Barney Fife with a Baton

You know my mood about this apartment the last couple of weeks has already been sour. Phillip comes home. I’m busy knitting up some socks (yes, Mr. BROWN’S socks). We do our usual, “How was your day?” And we start chit chatting about this and that, the “whats” and whos” and all that sort of thing that you do. Now, Phillip works with a much younger crowd. Phillip is about 20 years older than the average cook he works with. He’s always coming home with weird stories about irresponsibility and “those damned kids.” Seems the generation behind mine has no sense of reason, there is no weighing of actions, no repercussions for doing anything bad. Why would they? They were all given trophies, they were all told they were special, doted on, never disciplined with a quick smack upside the head and called “dumbass” (thank you Red Forman!)  for doing something wrong. No, they’ve coasted for two decades, never being held accountable for anything they’ve done.

(Yes, I know we sound like two old men). HOWEVER!

Right then, just as we’re talking, out the living room window we see some young, dumb 20 something walk into our back yard with a skateboard, pull out his whizzer and take a piss! In our back yard! WHAT??? WHAT???

I’m dressed in my pajamas, flanneled up because it’s cold, haven’t shaved (cuz I have no photo shoots at the moment), my glasses atop my head. I wasn’t going to tolerate this. Not for anything. I’m already MAD at this apartment, what now? So, it sprung to mine. I have this bitchin’ baton I keep by the bed for protection. You know, in case an intruder comes in the middle of the night and Phillip won’t wake up. I dashed for the bedroom, grabbed that damned thing, walked out the front door holding it high above my head, and in the sternest voice I could muster said, “Don’t ever come back here again. Do you understand me?” I was trying a jedi kinda voice, you know what I mean?

Man, oh, man. My attempt at being forceful and aggressive just came across as…..well, Barney Fife with a baton. I wasn’t fooling anyone. I looked like a tiny little old man, waving a big stick, and my alleged stern voice (I will admit) sounded like a grumbly, croaky “get off my lawn.” I didn’t sound like Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino,” I sounded like Kermit the Frog going, “ARRRGHHH!” while waving his tiny little puppet arms.

The skateboard guy (not a kid!) was in no way intimidated. He just walked by me nonchalantly and said kinda flatly, “….whatever,” and kept going.

I crept back inside and looked at Phillip and said, “YOU! WALL OF A MAN! YOU should have gone out there and given him a piece of your mind!”

He said, “Baby, you’re small, but your quick. You were way ahead of me before I knew what you were doing.”

What in the world has happened to people these days, young people especially? I’ll just walk up and piss in someone’s back yard….no big deal….I don’t care….ain’t my lawn. Oh, look….skinny old man is mad at me….whatever.

No respect for other people’s things, lives. No courtesy. No manners. No respect. And most certainly no idea of accountability.

Now, this sort of behavior can happen in the real world, out there, where I don’t care. Do what you will. Let your chips fall where they may. But, in my back yard? With your whizzer??? No. Won’t accept it.

Our lease is up in August. I want out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. And if “TENANTS” is a bestseller then I’m free and clear. And dammit, I can do it. I know I can. It really is one helluva little book. Has great potential. BEAUTIFUL potential. And I’ve got marketing ideas that are off and unusual, but rolling them out little by little. (I don’t have the mass fortunes that other’s have for marketing. I have to do this guerrilla style).

Now, I had thought an awful lot (and asked all of you) whether there should be a prequel or a sequel to “TENANTS.” And the answer was clear. BOTH. The prequel will come first. I’ve already started work on it. It’s called “DUPLEX.” And the sequel will come after. I already have the last scene clear in my head. I’m calling that book “EVICTION.” (oh, I can’t wait for you to read that last scene….You are gonna CRY YOUR EYES OUT).

But, I need “TENANTS” to go big first. REALLY big. This little book could just save Barney Fife’s skinny little butt.

You can read “TENANTS” in paperback, on Kindle, or hear it on Audible by clicking here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go ask Phillip if he can open this jar of pickles for me….

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  1. My daughter runs into a lot of prejudice because of her age. She also works in the food industry, and her last job she was manager of the back of the house. She worked hurt ass off. We’re talking 80 hour weeks. She quit to work less hours but has a reputation as a great worker and chef. So, I did something right there. Not all millennials are lazy 🤗

  2. I work at a high school and even in the 20 odd years I have been there the behaviour has got so much worse, I am the little old lady spoiling their fun, I tell them to pick up rubbish and be quiet! sadly they laugh and come at me (well they dont twice!) I am a fat little old lady and my baton is sarcasm. Banter be damned, I will flay them!
    I may add my oldest is a chef at the local town in the main hotel, he works in a very mixed group some much older and and down to some straight from school each day! sadly the manager is young to me! My son started as a KP doing dishes and worked his way to a station in three years. He is hard working and kind, there is I may add a high turn over of some staff, you either stay or you only stop for a few weeks!

  3. I was thinking you could have taken a photo and put it up with “Wanted for Toilet Training”… then I remembered that taking that kind of photo can get you into all sorts of trouble – and you don’t want to be known in the neighbourhood as ‘That guy who takes photos of kids, erm, only part-dressed…’ although a friend of ours put the fear of God into some chap by ‘taking a photo’ of him & his truck – with her cordless house phone – you know, the kind without a camera or screen… Perhaps a Barney Fife impression is a safer option in the short-term, unless he offends again & you decide a hosepipe is a better option!

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