html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Nancy Drew, II

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nancy Drew, II

Remember last time, when I was all "intriguing mystery of who works downstairs from us!!!!!" and we speculated a lot and then I just asked them and it was boring?! Let's do it again!

The house diagonally across from me and one over has never been occupied in the eight years I've lived here. (The house diagonally across from me and one over in the other direction was the site of a murder. I was sleeping when my ex ran into the room shouting "Stay down!" and I immediately sat up to flashing lights through the windows. A person had waited in the driveway for my across and one over neighbor to come home, shot and killed him, and left. The neighbor owned a couple tattoo shops in town, so people said knowingly that he ran with a rough crowd. I haven't heard that they caught the shooter.) A few times a year, an older Asian-Am couple will show up and spend a few hours in the driveway breaking down cardboard boxes. That's it.

Except! Just now, while I was raking, a big black car pulled up in front of the empty house and laid on the horn. (When my sister lived in the LBC, we started calling blasting your car horn 'ringing the doorbell'.) The car revved its huge throbbing engine, rang the doorbell again, threw it into reverse and then pulled forward over the grass island onto the curb. It revved in front of the stairs to the empty house, reversed again and drove off the curb. It was strange and felt menacing.

My neighbors directly across from me came to their porch. They're pretty awesome. I think of myself as a good porch-sitter, but they are dedicated. They held all-nighters every other week or so all summer, just for the mild silky breeze, and I say respect. We did the eye-contact and shrugging. Who was that black car? Why is that house always empty? Is the answer to completely eliminate cars? I think so.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LBC? Please explain.

I live in a not-so-great apartment complex with extraordinarily thin walls (normal speaking tones outside can be heard.) I am stunned at how many people 'ring the doorbell'. My neighbors can be awful, awful, awful.

As for the weird house, clearly it now belongs to the Chinese Mafia. Just like all US Treasuries in 30 years.

-K.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Long Beach, of course.

We even know that in Australia...

:)

10:20 PM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

Clearly, a mob informant, who knew better than to throw his lot in with the witness protection program, is hiding in the basement. The mob wants to make it known that they know he is there and they will find him if he moves and so he better re-think that testimony. Clearly.

I don't even see why this is a mystery? Sheesh.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Holy cow. That is terrifying.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous shannon said...

One of the murdered neighbor's friends probably smoked too much, decided to go see a movie, and thought, "Hey, let's pick up Jack on the way."

9:04 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Tom:
It wasn't that terrifying, 'cause I was sorta down the block. It was disturbing enough that I shouted to Ali to call 911 as soon as he hopped the curb. She got a recording, telling her to press 1 if it was really an emergency, by which time they'd already driven off.

You know what would be useful? If I did productive things like try to figure out what kinda car it was or look at the license plate.

You guys are good explainers.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have assumed someone got the wrong address, and went to the wrong house. Or, someone is still taking care of the property, and the car came by to pick him up.

Justin

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justin has it right, the car thing probably isn't a big deal. What is a much more significant issue is why the house has remained vacant for 8+ years. The only semi-reasonable explanation I can think of is that the owner is in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, and family members are waiting for him or her to die before selling the property. It's a stretch, though, as not many people spend 8+ years in a nursing home, and in any event it's unlikely that the owner's family would have let it go this long.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

10:53 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Justin and Peter:

I dunno. I'm not accustomed to people driving their cars directly up the curb, over the grass and onto the sidewalk to pick people up. But perhaps they do things differently where you're from.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in highschool, there were a bunch of people hanging out in front of my house, one of my friends was just driving up when he saw his g/f standing in my front yard, he floored it up over the curb, through my yard, around a tree, chasing his g/f.

Justin

11:30 AM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

Justin,

I know it makes me a total party pooper, but that kind of shit is why I think that no one should be allowed to drive except in tunnels deep underground.

No single object (guns? nope.) comes close to killing as many people annually as the automobile and yet we act like that is funny. It isn't any more funny than waving a loaded gun around is. It is fucked up.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

God knows cars are scary enough when people are simply being careless with them. When drivers are also being reckless, they're a disaster waiting to happen.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad wasn't real impressed with the whole driving through our front yard thing. In fact, he was quite angry.

But, whatever, we were probably about 17.

Anyway, people are going to get killed, no way around it. And, I'd much rather we let people do stupid things and kill each other than tell me it's too dangerous, and no one is allowed to do it anymore.

I'm also much more afraid of BAD drivers, than crazy drivers. People who do crazy things at least tend to know what they're doing, BAD drivers don't have any idea what's going on around them, they're the ones who scare me.

And, as far as guns, guns really don't kill many people a year, the actual stats, after you take out suicides, and self defense shootings, and the police killing people, as I recall, is only a few 1000 a year.

Justin

2:19 PM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

"I'd much rather we let people do stupid things and kill each other than tell me it's too dangerous, and no one is allowed to do it anymore."

Kill each other? knock yourself out. Put my life in danger? No way.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally, I agree with you, risk your own life however you want, just don't risk mine. But, it only works to some degree, as long as you're interacting with other people you're life is always in danger. Any activity you participate in has its risks.

I've seen skiiers hit other skiiers seriously hurting each other.

Hunters shoot each other from time to time.

Cars hit bikes and pedestrians.

Bikes hit cars and pedestrians. Getting hit with a bike can hurt. I took someone out going about 30MPH once, he didn't seem really happy about it.

Ok, a lot of people die in car wrecks, but there are a lot of cars, a lot of hours spent in cars, a lot of miles driven.

I don't like people being intentionally wreckless. I REALLY don't like drivers who are afraid to drive, who don't pay attention, or who simply just can't control a car no matter how cautious they are.

But, I just see it as a risk I accept for being on the road. Most people won't drive dangerously enough to put their own lives at risk, so most people don't drive THAT badly.

Oh well.

Justin

12:00 AM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

Except that bikes don't kill pedestrians, except in strange and bizarre circumstances. Walking down the sidewalk, standing on a friend's lawn or riding your bike on a greenway ought not to be in league with roaming the forest during hunting season or skiing.

We don't, as a society, have much respect for cars in the "I respect that this is a one ton weapon that I could kill someone with so I better be thoughtful about what I do with it."

I'm not saying that you should sit behind the wheel shaking, but we started by talking about someone who thought it was funny to drive right at someone else. Which is sort of like pointing a loaded gun at someone and flicking at the trigger.

I was sort of exaggerating about tunnels deep underground, but I do think we give over too much space to private cars instead of being a wee bit thoughtful and intentional about how we move folks around.

Sometimes, what is most convenient and expeditious for one person does cost the rest of us too much, and so as a society we don't allow it. I would like to see American cities re-think how much open-space and resources we devote to automobiles.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just love how much argument there is on urbandictionary about what LBC actually stands for.

10:11 AM  

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