Tuesday, May 31, 2011

That's kinda creepy. And also misses an important point.

Geiger Counter Guy has a couple of neighbors who aren't my very favorite people. He's an ex-cop, she's nosy and talkative. Lately I've been spending a lot of time in her presence, since she works part-time for GC Guy. Their house overlooks GC Guy's yard, and whenever I've been doing something in his yard I've had the feeling - paranoia, I'm sure - that I'm being watched. I don't like that feeling, which is why I live so far back in the boonies.

A few days ago, in the morning before entering Geiger Counter Central, she verified that feeling for me. She showed up shortly after I did and immediately started chattering. "I told [ex-cop] that I didn't know whether I should go down, because it seemed a little early. But he said, 'Well, I see Joel down there smoking a cigarette, so I guess it's okay." I hate that.

Today I learned I'm something of a topic of conversation at Casa De Ex-Cop. A few days ago I was shooting the breeze with GC Guy while we were working, about how M and I had set the long rifle range back up but we both needed to learn how to dope the wind because beyond three hundred yards we were sorta relying on luck. And this morning Nosy Neighbor came in and announced that Ex-Cop had made me a gift.

A gift? For me? I don't think I've passed half a dozen words with the guy in going on five years. Well, except for that time that he came to the property on "official business" and Fritz bit him. That time he reached for his holster before recalling he was surrounded by armed people, and came very close to death. We're not good friends.

But sure enough, she hands me a DVD that's hand-labeled, "Reading the wind in long-distance shooting."

Thoughtful, I suppose. Ironic in ways I don't choose to explicitly express here. But thoughtful. Still, it creeps me out that everything I say and do at GC Central goes back to the cop.


Anonymous said...

Hey Joel,

"keep your friends close and your enemies closer" -Yassaar Arafaat

That's an internet quote you might think of from time to time.

Very nice of EX-cop to help with windage, especially since he lives over 300 yards away.

Matt said...

I learned a long time ago that I am being watched. The watchers might not comment, but they are watching. I also learned a long time ago to live like no one is watching and how to disappear when I need to.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, telling somebody to mind their own business is your right, even if it will be perceived as rude, paranoid, and weird.

On the other hand, blogging about it, without telling them about it to their face, is a bit passive aggressive or something. Deal with it, or keep quiet about it.

Don't you think that they read your blog? If they don't, do you think that they might start? Will they be (more) suspicious of you once they read this post? Do you sound a bit more like the Unabomber now than you did yesterday?

Nosy neighbors are both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because they can check on you when you don't show up ("Are You OK?"), and a curse, because they will know when you have "company" overnight, and can spread the gossip around town. A blessing because they may be tied in to the local network, and can connect you to the guy with the transmission for your old wreck, and a curse because you just can't get them to butt out.

It's just how life is these days - even for a hermit.

Carl Bussjaeger said...

Could be that XC wants to make nice. OTH, I remember how creeped out I was when the wanna-be politician, whom I'd never given my physical address, mailed me a gift issue of Reason. (Yeah, I know how he got the addy, but it was still weird... especially since he was running as a Libertarian.) (And no, Anon, I'm not being passive aggressive; I only blogged it after the clueless one couldn't take subtle hints in email exchanges, like, "STOP MAILING ME SHIT!")

Bob B. said...

Joel I know how you feel. At least I think I do......maybe it's that I empathize with you. anyway my life is my own, it is not a subject of conversation for nosey people. Then you get married, at least in my case. Then the nosey, controlling, condescending in laws arrive. that was a source of constant friction for years. after our kids were born, my wife saw them for the toxic people they are. I always wanted to scream "I told you so". Nosey people don't have any respect for others. I don't believe they have much respect for themselves. The tough part for me was to learn to edit what i said before it came out of my mouth. How do you keep a secret? You don't tell anybody, or at least be aware of who you are saying it around.

Jac said...

Ugh... would creep me out, too.