Northgate Park Baptist lady
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For me the pleasure of early sitcoms is the goings on with the neighbors. Mr. Ed may feature a talking horse but the real fun is watching the talking horse's owner cope with his self-righteous and officious neighbors. Similarly in Carl Bark's stories of Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck a series of skirmishes with Neighbor Jones beats the trips to the Andes and Klondike.
We live in what is politely called a 'transitional neighborhood.' Straightforwardly: we are between mostly white and mostly black neighborhoods (that I wrote mostly instead of all is no small change).
The much better off (mostly white, naturally) Northgate Park neighborhood association leaves us their monthly leaflet. You'd think the curbside trash container that I always leave in the front yard would discourage them. I started doing that in hopes of annoying the neighbor I'm about to write about. Convenience and indolence combined to make it a habit. (Though there has been talk of the Durham City Council passing a law against having out front except on pickup day.) Really our three little streets, each one block long, are more of hangnail off Northgate Park's more spacious houses.
Three houses down from us lives Linda, the lady who put out the bit of Xmas cheer shown above. I call Linda the Bad Baptist Woman. She's a bad Baptist because she doesn't go to church. You see, she doesn't have anything to wear. You'd think there was a secret commandment saying "Thou shalt not go to church in ordinary clothes. " Would that there were, that'd cut church attendance nicely enough.
Linda watches TV preachers, gossips about her neighbors, views with alarm and calls the police.
She gossiped about us, when we moved in, something tedious about "fags." Early on she pulled up in the driveway to chat with Charles. What she said to set him off I can't recall. It made Charles tell her that he was sorry she had to leave. Linda asked what he meant. He told her because she needed to get her car out of our yard right now. Sometimes his bitchy side has its uses.
As weather allows Linda sits on her porch and watches the street. I'll allow a neighborhood watchdog can be a good thing. But a dog that barks at shadows is of scant use. Linda has called the police about many minor things. They view her as a pest. She's probably been warning them about the New World Order as well.
None of us are clear about what the NWO is up to. Probably One World Government, not sure if the UN or the Trilateral Commission are involved but I'm sure Satan is the CEO. Too much of that and the cops may discount your story of kids buying crack up at the Joy Station (a convenience store, not the whorehouse of the future).
Linda often spies at the street from behind her curtains. Probably she saw me take the picture of her sign. Wonder if she thought I did that so I could warn NWO HQ of her missionary zeal.