Over the years I've always seemed to have that neighbor that wasn't quite right, no matter where I've lived from Louisiana to North Dakota in Tennessee and now in Pennsylvania, that one weird neighbor will without fail seek me out and become my buddy. Sometimes against my will.
Since moving here I've gained a new off balanced buddy, he's 81 and he lives across the road with his son who I'd guess to be in his forties. Before I knew their names and relationship to each other I used to call them the Criterion brothers because they sorta reminded me of the fellas digging up mules in the movie Funny Farm. To protect their identities here I will just continue that. The Criterions first asked my daughters if they could get our phone number one day when the girls were waiting on the bus. The girls being friendly and having lived with Mennonite neighbors most of their lives gave it to them. I didn't know this.
The next thing I know I get a call. I answer and say "Hello." The voice on the other end is a gruff male voice and says "Who's this?" I said "well you called me so who are you?" He hung up. A few seconds later another call I answer with "Hello" and I'm greeted with "Who's house is this?" I answered that it was my house. The caller demanded my name and "I said you called me. You don't know who you called?" He hung up. The phone rang again and the caller said "put your husband on the phone" I said "he's not here you're stuck with me now who is this" and finally he said that he was the "Criterion brother" from across the road.
Over the past few years at least once a week I'll get a weird call, no greeting just things like, "Hey your dog followed the girls to catch the bus" "Hey did you know your daughter almost missed the bus?" "Hey it's raining" whatever strikes him he'll call state his problem and then wait just long enough for me to say ok then hang up.
Sometimes they come over, they don't knock on the door, they'll just wait for someone to open it. If you open it they don't wait to be invited in they just walk right in. The older one talks a lot the younger one usually just repeats what the older one says but more softly. We've had to mediate between them and the phone company because when his phone goes out and he calls the phone company he refuses to give them any information since "they should already know".
He went to investigate and when he opened the door and in rushed a frozen old Criterion. When we asked him what on earth he was doing out and walking at this time of night he exclaimed that he was locked out and he'd been to jail! I thought at first he was joking but he explained to us that his son had gotten sick and called his doc who sent an ambulance. When they came old Criterion refused to let them take Little Criterion to the hospital so the paramedics called the police who "arrested him for no reason". After they arrested him he was taken to the jail "to see the judge" then they had brought him back home and let him out. After they let him out he realized that they had shut the door when they took his son in the ambulance and now he was locked out. He told us this story loudly on a school night and hubby had to work in the morning. We wound up calling his landlord who was nice enough to come and unlock the door in the middle of the night. He told me that he had asked old Criterion to hide a key outside the house since this was a problem that kept coming up when I mentioned this to Old Criterion he declared he wouldn't be told what to do. We finally got him home around 1:30 AM. I was judging the police officers that had put him out harshly until I took him home and he got grouchy with me because I insisted on seeing him actually go in the door first.
Yesterday hubby got our newspaper and on the front page, it reads that an 81 year old man who is facing assault charges, and there's old Criterion's name. It describes the incident from that night a little differently than he did. It says how he was arrested for "no reason" he's facing 4 counts of assault on police officers. It seems that his son called for an ambulance and when they got there he told them he wasn't going to let his son go with them even though he wanted to. He then wound up beating the police officers with his cane and shoving them into a bedroom. It seems old Criterion is pretty spry. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't know him. I'm pretty sure he left lumps. He is a handful for sure. On one hand I feel bad for him and the officers he apparently walloped. On the other I am hoping that he'll get assigned some adult supervision and stop standing on my front porch in the middle of the night. One good thing is that I now have no trouble remembering to lock the front door.