I noticed a couple of big rocks hanging out on the empty lot separating the Little Bitty and our neighbor’s brick house the other day, and got hit by one of my little ideas.
Those are the perfect size, I thought, to place in the holes the Eastwood skunk digs under our Syracuse city fence so it can try to get under our shed and into our butterfly garden and, worst of all, pester or plaster poor Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle with its hideous scent.
So I picked them up and plugged the gaps, which I had seen were deeper than they had been at winter’s start, dagnabbit.
When I proudly reported my achievement to my dear wife Karen when I got home from my bowling night, she said: “Oh, the rocks the neighbor kids use to hold down their portable basketball hoop when they play in the street?”
Yeah. Those. I didn’t realize they were using them to hold that thing more steadily in place.
I hoped they hadn’t had time for a dusk shoot-around as I planned my Good Neighbor retribution. I really liked those rocks as part of our skunk patrol, after all.
So when Karen left for work the next morning, I pulled out for a trip to our neighborhood version of the store.
And in the masonry section, I purchased a couple each of big concrete bricks and smaller companions. Gray. Sturdy. Much better for holding down that basketball post, backboard and hoop than rocks. With my employee’s card, they came to less than four bucks.
I tossed them where the rocks had sat before my misguided intervention.
When I got home from my late shift, Karen reported that the young basketball-loving neighbors from the small apartment house across the street had wheeled out their portable apparatus and used the new support foundation.
For a short time.
While we walked with Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle a few days following, a noticed the bricks were gone.
Somebody else must have made the same mistake I had, thinking they had been tossed there for the taking. Yes, just like those rocks, the young basketball players — 16 to 18 years old is my guess — left those bricks right there on the side of the empty lot when they hauled their portable basketball hoop back to the little lot next to their building.
A new pile of rocks had replaced the bricks.
I’ve not said a word to them about any of this, only thought and wished for the best as they shoot hoops and make the most of our little street of life.
Would you have thought the rocks were free for the taking? Would you have thought the bricks were up for grabs? What’s your moral of this story?