Family Headquarters is located in a very redneck neighborhood. Although their house is likely the least rednecky in the neighborhood, I’m still embarrassed to invite you there unless I know you really well, because you have to drive by the neighbors’ houses before you can get to my parents’ house. I have tried to teleport in from the main road and it never seems to work.
They talk about moving sometimes but, so far, haven’t made any serious plans to move away. It’s in a convenient location, my Nanie lives next door, Jamie’s still in high school, it’s pretty cheap to live there, and they live on the top of this big hill on several acres of land. The views up there are beautiful, and if you don’t look down you can sometimes pretend the shitty neighbors’ trailers don’t exist.
Some of the neighbors – just a few – keep their property in good condition and, for the most part, seem to be good people. The rest of them are insane.
The place next door to my parents on the left is a rental property, and for a while last year the property was occupied by a family we’ll call the Cletuses, since that’s what we called them (secretly) the entire time they lived there. The Cletuses seemed like they were good people at first. They helped out with some stuff on our land, and they were friendly, and they seemed to be cleaning up their place and my dad, who has a workshop out back, loaned them some of his power tools so they could build and fix things.
Sammi told us that she thought this family was the same family that had come through the drive-through at her McDonald’s once and threatened to call the police because when they got their order it was short a cheeseburger, but since she hadn’t actually witnessed this and they seemed nice enough, we figured it was just a rumor.
But they were just weird. They had possibly a million children, and they behaved oddly, and one of their kids just randomly showed up at our house sometimes to talk, and I don’t know. They were a little strange.
The Cletuses had a wooden storage shed in their side yard, kind of between their house and ours. Some time after they moved in, it came to our attention that they had a guy living in the storage shed.
And then, evidently, they evicted the guy and put a padlock on the shed.
And then, in the middle of the night, the shed renter came back and busted up the door to his shed-home with an axe and got all his shit out of there where it had been held hostage by the Cletuses.
I don’t know if it was related to the shed renter or not, but not too long after that incident, the Cletuses out of the blue packed up all their shit and moved away, possibly also in the middle of the night although I’m not sure about that. They took my dad’s circular saw, which was only worth, you know, a couple hundred dollars. And they left behind their pregnant cat.
As it turned out, that part worked out okay, because three days after we trapped the pregnant cat and brought her in the house, she had a litter of kittens which included Abby and Marco.
So I guess I could thank the Cletuses for that, if I knew where to find them.
For the record, this post was originally intended to be a story about the gun-totin’ redneck children in my parents’ neighborhood, but this has gotten long so I’ll have to tell you that one another time.