a can of balls

tennis ballNeighbors can be a blessing or they can be a curse. And a scary few wind up described as “quiet and kept to himself” in news accounts. I’ll take one of those any day.

My neighbor is four hundred pounds of noise. He could’ve been created by Gary Larson, the Far Side cartoonist, with his startled expression and oddly bent hair and pear-shaped body. All that’s missing is the humor — he isn’t funny. The dude is a nightmare. He spends 23-hours a day squirming and grinding in a recliner that screeches with every movement, nails on a chalkboard.

My apartment offers all the comfort and charm of a torture chamber. Sleeping is not an option. Neither is a quiet afternoon with a book. I can’t think or relax or daydream, none of the usual things people do at home. I have one task: to endure.

Then I had a blinding revelation: tennis balls.

I bought a can of them. The second I did a weight was lifted from my chest and I could breathe again. The ssspfffffffft when I opened the can was pure, undiluted bliss. The smell of fresh, new tennis balls enveloped me and I smiled an evil, cunning smile. I waited, quietly and patiently, a fuzzy yellow message in each hand. Until? ScreeeeeeeeeeThonk!THONK!! I can’t describe the relief I felt with that first launch. Heavenly? Rapturous? Euphoric? No, better.
Ten minutes and many thonks! later, the dude was out his door and headed for the solitude of his ex-wife’s apartment, where he camped for the rest of the night. And I slept like the dead, oblivious and undisturbed, for hours and hours and hours.

After a week of unrestrained payback, my activities were nixed by the management, prompting a lively debate. Widely differing views were exchanged and, long story short, all future comments, concerns, and warm blankets should be directed to me c/o my car.



copyright © 2014 little ittys

2 thoughts on “a can of balls

  1. I do not miss apartment living. Between the Chinese couple and their Karaoke parties until 1am, in the middle of the week, and the people upstairs who had sex constantly, followed by the male half and his post sexual encounter pee.. I was happy to get out and into a house. Now I can be as loud as I want and not listen to the person next door at all. It’s amazing.


    1. Isn’t it the worst? I’d like to live in a two-room cabin where my nearest neighbor — a shut-in, of course — is five miles away. After this last dude, I’ve had it with neighbors. Hmmmmph, I’m going to park in the hinterlands.


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