Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Open door policy?

I got a new next-door neighbor about, uh, two or five months ago. He seems to work odd hours. I've only seen him two or three times since he moved in and we've never said more than "hi" a time or two.

The other night I had gone to Taco Bell. I don't think he was home when I left. Sat in the Taco Bell line for about twenty minutes. Seriously thought about calling the 1-800 "how did we do" number. But then the drive thru worker said, "Sorry for your wait." Somehow that eased my frustrations.

I feel I have a good rapport with the fast food industry. I've known drive-thru workers. I've been a drive-thru worker. OK, so I haven't been one. But I've known some. Remember, fast food workers can spit in your food at anytime. I always try to keep that in mind. And not give them any extra incentive to do so. But now we're a bit off topic.

When I got home, the neighbor's truck was there and the driver's door was wide open. I tried inconspicuously looking in the cab to see if he was leaned over dead or something. But I didn't see him, and there were no signs of a struggle.

I figured maybe he'd just gotten home and was planning to come right back outside to get something else out of the truck. So I decided to go in and eat and see if it was still open when I got done.

It was about 10:00 or so by the time I got done and looked out the window. Door still open. No sign of neighbor. So now I figure I have to tell him.

But what if he thinks I did it? Plus, I'd been home at least thirty minutes already. He'll wonder why I didn't tell him when I first got home. Why had I waited? What had I been doing this whole time? All these things scenarios begin running thru my head and I don't know what to do.

Then it crosses my mind maybe I should just shut it myself. I could shut the door. No one would ever know about this little incident. But what if he hears me? What if he looks out and sees me walking back to my house? How would that look. Or what if the complex has security cameras?

And what if someone has already stolen something out of his truck? My fingerprints would be all over that door. How did this get to be the crime of the century? I was only trying to be a good neighbor.

Or maybe he meant to leave it open. Maybe the lock is broken and if I shut it he'd be locked out. Maybe I should just not say anything. Maybe no one heard or saw me come home. I could say I'd been home all night and I hadn't seen the open door. No! I can't lie. Stop it, Bone. You're overthinking again.

I peek thru the mini-blinds one more time, hoping against hope that my eyes have betrayed me and that the door has been closed all along. No dice.

I decide to ring his doorbell and hope for the best. It takes him a minute to come to the door. I hear him turning the lock. This is it.

He appears sleepy-eyed and wearing green scrubs. I deduce he must work at a hospital. He shook my hand. About the time I got out, "Hey, I just came home from Taco Bell and noticed your truck door was open..." he had already seen it. And was walking towards it mouthing, "What the..."

He said something about how absent-minded it was. That it had been a long day at work. And thanks for telling him. And had I seen the dead body in the back.

I assured him I had not. And quickly retreated to my locked, safe abode. Another near-disaster averted.

"Turning back, she just laughs. The boulevard is not that bad..."


  1. So, did you get anything good out of the truck???

  2. Yummy...Taco Bell, what'd you get??


  3. You did the right thing in telling him, but were also correct to wonder about shutting it yourself. I mean, what if you had and he could no longer get into the car and he'd get mad at you? Had he not come to the door after knocking, I might have gently closed it without actually completely shutting it.

    A few weeks ago I was mowing the back 40 and I noticed our next door neighbor had left his vehicle door wide open, but since there is a nasty barbed wire fence between us and I was busy drinking, I mean mowing ;), I just figured he'd come out when he was good and ready and shut it, and he did. *shrug*

  4. Seriously, we must be related somehow because the overthinking of telling the neighbor about the car sounds totally ike something that I would think/do.

  5. Groovie: No. I'd never.

    Dea: Hmm, let me think... I got a meximelt, bean burrito, and taco supreme. And a Mountain Dew.

    Circe: If I had not told him, I think my second choice would have been to pretend I hadn't seen it. But what if it had rained that night? There I go again...

    Xinh: I like to imagine everything that could possibly go wrong. That way there's no surprises :)

  6. i am so glad you thought of the fingerprints too cuz that is exactly where my mind went.

    (i love that song.)

  7. You did a good thing letting him know.
    Good work, once again, Bone.

    Also, I absolutely LOVE the way you can make an entire blog about the back and forth conversation your "good" and "evil" had in your head....

  8. Whew, another major crisis averted, and soothed (?) by Taco Hell food.

    When the police question you about the body, it's best to answer "I don't remember."

    PS: I saw SR with Matchbox 20, too. We must've seen the same tour!

  9. Have all the same conversations playing in my head. Could you describe the dead body, just in case, someday down the road....

    Glad to know that while you have never worked for the fast food industry, you support them.

    Saving all this info for the Bone trivia quiz

  10. I would have let him know too. You did right. I saw a car in a parking lot at a restaurant with it's door wide open. I almost closed it but didn't because I thought maybe they left their keys in and would be locked out. So I went inside and told the manager. I hope they found whoever it was.

  11. Ms. Sizzle: Five bonus points for you for lyric recognition :)

    Blondie: I face these neverending mental battles daily. I figure if I share them with someone maybe I'll get some sympathy :)

    Carmen: Thanks for abbreviating, and not giving away my dark secret ;-)

    Pia: As well you should be. There'll be a test. Someday. Probably after my body is found in the back of a neighbor's truck.

    Lass: OK. Now I don't feel so odd, as I see some of you have at least some of the same thoughts I did.

  12. Good for you on the over-thinking of fast food. I worked at Taco Bell for over a year and a half, and boy did it suck. It does teach you to succeed, because you never want to end up back in fast food.

  13. I'd a had one thought..."How can you be sure whoever touched the door last washed his hands after...you know". You definitely don't want to touch anything "his boys" might have touched. Especially holding dinner in your hands, you don't want to risk it. Your feet, well maybe. I could see bumping it shut with your feet, but that's just asking too much. You did the right thing, and your neighbor sounded grateful, although distracted. Viva Chalupa Bone! Once again, the voice of overthinking majority in America.

  14. Big Man: I wish they'd bring back the chicken meximelt. They had those when I was in college. And that's all I got. Mmmmm!!

    Dorothy: Wow, I like that last line. Maybe I could steal that and use it in my blog description?

    Yeah, I could've used my foot. Or my knee. But nothing above the waist. And I, of course, washed my hands after shaking his, before eating.

  15. I used to work at Taco Bell (and every other non-major fast food place.) I'm not sure if I always got put on drive threw because I was so good at it or if they didn't like how I was on counter. Maybe I have a face for radio...I dunno.
    I do know that I kicked tail on the drive threw and hardly ever had any problems...except for the two drunk gals trying to rip me off with the change on separate orders in one car. I had it right.

    My car's stupid alarm will go off if you don't close the door all the way, so the closing but not quite all the way might have set off a big "to-do."
    I would have had a major conversation with myself about that too and then let him know his door was open.

    Sounds like you may live next to a medical type person...might come in handy.
    My neighbor is a former nurse and is always making sure I know that if I need anything she's there...unless she's at work or school. :D

  16. Renee: I would imagine the drive-thru would be one of the tougher fast food jobs.

    Yeah, but CPR, from a guy? I'm reminded of a Seinfeld...

    Jerry: I think he's gonna need, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
    Newman: Mouth-to-mouth?
    Jerry: Yeah.
    Newman: Hmm.
    Jerry: Wellll? Go ahead.
    Newman: You go.
    Jerry: You knocked him out.
    Newman: Yeah, but you pulled him in.
    Jerry: Come on Newman. Do it.
    Newman: Nah.
    Jerry: He might die.
    Newman: Yeah. Maybe.