Tuesday, August 12, 2014

THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD JUST LEAVE YOUR NEIGHBORS ALONE!

My next door neighbor is somewhere around 275 years old. She has a sign on her door that says "knock loudly." This sign is also accompanied by a picture of the Nativity.

Note: it is August.

I'm pleased that she's 275 years old and basically deaf. For one, I'm 275 years old in my soul so I just feel like we belong together. But also, it's good to have a neighbor with whom I share a wall who most likely can't hear the shower-singing of songs from The Little Mermaid every single morning.

I'm not going to say which person who lives in my apartment is doing this shower-singing because I don't want to embarrass him. I'll just say that it happens every single day. And it's quite enthusiastic. 

I don't really know this neighbor. I just see her every once in a while. I wave. She waves. Everyone waves. That's sort of been the extent of our relationship during the course of my year living in this place. I had never been inside her apartment. Until today.

I was leaving to go to Ms. Emma's birthday party. There I was, minding my business, when suddenly I noticed something THAT I SHOULD HAVE JUST LEFT THE HELL ALONE.

Grandma Nativity's door was open. 

Initially I walked by and thought nothing of it. But something seemed strange. For one, the lights inside the apartment appeared to be off. Also, it seemed too quiet.

Being Eli McCann, son of Cathie McCann, I immediately assumed that Grandma Nativity was inside the apartment, face down in the floor, telephone in hand with the first two numbers of 911 dialed. 

So I went back. 

You guys. The whole time a voice inside my head kept saying, "it's probably nothing, Eli. Don't get involved. Every time you do this, something awkward happens."

But I'm super good at ignoring that voice. Interestingly this is the same voice that screams at me that I don't need to take my clothes off in public places.

I slightly stuck my head inside the apartment and called out for someone. Nobody answered. So I stuck my head in more. And more and more. And eventually I was standing fully inside the apartment. 

I was exactly like the camel in that one story where he gets his nose inside the tent and eventually he's taken over the place.

I noticed that the door was stuck on a rug. These doors are the kind that pull shut if you're not propping them open, so this explained how the door didn't shut on its own. 

For some reason, I pulled the rug out and let the door close. Then I continued my search through the apartment to find AND SAVE Grandma Nativity. 

She wasn't there. I walked passed the 2,000 doilies and framed Mormon art, but there was no sign of any person. 

I decided that she must have just left and not realized that the door was caught on the rug. You guys. She's 275 years old. She can't be expected to notice things like that.

I was feeling a little awkward being in this apartment uninvited and alone. So I went back to the door to leave.

I pulled the handle and noticed immediately that something was very wrong. It was broken. 

THE HANDLE WAS BROKEN!!!

I started frantically shaking it and pounding the door, suddenly freaked out that I not only went into some stranger's apartment uninvited and while that neighbor wasn't home, but I was now STUCK inside that apartment.

I tried everything I could think of to peacefully get that door open. I was panicking. 

Five minutes went by. Then ten. Then fifteen. 

Finally I sat on the floor, wondering how on Earth I was going to get out of this situation.

Every scenario I imagined involved prison.

Then I heard a terrifying noise. A key was inserted from the other side.

I jumped up, threw the box of crackers back in the cupboard, and frantically started running for the back of the apartment.

My natural reaction was to hide. But then I told myself that hiding would probably make the situation worse. UNLESS I could hide really well, wait until she went to the bathroom or something, and then make a mad dash for the front door.

BUT WHAT GOOD WOULD THAT DO!? The handle was apparently broken! There was no way out!

Maybe the window! Maybe I could escape out the window!

No! This was crazy thinking. But a thousand options ran through my mind at once and NONE of them involved going to the door and apologetically explaining what happened.

Fortunately my indecisiveness caused me to attempt none of my absurd plans in time for the door to open.

And there I stood, frozen, in the middle of my neighbor's apartment.

Man: Oh. I was told nobody would be home.

Eli: I'M SORRY! THE DOOR WAS OPEN! I THOUGHT SHE WAS IN TROUBLE! I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP!

Man: Huh? I'm here with maintenance. Someone called and said that the door handle was broken. The tenant had to have a neighbor who has a spare key come and let her out.

Eli: Right.

Man: Am I at the wrong apartment?

Eli: Nope! You found the place! We've been wondering when you would show up! GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR! 

Then I quickly walked out and tried not to let anyone get a good look at my face.

~It Just Gets Stranger

37 comments:

  1. As awkward as that could have ended, I still say you did the right thing. Except I would suggest not shutting the door the next time you creep into a neighbor's house. And I am proud of you for keeping your clothes on. Bravo, Eli.

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    1. and for testing her crackers. that's a good call right there too.

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  2. Grandma Nativity! This post gave me a good chuckle. Thanks, Eli! (For the record, I would have also entered her apartment.)

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  3. Yeah, way to handle a crisis with your clothes on. It could have been much worse/better if Grandma Nativity or Maintenance would have found you curled up in the fetal position naked, crying and alone.

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  4. This is amazing. The whole story is amazing. But I stopped breathing at the passing reference to the crackers.

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    1. Yeah, what was up with the crackers?!?!

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    2. well clearly Grandma Nativity had run out of ice cream, so he had to settle for crackers. Probably that's where she had gone that morning, anyway, to restock the ice cream. I'm sure.

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  5. Wait why did you have a box of crackers in the first place?

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  6. I love this story. But I'm with Michelle up there (first comment): you did well to keep your clothes on, man. Good job!

    At least it was maintenance who walked in and not Grandma Nativity. Although...promise me you'll go over sometime and meet her. After the shame wears off. (It shouldn't take too long, she has no idea what happened in her absence.) Then maybe make a list of all the ways your old soul and Grandma N. are alike? Maybe?

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  7. When I was in college I went for a run and about 4 blocks from my apartment there was an elderly lady sitting on her front porch. When she saw me she started yelling in a mean way "Come inside and help me!" It scared the shit out of me and I kept running. I have always felt bad about that. I wonder what sort of crazy story I would have had if I had gone inside.

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  8. How do these things always happen to you???

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  9. This reminds me of a time I was delivering pizza..
    http://jesscoollife.blogspot.com/2009/05/pizzalog-1.html

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  10. Once I decided to get a third job as some random mans personal assistant. He interviewed me,bought me lunch, we went to his storage unit to get some stuff, and then he took me to his home/office so I would get started organising his insane life. I was there working for about an hour when he left to go get his son from school. I continued working away until I hit a stumbling block. I needed to set him up with some thing to do with his car. I realised I didn't have but needed a lot of pretty important personal information and paperwork. Then I realised that as I had only met the guy about two hours before if would be weird if I started rummaging through his belongings. Then I remembered that I already had two jobs and I was a full time student. Then I remembered that taking this job was a terrible idea. So I called the guy up, and nervously told him that I would have to resign from my job I had been doing for Twp hours, effective immediately. He was very kind and understanding over the phone. But I was still in his house. I went to leave, then realised that it would be impossible for me to lock the door behind me. So I sat on the couch inhis living room for an hour before he came home and I could leave. I was so embarrassed. I shook his hand, mumbled something and then sort of sprinted away.

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  11. I'm glad to know that you......I mean "someone" in your apartment showers everyday.

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    1. Well I didn't say this person "takes a shower" every day. Just that he sings "in" the shower every day.

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    2. Bathrooms do have the best acoustics.

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  12. Do you find yourself in crazy situations because you have 'Strangers' in your life that will love to hear about them later? Or does having 'Strangers' in your life bring out the crazy-situation-Eli that loves to tell us what just happened?

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  13. I thought this was going to turn into an Eli stumbles upon a dead body story. Thank goodness Grandma Nativity is okay. And Eli your hair looks awesome today.

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  14. Oh my glob! Too funny! Sometimes I wish my life was as "awkward" as yours :)

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  15. If it had been Grandma Nativity, 911 might very week have still been involved. You would have scared her to death. But clothed awkward is better than naked awkward...much less entertaining for us however. :) You did the right thing though. It just occurs to me, the bulk of your troubles seem to occur when the door closes behind you...just sayin'.

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    1. Good point! Take heed Eli! ALWAYS have an exit strategy!

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  16. So this last Tuesday, I get home from running errands and my husband, Honey Bunches of Oats, is on the lawn mower. He stops and says "Brenda, I went to to my mom and dad's and g-ma G was on the couch and I think she is asleep or dead. Mom and dad are not home and I had Pooter with me. So I told her we needed to leave" (our little girl) So he hurried and left and took her home. After he tells me this, and after the shock, I immediately went to the part in my brain, that says "Oh goody!!! Drama and we get to be the heros." Then back to the serious, "Oh crap, let's go check on her." We drive back to his parents and HBOO is visibly upset, this is the first time finding a dead grandparent. He is giving me all of the reasons why he thinks she is dead. We go into the house and standing at refrigerator is g-ma G. She looks at us and says " Well you would thought they left me for dead." We looked at each other and we just about died from holding in the laughter.

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  17. Eli, you always make me laugh. I just spent 5 (yes, FIVE) hours in the ER with my friend (she's fine). I came home and needed something to cheer me up and you did.

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  18. You HAVE to marry my sister. Please.

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  19. Don't you actually mean shower meowing of songs? I think "singing" was a typo, right?

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  20. Have you seen this video?? I think you must have went on a date with the girl at 1:27!! I can't figure it out, she ACTS like meowing is a bad thing, but that seems wrong. Maybe this video is one of those sarcasm things i don't get where you ARE supposed to meow during a date?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjzikxFDlYw

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    1. She also has the Q of C on her shirt, so she can't be trusted.

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  21. I nearly choked to death on string cheese from laughing so hard. So worth it.

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  22. I think Eli's in prison now... we haven't heard from him in quite a while...

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    1. Maybe something happened to his 275 year old next door neighbor and because of this incident, Eli's fingerprints were found all over the place and on the opened box of crackers so the police brought him in for questioning. Then, after five minutes interviewing him, sent him to a psychiatric facility.

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  23. Eli, are you sure Grandma Nativity wasn't really just Ursula trying to capture her Little Mermaid friend who keeps singing "aahhhhaahhh, ahhhahhhhaaa." You know I used to sing the living day lights of those Little Mermaid songs too. In middle school we sang "Under the Sea" for a school choir performance. It was glorious, under the hot beaming lights singing our little hearts out.....ahhhh nostalgic moment. I sang all them Little Mermaid songs like I was Ariel...so kudos to the "neighbor" of yours that happens to like singing these songs. Next time, don't let Ursula fool you by going in to that dreaded "open" door. If you'll excuse me, I shall log off the internets and sing some LM songs...

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