Interesting Thanksgiving

I suppose we all have met some interesting people in our lives. At least, I would be surprised to meet someone who hadn’t. Of course, interesting is a relative term. I, myself, apply it to events, objects, or people who are unusual, typically in an extreme way.

I often find myself using the word “interesting” more frequently the longer I spend time at home. For instance, when I listen to my brother tell me all about his video games in which the main priority is to fire a machine gun non-stop, my main reaction is “uh-huh” and “interesting”. In other words, I don’t care what kind of pixelated gun he’s using, I most certainly don’t know the difference, and I’d rather not know how many people the player is supposed to shoot before moving on to the next level. But I listen because it seems to be important to my brother and he is important to me. However, in conversations of this nature, “interesting” is the word of the day.

Even though I find conversations about guns and shoot-em-up video games to be unpleasant, my usage of “interesting” becomes unmerited when I compare my brother to my neighbors. I’m sure you’ve at least heard of this type, the kind you wish would magically disappear. In town, people like our neighbors would be evicted in a heartbeat. Or, at least, they would be regular acquaintances with the police. But we live in the country, a place where few people care what you do.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons our neighbors now live here. We call them “the natives”, for on any given day, rain or shine, be it 117 degrees or just 17, the booming of their radio can be heard along with rhythmic whistling and beating drums. The song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” comes to mind whenever I look out across the pasture and see the mismatched privacy fence that surrounds the natives’ encampment. Apparently they are afraid the cows are watching them.

I keep waiting, or perhaps it’s more along the lines of wishing, that “those nice young men in their clean white coats” would take our neighbors away to where they really belong: a room with padded white walls. The privacy fence does little to conceal the strange environment that lies within, with big gaps here and there. Visions of a minotaur come to mind whenever I see the labyrinth of additional fences that zigzag haphazardly through their yard. The decorations, what little you can see between the fences, include wire reindeer with black trash bags for tails and wooden fence poles with painted flower pots set upside-down on top of them. Last I checked, the flower pots were black. Thus, the word “interesting” comes to mind.

They say that it is good to be thankful for even the smallest things in life. As I sit here now, listening to the neighbors’ whistling and waiting to leave for my aunt’s house where my Thanksgiving meal awaits, I can’t help but smile. If nothing else, my neighbors have taught me to be thankful for two things: my hearing and my sanity.

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