I find that all the crazies come out in the summer. When you've been cooped up in the house all winter and spring starts to peek through the snow banks people in NY start traipsing around in flip flips, shorts and tank tops if the temperatures sneak up to the high 40's. If it should soar into the 50's in March, as it did here last weekend, you may catch a glimpse of a young blond teenie-bopper traipsing out of the tanning salon in her cut off shorts and bikini top and hot pink hair tie beckoning summer to come a little quicker. Let me be quick to reassure you that I was not the teenie-bopper, I am fully aware that hot pink is not my friend and I certainly wasn't sporting a bikini!
The warmer weather also brings out all of the "observers". These are the kind folk that like to sit in the rocker on their porch and check out all the goings on in around their home. They are expert members of the Neighborhood Watch program. They have all of the emergency numbers, Town Hall and the local dog catcher on speed dial and their cordless phone sits right next to a tall glass of lemonade on a cute little wrought iron end table, conveniently close to their rocking chair. They may sit alone, or with their lifelong partner. Perhaps a sweet grandchild plays with sidewalk chalk out in front of their home. Occasionally they'll call out a greeting to a passerby, holler for the kids racing down the hill on their bicycles to "take it easy" or walk off the porch to offer a neighbor a helping hand with that fiddly lawn mower.
Then you have your "porch monkeys". These are the rednecks or the social misfits that hang out on their porch for lack of anything better to do. They'll sit out on the porch smokin' a pack of joes, yelling conversations back and forth to whoever chose to stay inside. They typically aren't alone. Their mode of operation usually includes bringing enough company to overrun the supply of seating on the porch. People will sit on the rails, stand on the porch steps or, if it's really a party, a few members of the overrun crowd will have to hang out in a beat up truck, loudly idling in the street. They'll laugh raucously, talk about whose kid "ran and smacked hisself on the coffee table and busted his head wide open" with an unsettling amount of indifference or ask "who's got a bud?"
If you're lucky, you might have the garden variety of porch monkeys in your neighborhood. These aren't really rednecks as much as they're just underprivileged people. They're mostly harmless. These are the people you see walking downtown with a shopping cart. On a good day, their cart is loaded full of cans and bottles on their way to the redemption center. On a bad day their cart is full of dirty laundry. On an okay day, that cart full of laundry has a jug of detergent balanced on the top. These are the sorts of porch monkeys I interact with most frequently. My favorite neighborhood porch monkeys have a rich brother in law that owns not one, not two, but THREE huffy bicycles. He brings his own alcohol: two cans of Budweiser in a plastic grocery bag that dangles off the handle of his bicycle. They also have family members who are "well off enough" that they not only own a vehicle, but it's registered. And it has gas in the tank. I could go on and on. And on. And on. But I think you get the picture.
I have seen the porch monkeys out in frightening numbers this spring. I am actually afraid of all that this summer has to offer.
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