“Hey! Hey, Bob! BOB!”
Bob looked up from pruning his perfectly-aligned rose bushes, but saw nothing.
“Huh,” he muttered. He looked at his dog Wally who was lounging in the sun. “That wasn’t you, was it?”
Wally just panted.
Bob started chopping again.
Bob almost fell over into his pruning shears — the high-pitched, squeaky voice was right in his ear.
“What the heck?!” He looked around and standing there beside him was a little man wearing a red pointy cap, a green wool jacket, black sweatpants and snowboots.
“A bit overdressed there aren’t you?” said Bob. “It’s 90 degrees out here.”
“Oh, I don’t even feel the heat. I’m made out of plaster, don’t ya know.”
“What?!” Bob looked closer at the small man. “Hey, aren’t you a….”
“Gil,” he said, holding out a hand that wad covered with a red mitten.
Bob held out a finger and Gil shook it gently. “What do you want?”
“Bob, your neighbor over there hasn’t been out of her house for 5 days. I’m getting worried…the primroses are dying.”
Bob stuttered, “Well…I don’t even know who lives there.”
“Of course you don’t Bob…this is the suburbs,” said Gil. “Everybody seems to live under a rock around here. So isn’t it appropriate, don’t ya know, that a plaster-and paint-Garden Gnome should have to come over and ask for help?”
“So who DOES live there?” asked Bob.
“Sylvia, you boob. She’s 92-years-old. We need to check on her.”
“I dunno about this…I don’t know if I want to get involved.”
“Of course you don’t, Bob, this is the suburbs. But geez, wouldn’t you want someone to check on you? Come on.”
“Oh, crap,” said Bob. He stood up and carrying his pruning shears, followed the waddling 3-foot high Garden Gnome around the 6-foot-high fence and into Sylvia’s front yard. Wally, startled, got up and bounded along behind them, surprised that anything was actually happening for a change.
“You got a cell phone, Bob?”
“Of course I do, Gil…I live in the suburbs don’t I?”
“Ha! Good one, Bob! Ha ha ha. Okay, now lift me up so I can look into the front window.
Bob picked up the gnome and held him up.
“Oh man,” said Gil.
“What is it?”
“I was afraid of this….” Gil shook his head.
“WHAT for goodness sake?!?!”
“Well, take a look, bozo…you’re tall.”
Bob looked through the window and saw a harried-looking, gray-haired old lady anxiously walking around her living room. She was picking up knick-knacks and books and stuffing them randomly into big cardboard boxes.
“Well she’s alive,” said Bob. “So what’s the big deal?”
“She’s moving, Bob.”
“I never saw any for sale sign….”
“Of course you didn’t, Bob…this is the suburbs. Anyway, she has no one to help her. Her good-for-nothing great-grandson is hoping she’ll die in there so he can collect the old gal’s money.”
“So what am I supposed to do about that? It’s not my problem.”
“What a maroon!” exclaimed Gil in a disgusted whine. “Get out your phone. Call her. I’ll tell ya the number. Be a NEIGHBOR for a change.
Bob sighed, pulled out his cell phone and punched in the number.
“What was her name again?” he asked.
©January 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver
Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.