I live at 100 Clueless Drive, Naivetown, USA.

Mr. Wonderful has become my lawn maintenance man. In the last few months, my yard has morphed from tidy but rather unruly to well-manicured and carefully landscaped. It has involved mulch, grass seed, and a very sweaty boyfriend. Yard looks good. Boyfriend looks even better.

This is in stark contrast to the home of my next-door neighbor. He’s just let his yard go to hell. I was working in my yard about two months ago and his mom came out to walk her dog. They were visiting for the weekend, and she immediately launched into Mom From Hell speak:

“Well, you know that Sam got into some trouble.”

Me: “Uh, no?” And why would I?

Mom: “Well, he lost his job. And I’m making him go to counseling. But his dad and I are here this weekend to try to help him decide if he’s going to sell the house or just let the bank take it. He’s already behind on the payments!”

She was very friendly. And talkative. And the whole time, I kept thinking that if she was your mom, you might keep your head down and mouth shut a lot, lest all of your dirty laundry be aired for the world.

So, Sam never mowed his backyard. Like, not since last fall. And the front yard? Only once. And his car isn’t around anymore. I thought about calling the city on him, but figured the bank would own the house by the end of the month and I should just hold tight.

Last week, a legal notice was taped to the front of the house. Mr. Wonderful noticed it while working in the yard. And another neighbor ambled over, and they started talking about it … and another neighbor came by to verify what the first neighbor had to say.

Sam hadn’t shown up for work for a week. His boss called the cops. The cops came, saw him enjoying a little weed, and then came back with a warrant.

Ladies and gentleman, my neighbor got busted for growing 200 marijuana plants in his basement.

And when did this happen? Like, two and a half months ago! You couldn’t turn down my street for all the cop cars. And I had no idea!

I now feel like sort of a moron for being all, “Why the hell do you think I know your son lost his job, lady?” when I talked to his mom. But it was good practice if I’m ever the clueless neighbor interviewed on the local news. “He was a nice neighbor, real quiet. Kept to himself…”

And, do I get credit for the fact that the only word caught by spellcheck was “marijuana?” I don’t even know how to spell it. Now, please excuse me … I have to go catch that Waltons / Matlock marathon before going to bed at 7.

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