Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

CSI: My House

I won't get too deeply into this for the sake of my neighbor and her privacy, but yesterday afternoon, we had three police cars, two fire trucks, and an ambulance at the house across the street. I saw a couple of cops come out toting two different tackle-style boxes; the ambulance casually left without turning on the siren. Two cops stood on the front porch talking for a while, and one of them was on a phone or radio at a certain point. When all three cops left and got into one of their cars, I swear I heard one of them chuckle, so it couldn't have been anything too dire. I know I sound like your stereotypically awful nosy neighbor, but the neighbor's daughter was a couple of years younger than me, we had university classes together, and apparently the neighbor has an abusive ex. I still have no idea what yesterday in particular was about, but the ex hassled my parents about trash collection, of all things, and then went back and told her, "They'll hate you now." So he's tried to use harassment as a way to bully her... but she told my parents what was going on, so it didn't actually work. My point is, I wouldn't be surprised if the ex had called in some kind of false tip and sent all the emergency services of Homewood over there.

Today, it was our turn.

Look, I have no idea what this is. All I know is, the yard was fine as of 5 pm-ish--the last time Sam was taken out front to do doggy things. Sometime around seven, I guess, my stepfather went outside and found this:

Of course, my stepfather's impulse was to try to save the grass (I think it's a little late for that), so he hosed it all off. We can't take any kind of sample, and there's no smell. However. The summer heat has dried any water from the hose on the street, but the mystery substance is still there. Whatever whoever threw, I don't think it's water-based. It doesn't have any kind of rainbow sheen, so I don't think it's gasoline--I don't know offhand what kerosene looks like. And, looking at the grass, the top half of some of it is dead, but the bottom half is still green (third picture, hi-res). Whatever the chemical touched, it fried instantly. I can't figure out what you could throw onto someone's lawn that would splash that far, but be so light that it wouldn't soak down to the root, yet be so strong that it would crisp the grass on contact...

...but not the weeds in the asphalt.

Of course, I'm not familiar with weedkillers offhand, either. Maybe the weeds won't be looking so good tomorrow.

The neighbor's ex does not sound like a likely suspect to me on this one. My stepfather is convinced that it's the gang of kids that has thrown bricks over our fence, broken flowerpots, rung our doorbell and run away umpteen times, thrown a basketball at my mother's car (she got out, picked it up, and drove away with it), and damaged the air valves on his tires in the middle of the night, one by one. The last time they messed with the tires, he nearly had a blowout on the freeway. He called the cops that time. Wait, we also called the police five years ago when we had a car parked out on the street and someone smashed out the driver's window. ON CHRISTMAS EVE. So these little hooligans are the prime suspects.

Here's my question, though: this has been going on for ten years. Ten years? Don't these kids ever grow up, for God's sake? Is it like a Dread Doorbell Roberts or something, where they just pass the mantle on as they graduate and move on?

And what the hell is this stuff? Why? It's just... so... haphazard. Initially I thought that maybe someone had parked in front of the house and thrown something out that they were trying to get rid of, not realizing it would kill the grass instantly, but the splash pattern (as it were) makes me think it was someone standing a bit further out in the street, not in a car near the curb. But, either way--why? Why us? Why now? Why ever? I never have understood why we've been harassed, and I have no idea what this is about.

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Tags: a wizard did it, chez cleo, picspam, tribulations

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