Keeping up with the Jones's wasn't what it used to be.
|“Hi, neighbor. Well, blow me down. Hope you got tornado insurance.
Andrew Pike continued playing pickup sticks, sorting through the wreckage that had been his home. The swath of destruction curved around the well groomed yard and abode of the man stretching his suspenders standing over him. “Windbag,” he said.
At least Mary and the kids had weathered the storm with him in the old fall-out shelter. Made to withstand nuclear attack, they’d not felt nor heard a thing until the weather station gave the all clear signal. “Nope. No insurance. Guess you don’t need to return that lawn mower you borrowed. Seems we don’t have a lawn left.”
“Hee Hah. It’s going to cost you to rebuild. Think you can afford another fence between our properties?” Steven King’s beetle eyebrows danced under his bald dome. He squeezed out a fart while concentrating on the mayhem turning the lot into a lost war zone.
Andrew had used that fence to draw the line. The ‘King’ not only wanted to keep up with the Joneses, but lord it over them in the bargain. Bosko the dog came bounding up from nowhere to growl at Steven King, smirking at ill fate striking a blow at his neighbor.
“‘Scuse me.” The cell phone buzzing in Andrew’s pocket was having withdrawal. It poked up into place against his ear. “Yes?”
King waved to his wife to bring the six pack of beer dangling from one wrist, to join his private celebration. The light of a true gossiper flared in the woman’s eyes. “My. Oh. My. We’d offer you a place to stay but I’m redecorating the room above our garage.”
A slow smile grew on his face. “I see. Thanks for the offer. We’ll take it.”
King frowned. “I don’t think you heard. Maybe you can buy a tent if you can clear a space to put it. I wonder if there is a city ordnance against that. I’ll check for you.”
Mary and the kids had salvaged a few private possessions now in their grasp. They came up to see what Andrew and King’s conversation was all about.
Ignoring the nosey nose and curious eyes of King and his wife, Andrew grinned, “Well, look what the wind blew in. That realtor wanting to sell our house for more than it was worth struck a deal that just got signed. Know what?”
Mary hugged Andrew and included the kids. “What?”
“That mansion on the hill overlooking this neighborhood is now ours. Bosko will no longer have to live in a dog house. He'll have his very own room.”
They heard their old property was resold to an investor happy with the deal. An apartment complex rose with a fence soon rising in place. It seemed the renters living next to King felt much the same way Andrew’s family had.