Roderick on the Line

Ep. 282: "The Grand Slam"


  coming in and now it has been in fact it

  wasn't yesterday it was the day before

  it has been 48 hours with not a single

  Grand Slam or sign of life nor has the

  dog barked it is back to silence silence

  silence emptiness complete lack of

  emotion does this bring us up to date

  now and now the the entire reason I

  started to bring this up was right

  before you called I was sitting in my

  chair looking out the window at the gas

  powered leaf blower guy walking around

  the driveway of the house in question

  mm-hmm blowing dirt and leaves around

  which is all those things do just

  blowing it around and I was like oh

  Merlin's gonna call and then I've got

  this leaf blower guy house on your mind

  and then the phone rang leaf blower guy

  miraculously stuck turned his motor off

  almost simultaneously with you and I was

  I started to tell this story in to prep

  you for the fact that there might be

  gasping gone into this expecting to tell

  me about this whole story no I was just

  like look you got to be you got to be

  ready for this there's this things have

  changed around here and there's gonna be

  some machine noise in the background but

  he's gone the Sun is out there's no

  rooster even I don't know what it's like

  either we're either

  everything's gone quiet because the

  because they're feeling some

  electromagnetic pulse and Mount Rainier

  is about to explode or I don't know what

  happened they everybody got raptured see

  you have an answer I don't know what's

  on your 3x5 car it's a startup




  oh hi John how's it going oh gosh oh

  it's going well

  although although got a little bit of a

  situation here hmm

  breaking news so you know over the last

  year we saw first of all we saw Skeeter

  died of cirrhosis of the liver and then

  we lost Randy Randy man Randy is Randy

  from across the street

  really Randy who lives in his van down

  by the river oh and then the house got

  sold to the flippers mm-hmm and they

  worked on it for a long time they spent

  a lot of money on it it up check in with

  you to make sure you were keeping an eye

  on things

  yep check checking in with me checking

  in to spend a lot of money on it and

  then for some reason couldn't quite they

  expected to put it on the market and it

  would just sell in an instant and I

  think maybe part of it was that the

  street appeal was somewhat the street

  that I live on doesn't have a ton of

  curb appeal okay

  patrick living next to me works in the

  underground sewer installation

  department of a company that works with

  the city he's got a he's got a working

  man's truck out front and and he

  sometimes I think his son-in-law wrecked

  a car and so he brought it over to

  Patrick's and he put it under a tarp

  this is a neighborhood where people are

  working they're doing stuff they're not

  hiding anything under a bushel basket

  nope I have a I have an RV it's actually

  presently hidden under a bushel basket

  but it's a huge basket the the guys that

  live across the street

  they have like a business on the side

  where they're working on cars so

  sometimes there are other people don't

  like that now between 13 and 30 cars

  over there okay

  anyway they did a very nice job fixing

  up this house and it didn't sell right

  away but then it finally did sell and

  flippers know well and I met the owners

  on the day before Christmas Eve and they

  were just a very delightful

  african-american couple with two

  children young children five and three

  something like that

  and most I mean was it Jamaica was that

  her name Jamaica

  then moved so this is a view for people

  who have deep catalogue this is

  jamaica's old house

  this is jamaica's house and Jamaica

  moved and I don't know where I haven't

  heard from her since she the last time

  Jamaican I talked she was asking me if I

  would take Randy's van into my yard for

  a couple of weeks while Randy got his

  stuff figured out got the backdoor pilot

  that's pretty bad yeah

  did she decline I did yeah already got

  this bushel basket over here I did well

  I said I said and I we may have talked

  about it at the time I said you cannot

  we can't do this because this is not a

  this is not an asset this van is not an

  asset to you need to stop thinking about

  it like it's his asset you know what I

  mean like he's thinking for his door

  monkey spa yeah and and of course the

  man we're talking about is not named

  Randy mm-hmm what is his name

  Merlin I'm afraid that's okay I think

  for purposes of this show will go with

  Randy no but what what is his actual

  name it's not Jesse Randy is the name of

  the restaurant down at the bottom of the

  hill Oh easy easy

  I know this people yeah yeah it is not


  it's not Skeeter it's not Skeeter it's


  it's a name like this oh boy what is his

  name I just bring that on me like that

  I don't know well I'm just sitting here

  thinking like it sounds like it should

  be Randy but it's not Randy this is like

  he'd be yelling it is at his youngest

  Luke phone you know who it is

  no I know they know yeah people are

  screaming at us right now

  it's not Randy it's um Jesse Pinkman is

  the guy from Breaking Bad right right

  it's not him

  no it's it's gonna be one for the hall

  of fame why did I say no idea it'll come

  to us yes yes

  anyway it's not an asset it's not an

  asset this thing and he thinks it's like

  a piece of material that he thinks this

  is where his retirement is in this van

  and it's garbage it's like it needs to

  go to the crusher it's not restorable

  and I'm somebody who has some experience

  buying and trying to restore this thank

  you I mean apart from forgetting his

  name I think you're really missing the

  elephant in the room which is that I've

  given you advice before unsolicited

  advice that whenever you're thinking

  about a decision that involves a

  relationship with another person it's

  just what I ask do I want much more of

  this relationship or much less of this

  relationship right just abstract this

  idea and in this instance the idea of

  taking his asset unto your property is

  gonna give you a lot more interaction

  with the artist formerly known as Randy

  I do not want that no I hear in his

  calls no it's nothing there right oh

  it's the fits I mean they're there it's

  not salvageable like as a piece of metal

  like there's nothing in it the it's rust

  it's rusted it's completely rusted he

  like it's like it's like full of rats

  it's like not a it's it's not just that

  it's not a nice truck it's like not like

  you it's it's tetanus it's ten anyway so

  this young couple buys the house we have

  a we have an extremely pleasant exchange

  on the street I'm like you guys are

  moving in on Christmas Eve

  and they kind of were like yeah like

  that what we need with two kids that was

  no big deal and I was like wow that

  seems like a really big deal move into a

  new house on Christmas heat but at the

  same time how amazing you get to spend

  your first you know like first Christmas

  in the new house that's for adventure

  this do yeah and I was like this is

  gonna be fun we're gonna have a fun time

  she said that she was a long time

  satellite he was from Brooklyn and we

  were gonna get along famously and the

  thing is I was leaving for Christmas we

  we spent Christmas up at a little house

  in the snow and so I was like you know

  well I'll get together welcome-wagon

  when I get back and then in January I

  traveled a lot February I traveled a lot

  and I didn't see them right I didn't

  bump into them on the street very often

  every once in a while there would be the

  car would pull up they drove like nice

  cars nice SUV style new ones you know

  like you know somebody drives up in a

  SUV and it's like pearlescent Wow nice I

  don't even know what brand it is they

  all look the same

  it's a little class version of having

  fancy nails you know saying yeah yeah

  it's like I'm not gonna be digging with

  my hands anytime soon yeah this thing is

  full-time four-wheel drive and I'll

  never drive off of the road

  but then after a while and then there

  were there were a couple of Sundays

  where like Sunday evening I would come

  home and there would be cars parked all

  on the street and in our neighborhood

  there are no sidewalks it feels kind of

  country out here and so the areas in

  front of people's houses bye-bye

  accepted convention in the neighborhood

  those areas sort of belong to the house

  if you're gonna park your car on the

  street you're gonna park it in your area

  and not bleed over into somebody else

  right that's somebody else's shoulder

  yeah and it's not like if there were

  sidewalks right then you just park your

  car on the sidewalk and you park your

  car in a parking spot and they don't

  belong to people but yeah you know like

  the gravel in front of my house is

  an extension of my yard that's how we

  all art everywhere the neighbor that's

  right over here that's next to me on the

  other side they will drink they'll bring

  the front bumper of their car right up

  to the fence line but they would never

  go two inches with their bumper over

  that fence line ain't it's not yeah I

  know anyway I would come home on Sunday

  and there would be a bunch of cars like

  parked on my side of the street in front

  of my house where I park mm-hmm and so

  there was no place for me to park I was

  like whoa but I talked to my mom about

  it I was like what do I do in this

  situation she said these are public

  roads if you go over and ask them not to

  park in front of your house you are a

  very bad person debating that really I

  was like all right all right I said but

  what about social convention and she was

  like these are the public roads you do

  not mess with the public roads I know

  better than to disagree with your mom

  but uh let's say sure about her police

  work there I think this is a culture

  this is you know we're living in a

  society that's what I thought too but

  you know as you say you don't you don't

  you know you go against mom and then

  you'll live to regret it

  anyway I didn't say anything couple of

  Sundays went by I was like whatever no

  problem it's a temporary thing but it

  did make me feel like oh they're Church

  people they're having events on Sunday

  evening after Journal I see where

  they're inviting people over and so it's

  gonna be it's gonna be even harder to

  kind of go into this situation and be

  like hi I know that you're having like a

  church event but don't park in front of

  my house mm-hmm

  couldn't do it you know it's just like

  this is just we're just we're learning

  about each other but then it got real

  quiet over there and I and by the time

  the end of February rolled around it had

  become curious I've never seen or heard

  the kids well it's just been clear now

  no more pearlescent SUV coming to going

  well they have a garage with the door

  that opens and closes and I could always

  tell when Jamaica was here and randy

  paul paulie i can always tell when they

  were there because the garage was full

  of garbage so they couldn't park inside

  so the car was easy

  there or not but now they could be

  parking inside they could it's a two-car

  garage they could it be all inside but

  you know I'm out at all hours I come and

  go I never saw them come and go so I was

  like it's interesting that they're very

  quiet and I don't mind a quiet neighbor

  mm-hmm better than karaoke and I'm

  saying yeah but but you know the house

  is very neatly kept it was it was put

  into neat neat zone in order to sell and

  it still looks like it's a house for

  sale you know the yard is very kept it's

  very neat well about two three weeks ago

  all of a sudden cars were coming and

  going from the house and it was a

  situation where I just generally rough

  you just be clear so you have or have

  not seen kids playing in the yard or

  being kids

  none have not heard of finger you know I

  fit in my house I listen to what's going

  on on the street if I was a sibling and

  lived in a big free-standing

  single-family house I'd be out playing

  you'd be out playing he'd be hitting

  stuff with a stick even though it's the

  winter but if you come in the car and

  you get out on the way between the car

  and the house as you know from having a

  kid even that closing that that 20 yards

  from the under under under 10 yeah there

  won't silence any bikes you don't see

  any big wheels frisbees skateboards

  scooters not only do I not but I have

  never heard someone go mom that's not a

  single time okay this is you got me I'm

  hooked so I'm like what's going on over

  there now I'm peeking through the blinds

  every once a while but I'm but it's the

  it's like opposite day I'm peeking

  through the blinds at nothing nothing's

  happening but then I'm sitting in the

  I'm sitting in the living room and I

  start hearing the tell-tale signs of

  people coming and going which are you

  here some you know faint music playing

  as a car drives up the sits there with

  the motor running for a minute

  turns off and then a door slams as

  somebody gets out of the

  and that's not you know that's not

  unusual like I say that the people next

  door to them they have between 13 and 30

  cars so he's here door slamming sure but

  but I started to hear these events where

  car would pull up and I would hear this

  slam slam slam slam slam slam slam slam

  slam slam that's that sounds like a mob

  that sounds like the Mafia to me yes

  just unsound and I heard nine door slams

  I would assume that's a bunch of guys

  getting out of mob cars and and that's

  what it that's what I felt - and so I

  did what what you do when you are

  somebody like me who takes an interest

  in other people sure I would get up and

  I would go look out and say who's your

  social creature that's right and what

  was happening was there were three cars

  that were arriving all at the same time

  and there were between nine and thirteen

  white kids in their early 20s who all

  were pretty clean-cut

  you know like fresh-faced hmm and they

  we're all getting at they were arriving

  at the same time all getting out of the

  car at the same time obviously from the

  obviously from the multiple slams the

  grand slam as I like to call it yeah and

  then they were going in through the gate

  not in through the front door but in

  through the gate into the backyard okay

  okay I think it's a sports team or

  missionaries well so I immediately think

  missionaries okay because what are you

  so you got a young african-american

  family that has already established that

  sometimes they have Sunday evening

  events and then you have a bunch of

  teenage fresh fresh-faced college-age

  people who are coming and going as a

  group I'm thinking this guy is a pastor

  he's got a youth group of some kind


  learning the trade they're here for like

  youth these are like the leaders the

  elders of their youth groups or whatever

  they're getting some extra like Deacons

  in training yeah oh I should mention at

  some point on the fence facing the front

  next to the garage appeared a sign that

  was the kind of sign that you would get

  at Target that said like this is Janet's

  room keep out that's made to look like a

  street sign right that they could say

  keep calm and carry on or it could say

  like Volkswagen bug parking I'm looking

  for world's greatest people right for

  world's greatest people but it is shaped

  like us like a city sign looks like one

  and it said what does it say it's not

  visitor parking only it's something like

  parking for guests only it's it's uh

  it's worded strangely what it's like the

  kind of wording it doesn't like a city

  sign would say you know visitor parking

  only something simple but this is like

  parking for guests only it's like

  something you would find in the front of

  the Royal Hawaiian hotel this is

  tickling my zoning phone and it felt a

  little bit like oh this is the this is

  the first expression of the family's

  like personality that they've put in the

  house they didn't put a little statue of

  or then put two two white lions on

  either side of the driveway like you see

  in my neighborhood a lot they didn't put

  a Buddha next to the front door they

  didn't put a like a little wind chime

  they put this like parking for guests

  only sign on the fence and and it's

  charming but but now I'm starting now so

  they are thinking about parking well

  yeah oh and that's the other thing I was

  like oh okay well I mean interesting

  interesting oh you're knocking we're not

  gonna put fourteen Lexuses in there

  fourteen Lex I that's high anyway so so

  I was here in the Grand Slam a lot Grand

  Slam in the morning Grand Slam at noon

  Grand Slam in the other one occasion

  Grand Slam at night from this one's

  coming in like white people coming in

  coming and going okay

  Grand Slam at 11:30 at night 11:30 at

  night such that every time I heard a

  Grand Slam which again is organized is

  something very organized happening

  coming and going so and every time I

  would look out it's not let's just be

  clear here just cuz my mind I have no

  idea what this is going if it was a

  social occasion where you're gonna have

  some potato salad people would become in

  a different time some people would be

  late their kids would be screaming this

  is a heterogeneous group of people

  arriving all at the same time and

  immediately doing a Grand Slam and then

  heading back through the gate heading

  back through the gate not going in

  through the front door okay so I do a

  little bit I went over and I looked at

  the cars one of the cars so there's a

  like 2010 okay 2010 4runner okay all

  right got it with Montana plate Montana

  you say and one sticker which is of a

  blue whale with no other writing on it

  is it the company they make sportswear

  nope it's just a blue whale talking with

  the blue was a whale my daughter likes

  their sportswear

  no this is a different this is like the

  type of blue whale that you would get at

  an aquarium it's not adorable no it's

  not cute it is a this is a very similar

  to dwell okay but it doesn't say like

  Rhode Island aquarium okay there's

  nothing just a blue whale okay and

  Montana plates no other no that's Big

  Sky Country that's Big Sky Country

  oh no and one other things there is a

  little sticker on the bottom corner of

  the window that I later decipher as a

  parking sticker for a Boise State

  College in

  in Boise Idaho yeah Montana Montana

  Idaho 4runner

  guess parking only the second car is

  what I would guesstimate to be like a

  2009 Infiniti with Washington plates and

  no other sign no stickers no other sign

  of life like if you look in the windows

  it's just like grandma's car nothing no

  one PR sticker no NPR the parking pass

  no sticker that says like Christian

  Leadership Conference no sticker that

  says you know coexist no like no fish no

  Darwin fish no fish eating a fish

  nothing and then the third car which

  always parks in the this parking for

  guests only spot because the other two

  cars park on the street they just park

  on the park what I would consider

  correctly like on the dirt in front of

  that house okay but the one that always

  parks in the slot is a brand new car

  with temporary license plates okay

  temporary Washington plates that have


  what so temporary the leader yeah I know

  but but the plates are ten days got a

  nice new car they recently either

  recently moved the area recently bought

  a car in the area they have not gotten

  their permanent plates right but they

  have let it lapse and they park in the

  place of honor yep

  so now I am now I'm prepared to the next

  time I see the kids I'm gonna say like

  hey hi I'm your neighbor what's up what

  you guys did you know what you no no but

  I am never in the in the week that I'm

  trying to put myself into like this

  situation I'm never able to get the get

  to them between hearing the grand slam

  and them all disappearing behind the


  very efficient I just point of

  information so just took just to cross a

  tee here if I'm understand this

  correctly Grand Slam Grand Slam Grand

  Slam over a period of days but still no

  sign of the african-american family at

  all okay this okay yep okay kids never

  hear a kid no kids oh okay okay we're

  here a darn thing these these these

  presumptive missionaries whoever this is

  they seem to be kind of running the


  well except they never go in the front

  don't they don't go in the front door

  and when you look at the house at night

  none of the lights are on oh this is

  such a good mystery John you're so good

  at this

  I remember when it was being fixed up by

  the flippers by fuller dan and I do

  remember his name was Dan I toured the

  house many times and what he did was he

  turned the downstairs which had been a

  kind of slap a - mother-in-law

  he turned the downstairs into a proper

  you could even call it a three-bedroom

  apartment although the zoning would not

  allow you to describe it as that but it

  definitely there were but if you wanted

  to have a relative come and live with

  you they could be there very comfortably

  very comfortably there there was a nice

  nice big living room he put a full bath

  down there there there was a nice

  staircase up to the main house and it

  had three I mean one room that qualified

  as a large legal bedroom and then an

  office and then a bedroom that was you

  know like you could have three people

  living down there for sure means of

  egress entrance it doesn't have its own

  entrance okay okay

  dan was thinking ahead he was he was and

  and there were a couple of people that

  came to look at the house during the

  period when it was for sale that were

  like yeah we're thing about having my

  mother live in the basement and I'm like

  that's a great idea it's a great house

  you should buy it the the the young

  family that did buy it did not show any

  signs of having a mother

  in law plan but they were like you know

  they were affluent young family with two

  kids I assumed that they would fill up

  that house with with toys and excitement

  ask a question yeah go ahead

  I might have missed this how did you

  establish that the initial

  african-american family were the owners

  of the house in the long first

  conversation so you did you did talk

  about this and they were they were the

  people who bought the house in your

  estimation yeah well they drove they

  drove up I was standing out I think I

  was even packing my car to go to the

  mountains and those I'm sorry Christmas

  yes yes yes and they drive up and I'm

  like hello I march over hello and

  they're like hello okay and I said are

  you the new owners and they're like we

  are we just closed and I'm like it's

  okay yes I'm sorry you didn't establish

  this so but at that point you've

  imprinted on this idea that this is the

  nuclear family that's gonna live in

  flippered Ann's old house that's right

  and they are gonna be they're gonna have

  kids that come over and play with my

  daughter pushing a hoop around with a

  stick lemonade stand and they are part

  of the kind of gentrification that I've

  been waiting for in the neighborhood

  which is that because this neighborhood

  is the most diverse ZIP code in America

  we we here in this neighborhood want to

  keep that true we do not want to see

  what's happened in the rest of Seattle

  happen here which is that there is

  displacement we want instead for the

  standard of living to rise while Maine

  whilst maintaining a diverse community

  so they were like decidedly a

  middle-class family that was going to

  like increase the tax base so the

  schools are better you know while at the

  same time like not changing the fact

  that I'm the only white person in my

  neighborhood right they need you they

  need me I'm the anchor baby in the

  neighborhood anyway so I keep putting

  myself in situations where I'm trying to


  when this Grand Slam of of white

  Millennials is going to show up and move

  as a group really fast through what is

  just one fence gate like I don't know

  how they do it frankly and there was one

  time when I was driving up as they

  arrived and I was like here's my chance

  and I put the car in park I opened the

  door and they they were moving so fast

  and I got out and kind of was like uh

  and they they reflexively like looked

  down and away from me in a way

  suggesting that they were young people

  who did not ever want to look at an

  adult or beat yes not engaged with the

  olds not engaged nobody was like hi or

  anything they were just like get us out

  of here okay so there's a third wrinkle

  Oh God which is that the Mexican family

  that lives on the corner that has

  between 13 and 30 cars for the last

  several years has had a rooster now they

  have chickens and the chickens are

  running around the neighborhood and

  everybody thinks that's charming but

  they had a rooster which is technically

  against Seattle City regulations

  interesting you're not supposed to have

  a rooster because roosters are a pain in

  the ass season ye yeah right even out in

  the fucking farms roosters are a pain in

  the ass but in a city what does it

  rooster do Hawaii if they warned me

  about the roosters there they got there

  on their own timetable and this rooster

  is a fucking dumbass like they all are

  and it's a very very very first inkling

  of light he's and he does it all morning

  and then all day he's just fucking

  cockadoodle doodling all the time talk

  of the walk and somebody said to me like

  well you know with in Mexican culture a

  rooster is a very important character he

  plays a B plays a role within like

  culturally within the whole sort of

  pantheon like a rooster as a he's a guy

  right just explaining it's a rooster guy

  mm-hmm and I'm like all right okay keep

  keep a rooster around like you know like

  like I guess I guess the

  neighborhood jaundice I'm gonna claim

  the Ravens and the raccoons huh

  you've got your rooster visit earlier

  yeah that's right and somebody's gonna

  want the possum it's not me somebody

  somebody wants something no thought

  can't have that we all get the rats the

  cancer around for us all but the Ravens

  the Ravens ER and I have an

  understanding so I was fine with the

  rooster I mean I wasn't like thrilled

  about it but I'm not somebody that's

  gonna pick up the phone and be like the

  motorcycle he's coming again what's the

  matter sico you used to it that's right

  there's a rooster and he wakes me up in

  the morning and whatever okay so yeah

  rooster but but they also at some point

  along the way I cannot remember exactly

  when bought a dog which they keep pinned

  in a pen at the far end of their

  property which is pretty far from the

  house but very close to the house that

  I'm describing Oh flip the flipper dance

  all place good and close to this newly

  refurbished home

  yeah the pen oh that's a nuisance John

  right on the other side of the fence I

  didn't sign this and if you took a tape

  measure the pen of the dog is actually

  probably closer to my bedroom window

  than it is to any window of the house to

  which the dog belongs now the dog I've

  been conscious of the dog for a long

  time because the dog every once while

  goes row row row

  sounds like a dog and I'm lay all right

  okay I smelled something on the wind

  there's another dog somewhere in this

  neighborhood that everyone swallows and

  then this dog goes okay that happens a

  few times a day and I go that's just how

  it is it's just like then the resource

  and there used to be a dog down the road

  that was just all day long

  no see now that's that's and I remember

  my place when there used to be the dog

  upstairs oh that dog remembered remember

  Linus that Linus would attack you with

  my sweet a sweet little dog but they

  keep him in a kennel literally right

  over my head where I worked all day and

  he would do this in terms of eight feet

  from my ear was a dog all day and

  that'll make a person a little bit crazy

  after a while and they were gone during

  the day oh gosh yeah that's why - have

  sweet little - that's why he was in his

  little in his little kennel is low

  bastard here you go sweetie here's some

  cookie dough with some Martha some like

  a diet dies a pram in it or whatever

  like I would resort to screaming three

  times a day well so okay got a lot of

  pieces on the board here yeah

  this dog this rooster this situation

  over here never was a problem for me the

  the family that lives there is an

  extended family by which I means there's

  a family with the automobiles yeah but

  in the 13 and 30 cars there are also

  between 3 and 5 families living in the

  house it's a big house

  and there are a lot of daughters there

  are by my estimation at least one

  quinceanera a year for the last eight

  years okay bueno

  so I don't know how I don't know how you

  do that I don't know how you keep the

  quinceanera factory spinning like that

  but there's Amazon subscribe and save


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  supporting Rodrick on the line and all

  the great shows but I love them as

  neighbors they're extremely

  conscientious I think that they are you

  know they're the best sort of version of

  a hundred percent something nice about

  this I mean like like the like when I go

  in next door and people are like oh

  there's people coming ask you on my

  packages part of that is there's just

  not much activity there's not much come

  and go there's not much like I think I

  think people are a little bit more

  respectful of a neighborhood where

  there's stuff going on it's a

  neighborhood stuff is happening it's a

  nice place to live except fetid misters

  in the morning the girls are always

  going to school in a big gaggle and in

  the end then they come home in the

  afternoon and there are moms around and

  that's nice cars coming and going and

  they and everybody and it you know what

  it is it's a situation where everybody

  tips their hat over there if you walk by

  if you drive by I love that John get a

  little hat tip and you give a little hat

  tip give a little get a little give a

  little get a little so it just feels

  like exactly the right kind of like

  issue cover this on your the program a

  lot of people don't know how to do how

  delicate anymore I know right it's a

  thing that's a thing that you could find

  out by listening to Omnibus with Ken

  Jennings regularly-scheduled predicted

  to get anyway so the grand slams what

  I'm realizing is that the Grand Slam

  comes in goes through the back gate goes

  around the back into the back door but

  then I think is sitting around on the

  back porch of the house in a way that I

  cannot see but that the Pend dog right

  on the other side of the fence is very

  aware of Oh interesting

  so starting that becomes like a little

  mirror that lets you look around the

  corner yes and the way he mirrors it is


  okay from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. p.m. 10:00

  p.m. to 2 a.m. no that's no good

  and so you if you ask todd todd todd

  sleep bro he would tell you he did not

  want that

  no no he's mad I'm mad and the thing is

  for a few days I don't make the

  connection I'm like what the fuck is

  going on around here like all of a

  sudden this dogs that I has been there

  for maybe between 1 and 11 years I don't

  know but now I'm conscious of this dog

  barking all night this isn't how things

  go around here

  and there's the fucking kids across the

  street and where's the family that I

  thought I was gonna be friends with and

  what the hell is going on around here

  and I and I actually got

  this is what it call this one is locked

  room mysteries what's a call trapped

  room Baumbach box it's an Asian American

  finger trap finger trap how did you even

  get in this situation you wake up one

  day all this others fucking roosters and

  kids in Harrison barking dogs yeah and

  some kind of a cult is a cult I thought

  we were I thought it was stability we

  were getting when when Jamaica and hand

  and with a little Randy no little Randy

  went away oh my god I'm spent

  Oh Larry and he's such a garyun so not a

  Randy I don't know just know Gary's and

  Randy's are very related they're usually

  assistant managers at restaurants they

  are it's true and the thing is that

  Randy is the is the stereotype name that

  we give to Gary's yeah manager a stepdad

  that's really okay this is how long so

  the your initial first contact was

  around in the Christmas holiday period

  you know where are we up to at this

  point in the story so so then January it

  just seemed like oh they're real quiet

  stipulated January and February you're

  on the road a lot

  I'm touring alone gathering as much

  string you know as many things together

  and what and it made it plausible that

  like oh I don't see these two because

  I'm gone they're on a regular schedule

  and it's winter three reasons why you

  might not see people on Sundays every

  once while I come home and there's this

  traffic jam but I'm also gone along to a

  lot of the Sundays so those traffic jams

  could be happening every Sunday and I'm

  just not there okay or it could be rarer

  than that but I if you don't notice you

  don't notice the things you don't see

  and you don't notice the things you

  don't notice right this is what it's

  like a cognitive bias but but King Midas

  in Reverse you're once you start

  noticing you know what you start really

  noticing but if you're not noticing you

  can't notice because you don't notice

  but then once you notice

  you're starting to put the string

  together is what I'm saying all I'm

  noticing up until about the end of

  February is I still haven't gotten to

  know my new neighbors but I'm sure when

  the Sun comes out yeah they're in the

  yard and I'm in the yard we're gonna get

  a house in a neighborhood you're buying

  a family house for a family in a

  neighborhood I'm not seeing everybody

  but most Americans in that situation you

  want to at least like wave to your

  neighbors that's pretty normal like hey

  you know everything's good hi

  like that's just such a normal thing for

  somebody new in the neighborhood I think

  well and the thing is I'm not seeing

  them even to wave at them it's not like

  they're being unfriendly right I'm just

  not even seen okay and I understand you

  know I'm missing a tooth right now sure

  how's your hair looks pretty good I was

  looking at your Instagram that's a

  little bit too short I mean it just

  seems like if you did have the option of

  driving up to your house pushing a

  button the garage door goes up you go in

  and the garage door goes closed if I'm

  standing there you know with like a

  pitchfork in one hand and like a

  Romanian flag in the other understand

  why you would go straight in okay that's

  what that's not happening now it's only

  in the it's only in March now that that

  all of this starts to happen all at once

  the kids the door the grand slam the dog

  the and and that's all causing me to

  realize wait I have not seen my

  neighbors in a long time yeah and it got

  so bad that I got up got dressed and

  went out and down the block prepared to

  ring the doorbell at the Mexicans house

  to say what's going on let's talk about

  this dog we've been friends for a long

  time in certainly Dean I mean they're

  right there they got the dog that got

  the cards to get the kids in years

  they must be seeing stuff well let's see

  in the backyard too right except that

  their dog and their dogs all the way

  down by flipper dams and the house is

  further away from them than it is for me

  okay like there are the lots are big

  here and there between

  their house and and this and the house

  in question there are between 13 and 30

  cars like that's the area that they do

  all the mechanical work that's where

  they have the quinceaƱeras that's where

  they have a basketball hoop like it's a

  big area okay

  so you could be living in that in their

  house and the dog just sounds like a dog

  in the distance and the kids just sound

  like it like kids in the dissing you

  can't see in the flipper dance yard

  can't see it okay but so I go down there

  and and because there's a lot of

  activity at that house there's a guy

  standing out in the yard look at Sierra

  SH at 11:30 at night just he's just in

  between he's coming and going okay and I

  think I'm dropping off cars picking up

  cars there's stuff happening well there

  are a few families living there so

  there's a lot there's a lot to me Oh


  oh and I should say that in that that in

  the in the different layers of languages

  that are happening in my neighborhood

  and particularly there at that house

  English is down somewhere it's not in

  first place okay it's like it's down in

  the it's between 2nd and 5th place of

  languages that are being regularly

  spoken so I go over and say hey and he's

  like hey what's up and I said let's talk

  about this dog and he says what's going

  on what oh no he said what did he do and

  we're both standing there and the dog is

  going okay and the dog is doing this and

  I point over at the dog behind the fence

  and he looks over and looks at me and

  I'm like and it's doing this all night

  sparking now like this all the time I

  don't know what happened I don't know

  what changed but this is like this has

  got to stop

  so I can't just do this all the time and

  he kind of is concerned and nods and he

  says well I'll talk to the guy that owns

  the dog

  hmm I'm like okay right that makes sense

  there are a lot of people living in this

  house yeah lot going on and he this

  person that I'm talking to is not

  prepared to take responsibility for the

  dog and there is a there's an

  understanding clearly within the house

  that there are different things are

  owned by different people it's not like

  we all are just all in co-ownership of

  this dog or of of that Volkswagen GTI or

  you know or whatever of this spit that's

  like the the the plastic four-foot-tall

  illuminated Christmas ornament of Jesus

  that is up all year okay so all season

  Jesus all season Jesus and it's not

  clear it's not clear to me anymore who

  in the house owns it I used to think it

  was communally owned but now I

  understand Oh all these things are owned

  by individuals intent and so he said I'm

  gonna talk to the guy that I wanted and

  I'm gonna tell him that you mentioned it

  I'm like thank you

  that's all I that's all I can ask for

  and I went home and and listened for the

  rest of the night to the dog continue to

  signal into the night sky that he heard

  something or had a thought and I and

  it's frustrating when you go talk to

  somebody and then the problem doesn't go

  away immediately yeah I mean this is

  already you've got a couple different

  layers here faith faith like I talked to

  him he's gonna they're gonna have a

  family meeting tomorrow it's gonna be

  they're gonna work it out so then there

  came a climactic moment oh boy which was

  Graham's grand slam okay grand slam

  three three guitars and it's a bit and

  it's a big grand slam this is like the

  1213 person grand slam it's not the nine

  person grand slam it's the big one

  and I see them they all go through the

  fence before I can like get my shoes on

  and get outside and then they and this

  is like in the afternoon and then I see

  them through the fence sitting together

  like some of them sitting up on rock

  walls some of them sitting you know

  they're sitting in a semi-circle having

  a meeting it's not like a culty thing

  they're having like a meeting and I'm

  like this is a situation

  or like go through the gate and say hey

  since we're all here mm-hmm and I'm like

  I'm reluctant I'm reluctant do you have

  a deep confidence that you have some

  kind of a reason for piercing there

  perimeter with a question did you know

  what you're gonna ask me do you have

  like a you have like a dog collar in

  your hand going can you help me find my

  dog no here and that's exactly that's

  exactly what I should have done right

  like say hey my fan belt broke can you

  help but so here are the different

  factors in place right yeah I do not

  know like in my neighborhood there is

  always a racial component to every

  exchange because everyone is a different

  ethnicity yeah so anytime one person

  from one house goes over to the other to

  another house there's not just sometimes

  a language problem like the the

  neighbors over here where the guy parks

  just up to the fence line and not over

  they speak English as a second language

  their primary language is Vietnamese and

  so all of our exchanges although very

  friendly are like always somewhat kind

  of like hi um you guys have been cutting

  my bamboo for some reason I'm not sure

  why if it's if it's cultural I'm curious

  about it did you think it was just like

  there for you to make fences out of or

  art is it making you mad is my bamboo

  making you mad if so the conversations

  are very difficult super super difficult

  we have a neighbor that I thought we

  were on good terms on who

  slams a door in such a way that the

  entire house shakes and I went outside

  to say you know hey neighbor of many

  many years did you know something you

  slammed that door

  our entire house shakes and everyone

  says so and he got real mad which made

  me think all the more that he's doing it

  on purpose that's just me that's just me

  and like all like I'm like a white tech

  bro it's like there's not

  intersectionality that's the wrong word

  but like there's all these layers and

  layers of like how we communicate with

  other people let alone language and

  culture man whoo

  that's gonna be a bad about I don't know

  why it was it felt kind of

  passive-aggressive well just took it off

  my trash and I was like yeah no I know I

  mean we all take out our trash once a

  week it's just that you just slam that

  door five times and it Massey literally

  I don't mean figuratively I mean it

  literally made our house shake like do

  you need to slam it that hard every time

  cuz that seems a little like aggressive

  and he was he was playing it off legit

  so I think he's miffed at us about

  something out know what so now I know

  the thing to think about you know saying

  this is the layers it's this layers and

  I don't so there are a lot there are a

  few layers here like this is a house

  this is a house owned by an an affluent

  african-american family that now has

  suddenly has like Hercule Poirot has

  just walked into the train compartment

  is now ready to bring the entire mystery

  together yeah but there are a dozen

  white Millennials coming and going okay

  so if it's Christian I feel like on the

  one hand they're probably going to be

  inclined to answer politely but on the

  other hand that is a cultural there's a

  cultural separation between me and they

  where I'm not sure exactly what I'm

  asking like just you know I'm just on

  this no on this index card I've written

  three words that is my guess at what it

  is and I'm gonna set it aside okay but I

  have a guess okay go ahead and also I

  have at that point there at this point

  made the connection oh the dog is

  barking at the kids the dogs been there

  for years the dog never had a problem

  never had a kid to Warka no the dog just

  barked every once in a while some

  sketchy person walked by the dog and

  Gary I don't remember the dog barking at

  Gary being a problem maybe the dog gave

  Gary like hi bark or a bye bark but he

  didn't sit and just constantly bark it

  Gary and when Gary was outside talking

  on the phone at 2:00 a.m.

  Gary was the problem not the dog like

  he's the one I was going out to yell at

  right Gary goddamn a gel-like so I so I

  don't feel 100% secure in walking across

  the street and ringing the doorbell and

  demanding answers particularly not after

  my mom told me that I have no right to

  yell at them about their parking that's

  gonna be on your mind now so I'm like

  what are my rights here

  like this is a mini problem yeah you can

  do what you want in your own house it's

  not like it's not like I can go over and

  say can you 11 people who are all

  showing up at the same time not all

  close your car doors at the same time

  like it's just the nature of 13 people

  arriving at once they are gonna get a

  grand slam and they they're millenniums

  they're not conscious of the dog right

  they don't even hear the dogs because

  this dog is just to them it's just the

  dogs always barking when they're out

  there so they just think that's what it


  I was on a hiking trail the other day

  with my daughter and we were going down

  and some people were coming up and it

  was a wide trail it was a like a jeep

  trail and there were five kids coming up

  and they were walking five abreast and

  they're millenniums and so we're walking

  down and my daughter turns to me when

  they're about a hundred feet away and

  this is the type of little person she is

  she says with some anxiousness daddy how

  are we going to get by isn't that

  Shannon need to find the trail now and I

  was like wow what an interesting little

  thing for you to be thinking about

  already and I said well sweetie and I

  said it I wasn't whispering I said it in

  a in a loud conversational voice I said

  well as we get closer to that

  I have to assume that they're going to

  give way for other people using the

  trail and they're going to move and as

  I'm saying this we're getting closer and

  closer to them they're going to move to

  let us walk by because we're just two

  people just walking down the trail and

  they're coming up and they're gonna and

  as I'm saying this they come right up on

  us five abreast and it's like two guys

  in three women and the two people that

  are like in the area of the trail where

  lucidi where you'd be allowing other

  people to go are both women and they

  just walk straight up on us and then at

  the very last second kind of like become

  aware of the existence of other people

  and like sort of like shrug their

  shoulders over to the side as though

  we're passing in a very confined and

  narrow spaces and like one of them

  actually brushes past me and and and you

  know and my kid has kind of gone over

  into the into the grass on this you know

  like and there's a ditch there's a clear

  ditch so she's scared of the ditch or

  whatever and I'm just like wow I don't I

  don't know what to I don't know how to

  do like I don't even know that feels

  like something though it's something

  it's a it's a cultural it's a

  generational difference it never ever

  ever ever ever would have happened

  before like that when you're taking a

  hike you say hi to people and you like

  it's it's like you're saying like we

  said we take hikes we say hi like that's

  the thing you do you say good morning in

  the culture of hiking that you shared

  the trail that you say hello when you're

  when you pass that you ignore but it's

  just in the culture you don't go for a

  hike unless you know these things you

  don't just go sell fire fast I mean like

  you know help a brother out

  know we're walking up the trail I guess

  we own the world it's just like crazy so

  so but they're over there they're not

  conscious of them themselves being the

  the source of the dog barking right I

  when I was when I was that age I

  wouldn't have either I don't think

  that's necessarily like that's just

  their they're not aware that they're

  doing that I took me four days to figure

  it out myself

  but I don't feel secure I definitely

  felt secure going over to the people I

  know and saying the dog like what's up

  but like to go over ringing the doorbell

  and say who are you and why are you in

  my neighborhood all of a sudden and what

  precisely the fuck is going on here yeah

  and is this a Jesus thing because that's

  fine but I want to know and so I'm right

  at the point where it's like okay this

  is like this is not like we can't live

  like this mm-hmm

  the dog all night kids coming and going

  but Kim my curiosity's going crazy

  what's the story here did you guys kill

  the family that was living there like I

  need some answers did you make us house

  is cursed well don't say that it looks

  great Oh oh god the other thing and the

  whole reason that I brought this up is

  that the family that owns the house now

  Jamaica's house flipper dip it in hires

  land scrapers to come once a week with

  gas-powered leaf blower oh come on you

  walk around man just blowing leaves and

  dirt how's the dog respond to that so

  confusing caused a lot of tumult in this

  neighborhood yeah confusingly the dog

  doesn't care about the leaf blower the

  doctor stuff whatever but but leaf

  blowers just in principle drive me crazy

  did you ever read there was an article

  in the Atlantic that's like 1010

  millenniums on a trail it's so it's so

  it's so aggressive there was an article

  in I think Atlantic about some rich

  neighborhood in Santa Barbara or

  something some valley that's like a like

  like a beautiful liberal oasis valley

  where everybody has a beautiful home and

  it's and the trees rustle in the wind

  and it's always 75 degrees and it's the

  perfect incubator of like middle-aged

  liberal culture because because there

  are no problems it seems like that's all

  that you need is the ball though all the

  rest of the world

  to do is just be like them F affluence

  and passive-aggressive but what happened

  was at some point a rich white person

  who lived in the neighborhood broke the

  social convention and hired landscapers

  that used gas-powered leaf blowers and

  it became a huge issue within the

  community because then there were some

  people who decided that because the

  civil rights movement was already tied

  up with a bow that now they had a new

  cause which was to fight their neighbor

  who had a gas-powered leaf blower and so

  then they were hanging up posters and

  saying like BAM this gas-powered leaf

  blower and then the other guy who was a

  liberal but maybe like one degree more

  libertarian was like you can't tell me

  what to do and then then somebody

  acknowledged that all the people that

  were doing the work in the neighborhood

  were all Hispanic and so classic race

  issue because you're asking them to do

  this work with a broom

  what's on your mind as you're going into

  this situation well I mean every article

  like that I've read in my entire life is

  always on my mind in every situation sir

  like it's part of being as woke as I am

  II don't walk down the street without

  being conscious of everything always

  results all tempest and teapots they're

  all in there somewhere

  but in this situation like I feel like

  dealing with white 22 year olds with

  that have a blue whale sticker on the

  back of their of their their Toyota

  Xterra or whatever I feel like this is a

  group of people I can address you know

  in a shared language except for the

  Millennium Generation X cultural Gulf

  the the language barrier there sometimes

  is even greater than them a dog with the

  consider man yeah oh my god so tonight a

  little bit of a fit of pique here you're

  frustrated at this point I don't know

  what I don't know which way to go

  okay then yesterday mmm I hear a grand

  slam in the morning

  here we go off they go they have not

  returned houses

  empty okay of whites of anybody's I see

  no I see no sign of life there is that a

  longer than usual amount of time between

  Grand Slams

  from the first Grand Slam there was a

  Grand Slam four times a day through the

  entire Grand Slam period they were never