The other day, while walking the dogs (well, let me clarify — while walking each dog separately, because while they’re sometimes not terrible on their own, together, they can go from zero to raving mad lunatics with just a glimpse of another dog who dares to walk on their sidewalk), I sauntered past a group of kids playing outside.
Now, this is not unusual. I have never seen a neighborhood where the neighbor kids go outside and play together as much as they do here. It’s kind of awesome, and kind of like the ’50s. Not complaining. I can still beat most of them in basketball. I think.
Anyway, a few of these kids belong to a family that moved in very recently; like, a few weeks ago, maybe. I know this because I know everyone in my neighborhood. After all, there are only about 60 houses in the entire subdivision, and I walk and run from end to end to end to end over and over, so, you know, if people leave their homes, I see them. Bottom line is, though, I had not yet met these kids.
The home they moved into is next to the house that backs up to our back yard. Said house (the one behind us, not where the kids live — have I lost you yet?), has been abandoned, which I know isn’t uncommon right now, but it hasn’t happened too much in our subdivision. And — here’s the weird thing — although nobody’s lived there for a couple of months, the lawn stays pretty well manicured. Like, better than half the lawns in our neighborhood. YES, these are things I now notice.
So, the kids were playing in the yard of the abandoned home, and when I walked by, a couple of them ran over to pet Hollie (who was very good, by the way), and told me that the house was haunted.
“Are you sure? How do you know?” I asked.
“Because it’s been empty for a really long time. And it’s really old,” said the boy. For the record, the entire neighborhood was developed five or six years ago.
“Also?” he continued, “We found a flip flop near the back door!”
If you ask me, that evidence isn’t nearly as solid as the fact that, obviously, the ghosts are also keeping the lawn mowed. And, I mean, they’re right behind us, and it’s not like the fence should hold them back. The only question is, what do you offer a ghost to get him to mow your lawn?
(And what do you have to throw in to get him to trim some hedges while he’s at it?)