Netflix Releases The Ted Bundy Tapes, And Then…

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2019

My university is close to my childhood home, so to save money I live at home with my parents rather than at dorms or on campus. My major has mostly final projects instead of tests, and on this particular Saturday night, I am focusing on editing a video due on Monday. My parents decide to go out with some of our neighbors, so I’m home alone. It’s winter, but other than being cold, the weather is pretty nice and clear.

While I’m working on editing the video, the power suddenly goes out.

My first thought: “Serial killer.” I quickly dismiss the thought as paranoid and silly and close my laptop to conserve power since its battery life is too atrocious to use the editing program without it being plugged in. Frustrated I can’t work on it right now, I get up to look out the front window. I can’t see any of the houses on our side of the street from the windows, only the houses across the street.

First thing I notice: all the neighbors across the street have their lights on.

Once again, I think, “Serial killer.” Now convinced someone cut the power to my house specifically, I quickly grab my hoodie and pull on my boots while calling for my dog. When we get outside I see someone jogging up to me along the sidewalk, and I realize it’s the high school son of the neighbors my parents are out with. I also realize none of the houses on our side of the street have power. Turns out he’d looked out his window, saw the only other houses he could see still had lights, and had the exact same “serial killer” thought process I did.

We seek shelter with the couple across the street and call our parents to alert them the situation. They happen to be heading back, and tell us they passed a car crashed into a power pole near our neighborhood. It just happened to take out only our side of the street. Since I still have to work on my final project and my laptop needs to be plugged in to work on it, our neighbors graciously let me work on it at their house, even after they go to bed. The power comes back on around eleven, and I return home soon afterward.

When I mention the “serial killer” thought process to my parents, my dad teases me about watching too many murder shows, but I still say it’s a logical conclusion when the only other houses you can see still have power.

The Kind Of Stupid Moment You Wish You Could Have Videoed

, , , , , , | Related | January 15, 2019

(It’s the early ‘90s, and a lot of ‘portable’ technology is still pretty expensive. My parents and I have just gotten back from visiting my grandparents’ house in Florida. It was a long, three-day drive; and upon arriving home late one night we’re all very tired and hungry.)

Mom: “I’m thinking of putting on a frozen pizza. How does that sound?”

Dad: “Excellent. We’ll unload the car while you pre-heat the oven.”

(A couple minutes later, the oven has started to heat up, yet something seems off.)

Me: “Mom? Dad? Something smells really funny in the kitchen.”

Mom: “It almost smells like burning rubber or something.” *sudden gasp of realization* “[Neighbor]’s camcorder!”

Me: “What?!”

(Sure enough, Mom and Dad turn the oven off and open the door to find the melted remains of what was once a very expensive, new recording device.)

All: “…”

Mom: “Oh, NO…”

Me: “Why was [Neighbor]’s new portable video recorder in the oven?!”

Mom: “We borrowed it for [Event] and didn’t get a chance to return it before they left on their vacation…

Me: “But why the oven?!”

Dad: “I thought it would be safe there! No-one would look for a VCR machine in an oven!”

Mom: “Well, we’ve certainly proven that part right.”

(My parents bought him an entirely new machine; thankfully, he found the whole story hilarious. We also learned an important lesson: always check your ovens before turning up the heat!)

Please Remember To Rewind Your Bundles Of Joy

, , , , , , | Related | January 3, 2019

(After years of trying to adopt, my parents are about to give up on the idea of “kids,” when I am suddenly “put on the market,” as it were. The whole process is a rather rushed affair, so not everyone my parents’ know hears about my homecoming beforehand. One of our next-door neighbors is a very nice woman who’s always been very friendly towards our family. On a side note, this takes place shortly after home video devices have become more commonplace.)

Neighbor: “So, what are you guys getting each other for Christmas?”

Mom: *trying not to laugh* “Something pretty special… and expensive.”

Neighbor: “A new vacuum cleaner?”

Mom: “Smaller, and more expensive.”

Neighbor: “I know! You’re finally getting a VCR!”

Mom: *trying even harder not to grin* “Looks like you’ll just have to come over tomorrow and see.”
(You can imagine our neighbor’s surprise when she saw a five-month-old baby girl, instead! Apparently, my parents had always been a bit slow to update their tech, because several other people also thought I was a VCR!)

Making A Lot Of Fake Noise

, , , , , , | Legal | December 28, 2018

One of my neighbors bought a large truck a couple of months ago and apparently decided that three in the morning was a reasonable time to work on it, revving it up and leaving it idling, often waking up several of the neighbors in the process. He never drove it anywhere at that point; he just went out, turned it on, and made a bunch of noise. This led to a few of us going over to ask him to refrain. He blew us off, and we ended up submitting noise complaints to the city about him, as he was disturbing our sleep.

This led to him spamming the noise complaint website with dozens of complaints about every house on the block in retaliation, all of them bogus. He made complaints about dogs barking at houses that didn’t have dogs, or people playing instruments late at night. The police ended up coming out several times to investigate, and the complaints were proven to be false each time.

The last time I saw my neighbor he was being put into a police car after having a screaming match with the police on his front lawn.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

, , , , , , | Related | December 27, 2018

(In this story, I am about eight years old. It’s Halloween, and my three friends and I are trick-or-treating around my neighborhood. I am dressed like a cat, and so are two of my friends, while the other one is dressed as Mrs. Claus. I ring the doorbell to a house. A guy and his wife open the door.)

Friends & Me: “Trick or treat!”

(The guy looks from me to my two other friends dressed like cats, and then to my other friend dressed as Mrs. Claus.)

Guy: “WHAT IS THIS? IT’S NOT EVEN NOVEMBER YET! FIRST THE GROCERY STORES, AND NOW THIS? PREMATURE CHRISTMAS DECORATING HAS STRUCK AGAIN!”

(He clutched his chest and fell to the floor. My friends and I just looked at each other in confusion. His wife apologized profusely and gave us each a big handful of candy. It was pretty weird, but you have to admit, we had it coming!)

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