Moving to Freedom, .Org(on)

National (Hide Out) Night Out

neighbors (gutenberg.org)

Do you do “National Night Out”? I know it says national right there in the name, but I wonder how widespread it really is, without wanting to bother looking it up. It’s promoted heavily in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I think it’s supposed to foster a sense of community and neighborhood involvement, which is why I’ve always hidden out in the house that night.

It’s not that I don’t like the idea of that stuff. It’s more that I’m an introvert and avoid participating in organized group activities.

But this year I came out of the house.

It was nice. I like my neighbors, and there was some cross-pollination with a group of houses further up the street. It’s amazing how much children and proximity dictate your neighborhood social interaction. If you have kids, you’ll tend to talk to their friends’ parents more. And with or without kids, it seems to me that three houses away is about the maximum range for prolonged mingling. This event brings a slightly larger group together.

Although, I noticed with disapproval: there were many non-participants. What’s wrong with these people?

We had one or two registered parties, so a police officer visited our block. Fun for the kids to see a police car and get some stickers, and he let them play with his gun, nightstick, and handcuffs. We pointed out to him the houses we suspect of cooking meth or of being suburban pot growing operations.

I can’t tell you what I really think of these neighbors. I’m never sure who is reading my blog, and one of them would be sure to see my honest assessment of their many failings and be offended, and probably point my house out as a meth house at next year’s gathering.

Even though we all know it’s the Johnsons. The Johnsons are the ones cooking the meth.