Kill Me Now

(A little note first: Personal Demons is now available in ebook format from Fictionwise! And it's on sale this week.)

Ah, summer.

The days get longer...long enough that putting the kids to bed at a decent hour becomes a nightly battle with the curtain rod and a bunch of blankets in an attempt to darken the room enough for them to sleep.

The air gets warmer...warm enough to make the garbage piled up outside thanks to every-other-week garbage collections stick and attract flies.

The air gets warmer (again)...warm enough that, without air conditioning, everyone leaves their doors and windows open, which means that although I myself did not spend the money to buy a home karaoke machine, I still get to experience the riotous fun of listening to my neighbors play with theirs!

Oh, yes. In the last couple of days, I've had the thrill of listening to my neighbors' deathless performances of the following:

The Time Warp
9 to 5
American Pie
We Are the Champions
some lame-ass Kylie Minogue song
Summer Nights (from Grease)
It's Raining Men

Oh, yes. It's awesome. Really. The most fun you can have, aside from a fork in the eye or a raging urinary tract infection. (I would mention labor pains, but that actually was fun, as I am no fool and demanded drugs the minute it started to actually hurt. And then very cleverly had a c-section anyway, thus avoiding the really ouchie part. Modern medicine for the win!)

But oh, man. I am tired of dreading summer. In Florida we dreaded summer because it was so hot all the time, and because it rained every day at 3:30 pm (honestly), after which the sun came back out and turned the water into steam.

Here we dread summer because there is no air conditioning and no screens on the windows, so when eating dinner you have the choice of either battling flies for your food or sweating into it (I choose sweat, as I cannot abide insects.)

We dread summer because of the aforementioned rotting garbage stink, which I must admit makes an interesting contrast to the fall-winter-spring stink of manure.

But most of all, we dread summer because of our neighbors.

You may wonder if I'm not being very bold by saying this in a public forum. I am not afraid, though, as when I mentioned to our neighbor shortly after we moved in that I read a lot she shuddered and said, "Ugh, I hate reading."

It's good that she hates reading, though, because it frees up so much of her time for singing karaoke and having loud parties in her backyard every weekend.

Every. Weekend. Their yard is filled with playground equipment; they have three kids and most of their family and friends also have kids, so on Saturday and Sunday afternoons it sounds like banshees live next door. Once the banshee shrieks calm down we get the horrible Britpop music, sugary songs sung in unison by interchangeable clumps of boys and girls. And the adults, laughing and talking about football and nationalism or something right under the girls' bedroom window at ten o'clock at night.

The thing is, our neighbors aren't bad people. I don't dislike them, I really don't. I just wish they would go inside and shut up.

And I like to drink outdoors as much as the next girl, but I try to keep in mind that not everyone wants to hear my conversations, just as my family and I do not find the latest developments on Hollyoaks endlessly fascinating, and so do not necessarily want to hear them recounted and analyzed as if they were national secrets for hours on end.

So. These are some of the reasons I hate summer, and dread its miserable grinning face.

Now tell me...can you top the karaoke neighbors? C'mon, share your evil neighbor stories! Tell me why you hate summer!


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