Our new neighbors moved in about two months ago. A husband and wife with two kids arrived from Corpus. Our first impression was watching the husband lift a television, not a little one, more like a 48" TV by himself out of a pick-up truck like he was lifting a laundry basket. He has a set of dumb bells on the patio and looks like the kind of guy you want on your side.
Being our normal "sitting on the patio" selves, we introduced ourselves. Our neighbors are named Bonnie and Clyde. No, not really just Bonnie and Pete. Okay, many of us have "Normal Names" in Texas. For instance, my friend Eligia goes by Cindy or another guy I know is named Alejandro but goes by Alex. No big deal.
We learned that Pete and his dad own a BBQ place. I seem to have neighbors who are related to BBQ joints. Our last neighbor, a truck driving, ex-rodeo guy grew up on the BBQ circuit and would be out at his grill in all kinds of weather and all hours of the night. We didn't mind, there was always the scent of charcoal and wood chips wafting in the air and he would tap on the door and say, "Hey, try a little of this." My husband learned to master ribs and brisket just from mowing the lawn or chatting.
Bonnie and Pete do not seem to work. Sure, he is supposed to be scoping out potential locations for a new restaurant. Like Austin needs another BBQ joint. We don't see them during the day, but we do visit over the patio rail in the early evenings, or see them up at the pool during our late afternoon swims. We assume that the BBQ joint supports the people upstairs.
So now we have upstairs neighbors after a few months of vacancy. No real complaints about noise really. Sure the AC system has a line issue that used to wake us up in the middle of the night every time the neighbors' AC kicked on but now it is white noise that helps us stay asleep. We all drop stuff by accident or washers go off balance now and again, but no loud music or screaming.
But all of a sudden on the weekend nights, I would shut off my reading lamp at say 10:30 or 11:00 pm and as if by cue, I would hear thumping, running, and well sliding of objects over my head. One weekend of disturbed sleep went by. You know, the kind of sleep that just when you drift back to sleep you are awakened. It used to be by a hungry infant, but my kid is almost ten and has thankfully been sleeping through the night for some time now. I just don't do interrupted sleep very well now. Okay, I never did interrupted sleep well, who am I joking?
It was Labor Day weekend so I wrote it off. Friends had come to town to visit, no one had to go to school or work.
The next weekend rolled around and again, the same thing. I would wake up literally saying, "WHAT THE F*@%?" My husband Paul eventually got up and said "I'll take care of this" and returned with the broom and pounded on the ceiling. Quiet for 15 mins, another doze and then again, Thump! Ththump! Bump, Slumph! Now he got up, let the dog out and noticed that all the lights were on upstairs.. it was 2 AM. He walked up the stairs and knocked. After a few minutes the door was answered after he spent several minutes listening to the familiar sounds of... XBOX Live. It turns out the 13 year old was playing a live action game but it was 2 AM.
But wait..... the TV is in the living room, not in the Master bedroom. So just what is up with the people upstairs?
Conclusion A: My upstairs neighbors are laying low. They moved from Corpus because the heat was on and Austin is a place where everyone can kinda just blend in. Each night they are up to various illegal acts like packaging hot electronics or running a sweat shop and those are the footsteps of children working through the night manufacturing knock-off Dooney & Burke purses.
"Bonnie" and "Pete" are in witness protection. They cannot work since it may put them at risk. The kids are just a cover. The "friends" that came to visit are actually their handlers, making sure that their cover hasn't been blown. During the day, Mr. and Mrs. are testifying in a sealed hearing in Washington DC during the day and are flown home every evening. They can only be themselves after dark and they are a family of acrobats from Ringling Brothers Circus and they know who killed the bearded lady.
Image via Wikipedia
My neighbors are just normal people who let their kids stay up way late on the weekends.