Bill's Response to Writing Prompt #1

Posted by Theresa Coleman On 4:26 PM

I’m going to kill my neighbor, Bob. Well, I’m not really going to kill him, but I want to. Generally, Bob and I get along very well – except for that unfortunately incident where his giant German Sheppard ate my three Chihuahuas. But my wife did express some relief that those “yipping little rats” were no longer bothering her. Or the time his three-toed sloth ate my entire vegetable garden – an entire spring of digging and planting disappeared in an afternoon of quiet munching. Even though the garden now grows so much better where the sloth defecated – this time, Bob has gone too far.

You see, my neighbor Bob has this thing for pets. I’m not talking about a dog our two, or the little old lady down the street who regularly feeds 14 stray cats. No, Bob is a zookeeper-wannabe. He always has weird pets. Not just snakes and lizards and squirrels, but more like lemurs and sloths and llamas. If the county would let him, I’m sure it would be lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

He was telling me last month he wanted to get an exotic pet, as if his current menagerie was far too ordinary. He had decided what he really needed was Meerkats. Meerkats! And, do you think he’d be satisfied with one cute little fuzzy Meerkat? Heck no. He got a whole gaggle, or pride or whatever the heck the collective noun is for Meerkats. Bob must have gotten 20 of those little rodents last week.

At first, I thought – oh, Meerkats, how cute. They’d be up and around during the day, but they were at least quiet at night – unlike the Screech Owl Bob had last year. They’d pop their little heads up and look around, duck down into their burrows. But then last weekend, it happened. They annexed my back yard.

My wife and I decided to get out of town for a couple of days. We didn’t notice when we rolled in Sunday night, but early in the morning she let out a shriek and dropped her coffee as she looked out the back window. I jumped out of bed and ran to see what was going on, and there it was: the backyard looked like a battlefield. Grass popping up and bulging, mounds of dirt everywhere, it was horrible. It looked like the golf course in the last scene of Caddyshack. I knew I had to do something.

I called up my local pest control company just as soon as they opened. With a neighbor like Bob, I keep my favorites on speed-dial. I called the place that a few months ago rid us of the Argentinean fleas that I figure must come from Bob’s llamas. When I mentioned getting rid of Meerkats, something happened and the line disconnected. I haven’t been able to get a call through since – I just get the machine and they haven’t called me back.

Now, I’m going to have to wait until Bob gets home and tell him to get his Meerkats out of my lawn.

Bill

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