A semi-uncomfortable situation has arisen, which is surprising considering how much energy I've devoted lately to having as little human contact as possible. After they returned from Hawaii, George immediately went back to work, as is his way. With the foreclosure business still booming, he's working on a few of those homes and asked if we'd verify a certain very familiar sounding property was vacant. The address was that of the Redneck Friends' previous residence. When we told him that yes it was vacant and whose house it was, George became extremely upset. It seems when he went to inspect the property, he found a trash heap that would've done Fraggle Rock proud:
And that was just the front yard.
We hadn't been back to the old place since they moved and were under the impression Mr. Redneck (Nick) (Maybe I'll call him RedNICK from now on) had either sold or hauled off any crap they didn't move to the new place. Apparently not. George, having known Mrs. Redneck (Sheri) since she was a wee lass, was seriously concerned as to their living conditions and the fact that two young kids also live with them "in those conditions." There were 2 x 4's with rusty nails poking up out of them, many many empty beer cans and bottles and a miscellany of other rednecky items. I'm guessing spare car parts and cement blocks probably turned up as well.
Luckily George was in a hurry to leave Sunday afternoon saving us from geting into too big of a discussion, but I know this is not over. Brian's mom also let her morbid curiosity get the best of her and just had to ride over there with George to see what the place looked like. She asked me if the inside of Sheri's house was just as bad, thereby implying one of the worst insults a southern woman can impart to another one: someone who's a bad housekeeper. ("Well bless her heart; she's probably just so busy chasin' after those wild, dirty young'uns without any help from that beer-drinkin' husband...")
Of course after we left their house, I told Brian, "You know we have to ride by there on the way home; I have to see what this place looks like." And yeah, it looked pretty bad. But I can honestly say Sheri did her best to keep a clean house with what she had to work with. And the new place looks fine - an immediate improvement, just by having so much more living space. She does have a husband who spends most of his time drinking in the backyard, dreaming up and starting projects that mostly don't get finished. Hell, he's already started rebuilding the back porch on the new place and I will tongue kiss a fluey swine if the thing ever gets completely done. But as far as cleanliness? Whenever I've been around, her kids are clean, everyone is wearing clean clothes and most importantly (to me) her kitchen is always clean.
Yes, the old place has a long ways to go before it can be put back on the market. George hasn't even decided whether or not he's going to take it on or pass it up and give it to another realtor, as he feels it's the worst place he's ever seen, that "It looks like drug dealers lived there." I can't believe that when he's given Brian and I a few places to clean up that looked (and smelled) like they were on the verge of being condemned. In 1973. I may be a little sensitive to the fact that these are our friends, but I think George may be acting a little gossipy and this is one of those small-town issues. I don't know.
Brian's parents have known Sheri and her parents over twenty years and they are walking-distance neighbors. I don't know that George would go so far as to say something to them, but based on things he's said to them in the past, it wouldn't be beyond his scope of awkward. They know we see them socially quite a bit and I'm hoping very much he doesn't, thereby putting US in any kind of awkward position - I would die if Sheri knew any of this. I mean, the only reason my house stays presentable is because I went from living 420 miles away to 20 miles away from my inlaws. That's the kind of math even *I* can figure out.
The Trash Heap has spoken! (I realize no one except people around my age who had HBO in the early 80's and were Fraggle Rock fans will get that, but that's okay)