The Year of Living Small

I am utterly convinced I cannot commit armed robbery in this town.

Case in point: After the first Covid lockdown I went to the coffee shop I had not visited in months, wearing a mask, sun glasses and a baseball hat pulled low. “Hello Jeff,” one of the owners yells as soon as I walk in the door.

Yes, and it’s the same at the gym, the local convenience store … and, well, the liquor store.

This is just one of many interesting things I have discovered during the last year of living small. I know, a great deal of you think because most of us at Overtime Media work at home, it hasn’t been a big change for us, but we miss leaving the house to work at the libraries, the coffee shops, and those late afternoon meetings at the local bar.

But perhaps it wasn’t a totally wasted year of living very local. For instance, I now know the names of all the kids in a two-block area, along with the dogs. I’m working on the parents.

Speaking of dogs, I’m guessing at least half of the dogs around here are labradoodles; most of them blond, with the poodle upgrade. I wrote them a little ditty, which starts “I’m a labradoodle dandy, a labradoodle do or die.” My apologies to George M. Cohen and to the neighbors who don’t find this as amusing as I do.

I now know the postman’s name, as well, and the fact he has two kids, one in college and one in high school. I know the names of my next-door neighbor’s extended family and the fact that one of their grandchildren is mad about playing Frisbee, at least he was until he got that hover board for Christmas.

Of my neighbors in this two-block area, there are three guitarists (including myself) a bass player, a professional pianist (who gives outdoor concerts for the neighborhoods) and my close neighbor who played drums in a professional rock band in the ’70s. Unfortunately the record label brought in a session player for drums in their one recording – incidentally the same thing happened to Ringo Starr for the Beatles first UK release.

I now know that it’s 1,285 steps to the golf course (more when it’s cold) from my home and back, going the long way back. Figuring I should get 10,000 steps on any given day I should do this eight times a day. I do not.

Speaking of the golf course, they absolutely do not allow people to walk around the course when it’s closed. Got caught doing it one snowy day by some idiot gunning his cart and cutting ruts in the dirt golf path that borders the western most part of the course.

“That will be $62,” he yells at the two of us.

“The course is closed,” I noted.

“It’s trespassing is what it is,” he insists. So I give up and walk back the way I came in.

I’ve also discovered I dislike one of my next-door neighbors even more than I thought before spending all day around his constantly barking and growling dogs. In fact it’s a good thing I don’t believe in handguns, because I swear…

Perhaps it’s time for my local discoveries to end. Bring on that vaccine, please, please…