Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dr. Chaffin Weenies Out; Kathleen Stands Firm

For those who occasionally come to this site, know that I'm in a beta blog fix. Google and Blogspot combined their sign-in requirements to promote this new technology, but the sad side effect is that I can't comment on my friends' non-beta blogs, unless the anonymous feature is enabled. As a middle child my sense of fairness bleeds; how can I pay people back for commenting here if I can't comment in turn?

Also, for those not conversant with our fascinating neighbors, recently jailed and released for grand larceny, we had a real blowout with them yesterday. They had enlisted us to open a cable TV account and share the expense, since as they operate only on a cash basis they couldn't order it themselves. The bill was due last week. We paid it. They didn't kick in their share. Yesterday I called the company to have their codes shut off. They were. When Bill and Darcy came home there was a firestorm. "How could you do this to us? Don't you trust us? We told you we'd have the money this week. Jesus!"

To which I replied I had already warned them if the money wasn't in at the beginning of this week I would do what I said I would do and did. I told Bill to shut up on the phone. "I hold the cards here," I said, "so don't fuck with me." When Darcy called afterwards I told her that due to her protesting as the victim instead of thanking me for getting them service at all, I was inclined not to have the codes turned on for their reception again.

That's when Darcy came to the door and said, "I can't believe you don't trust us after all this time. Don't you trust us?"

To which Kathleen issued a resounding, "No. I don't trust you. You tried to turn me into your fence."

Darcy was flabbergasted by the term, so repaired to her unit to ask of Bill what 'fence' might mean. She came back with a diatribe about how all the things she had wanted Kathleen to sell were truly hers, that her former landlady (who recently had Darcy jailed) had "given" these things to her. Kathleeen stood her ground but I didn't. Bill brought over a $50 and said "keep the change" (which wasn't much change but no doubt helped him satisfy his grandiosity). So I weenied out. I called the cable company and had them reconnected. After all, they did pay me early this week as they said they would. I went ahead with the disconnection because I know they're in hawk to the landlord, who's evicting them, and thus took a dim view of their credit.

Perhaps the main reason I disconnected them instead of waiting another day or two was because they are television addicts--I got a good dose of Schadenfreude in taking away their lollipop. I have never been to their place when the TV was not on and too loud to talk over, made worse by Bill's need to bloviate about what's on TV, especially sports.

What if their story is true? What if their landlady had offered them all the 'stuff' the police took away? It is a slim possibility, and in general I give folks the benefit of the doubt. So maybe I didn't just weenie out, maybe it was because the quality of mercy is not strained. Also because I think they would go bonkers without the lullaby of their electronic babysitter, and that Sturm und Drang would continue in their manipulative whining for the forseeable future.

Their arraignment is today. If the bail is low enough they'll return, or maybe they have resources I don't know about, cash stuffed away for just such emergencies to buy them their temporary freedom.

Kathleen also questioned Darcy how she could rent a car without a credit card. Darcy claimed Enterprise would do it for a cash deposit of $200. She encouraged us to check the facts but were too lazy to do so.

My Jungian shadow confesses to delight in turning their television off, and I knew it would provoke a firestorm, but all in all I didn't want to live near those two if they didn't have television. I could have stood my ground and they would have had no recourse as they have no credit card. But Kathleen, God bless her, didn't budge and was disappointed in my manhood for not standing firm (pun unintended).

On the plus side, I got fifty dollars and put the fear of God into them. I have established that I have power to cut their lifeline off with a phone call. They have no life apart from television that I can see; if they were in hell, I doubt they would notice their surroundings as long as they had a television.

I'm glad I can blog into the black ether rather than stay chained to the little box of horrors.

Except for his limp, Kenyon's doing find. I've now wrapped his left "knee" joint with an Ace wrap and duct tape, and amazingly, he hasn't tried to chew it off. Kathleen insists that it helps him, as he can bear more weight on the leg. I'm not convinced. It certainly doesn't hurt. When I suggested it to the vet she was not enthusiastic but I know now that you can splint a dog. Naturally as a doctor I'm puzzled by the extra joint in his leg that we don't have; do dogs have two knees? If so, I bandaged the lower one.

Tomorrow I aim to blog on the men's circle up here and its preparation for a retreat at the end of the month. The theme is the archetype of the Magician.

Thine at Rodent Neutral,



  1. Oh Lordy, I don't think it's possible to put the fear of God into those people. They don't even think beyond the next day, much less the next life...you're most likely going to have to cut them off again!

    However, the ongoing drama is interesting.

  2. At the very least I think it’s probably clear to them now that your pardon is a one time gift. You now have ultimate leverage, or as ultimate as it gets with people predominately preoccupied with going to jail in all likelihood. In any case I’d keep that Schadenfreude muscle all limbered up.

  3. I think you're both right, the hard part is being firm and friendly at the same time. I can do it as a psychotherapist but it's harder as an average human, because my neighbors haven't empowered me the way patients do. So I may have to outdo their hysteria next time, become even more hysterical as a defense. I can do this and worse, I can plan to do this and not be invested in the process while enjoying the inevitable results. Does this make me inhuman?

  4. No, I wouldn’t say that makes you inhuman; though I would suggest hysteria might be better countered with an infuriatingly reasonable tone. Of course since your position is far more reasonable than theirs a tone of unemotional logic shouldn’t be too hard to manage (easy for me to say). After all, who doesn’t love the “I don’t care enough about you to get angry about this” reaction, with just a dash of patronizing sympathy.

  5. Ouch. That's how I operated with my first wife, a bit of a hysteric, and it only infuriated her more. I went to pre-marital counseling with my second wife, where the therapist encouraged me to meet anger and emotionality in the same arena, rather than going doctor on her. It worked. This is all so tempest in a teacup but in its own way interesting.

  6. Anonymous4:51 PM PDT

    You "got fifty dollars"? Don't you mean you were "reimbursed fifty dollars"?

  7. Yes, and there was no spare change, naturally, since if I hadn't paid the bill in time there would have been a penalty. Finances are so abstract!


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