When I get bored watching the circus in Washington, DC, I glance at my NextDoor account to read about what’s going on in the neighborhood. The comments provide the best entertainment in town. Here are examples of recent online conversations (with my added comments) from actual adults who are allowed to own homes and walk among us:
Neighbor 1: Someone left a Secret Santa gift on my porch but a neighborhood kid stole a candy bar!
Neighbor 2: You don’t have to get snotty about it. Maybe the child was lonely and hungry.
Neighbor 3: Neither of you should eat a candy bar. I’ve seen you in shorts. Ghastly!
Neighbor 4: Give everyone a candy bar, just like the Communists. Is that why your door is painted red?
Neighbor 5: I think the Secret Santa gift was intended for me. Please bring it over after 3:00 pm.
Neighbors used to chat over the fence or take a casserole next door to discuss issues. Now they lob accusation, insults, and childish comments over the Internet instead of walking across the street. Here’s another enhanced example:
Neighbor 1: My crime camera caught a teenager prowling my porch. When I posted it here, a neighbor complained that I was publicly shaming a child.
Neighbor 2: It was cruel to post the video. His parents are drug addicts. Have some compassion.
Neighbor 1: Well, if this brat is held accountable, he won’t turn out like his loser parents.
Neighbor 3: Who are the drug addicts? Do they live on my street? Are they the ones with the purple hair and tattoos? I never liked them.
Neighbor 6: Does anyone know a good pest control company? I think there are fruit bats with rabies in my attic.
Neighbor 2: This is the “Crime & Safety” section. Post your question in the “Recommendations” category.
Neighbor 1: What? We have rabies-infected creatures in the neighborhood? What do we do?
I was tempted to run away and live in the forest without any neighborhood chat groups after this haunting exchange:
Neighbor 9: Stop feeding the ducks! They need to migrate. We have too many male Mallards and they gang-rape a female and hold her head under water until she drowns.
Neighbor 10: You idiot. It’s not mating season. And if male ducks raped and killed the female ducks, there wouldn’t be anymore ducks. Get a life.
Neighbor 11: Well, I’m never taking my grandkids to the pond again to feed the ducks. They don’t need to see any duck rapes.
Neighbor 4: You liberal crybabies want to feed the ducks to keep them dependent on the government.
Around the world, people live in fear of famine, wars, natural disasters, and lethal diseases. Here, in my little corner of Meridian, Idaho, all I need to fear are candy thieves, fruit bats with rabies, gang-raping ducks, and communists. It’s not Bedford Falls as portrayed in the delightful Christmas movie with Jimmy Stewart, but still, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”