Recently some friends dropped by, and in a fit of good humor tore a piece of cardboard and scribbled a sign:
Hulbert Trailer Park
Hulbert Trailer Park
We all had a good laugh, and left it taped to the side of my trailer, because that’s the kind of humor we love.
Several days later, a uniformed police officer appeared at our door.
“Is this your residence?” he asked politely.
“Yes,” I answered warily, wondering why HE looked embarrassed.
“Is that your trailer in the driveway?”
“Yes,” I replied as I tried to figure out which regulation I had broken by bringing a derelict, albeit adorable vintage trailer home. All sorts of thoughts raced through my brain in the matter of a few seconds: Was it stolen? OH NO! I bought stolen property! Where did I put the title? I should have registered it. Why didn’t I get it registered immediately? Does he want to buy it? Why the heck does he look so embarrassed?
“I’m sorry,” he interrupted my panic attack, “but we’ve had a complaint that you have a red trailer in your driveway that you are renting out.”
I stood there, blinking stupidly, trying to figure out how to answer that one. Well, there were a few fleeting words, but none that I could print on this blog.
“Well, some friends of ours put that sign up as a joke. Would you like to call them?”
“No, that’s OK,” he said, and he turned and walked away.
Now, I’m pretty sure I know who called the cops; this isn’t the first time. We have been continuously singled out for the same infractions that everyone else in the subdivision manages without repercussion. Whatever. The point is, I have really tried to hug this particular porcupine. But I just keep getting poked.
I’ve tried homemade jam, compliments about their landscaping, small talk about their yappy little dog; I’ve even shoveled their sidewalk. I cannot figure out what I did to become the number one target on their shooting range.
I guess my only remaining option, and the one I have resisted, is to pray for them. Unceasingly. What was that about “love your neighbor?” Man, it can be tough. Because, I admit, I’m angry. This has been going on for over 30 years. And now God wants me to pray for them? Well, actually, God probably wanted me to pray for them 30 years ago, but that’s beside the point. Sort of.
But here’s the thing. Maybe it’s not who I think it is. Clearly I need to be praying for the correct person, right?
Maybe I could flush them out by putting a little red light in the window and adding a sign that says “Daily and Hourly Rates.”
What do you do when you need to hug a porcupine?