Thursday, May 24, 2007

Good Fences

T'was a big week in the neighborhood.

Not one but two residents of our quiet, suburban cul-de-sac put up imposing wooden fences in the past four days. Quite the stir this caused, not to mention a flurry of questions. I, personally, was asked:

"Do you know the families?" (no)
"Do you know why they both did it?" (no)
"Are they mad at anybody?" (no idea)
"Do you think they planned it before and are doing it now because it's spring?" (really, no idea)
"Doesn't it block your view, it blocks ours?" (nope)
"Is this a new trend?" (you're asking me?)

What I found most intriguing wasn't the sudden increase of pine boards and posts in the neighborhood, it was the unrelenting speculation. Neighbors who vagely knew each other were now bonding over the motivational analysis of other neighbors, many of whom the analyzers hadn't bothered to talk to in months or years...if they'd ever met them at all.

Were I an attention-seeking sort, I'd be tempted to put up my own backyard fence. Might it make me a better neighbor? Maybe, maybe not. But it seems it'd make me a more interesting one.

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