When I was a kid, my mom worried about our neighbors.
"The chirldren need to know that these aren't like regular people," she'd tell my dad.
She had a point. We lived in the lunatic section of town.
There was Tod, the boy down the street who blew up small animals with firecrackers and kept digging up his deceased guinea pig to look at it. He also got a kick out of breaking into homes under construction and crapping in the toilets. He'd actually boast about this. Like he deserved a trophy. I don't know where he is today, but there's probably bodies hidden nearby.
Next door to Tod was Ernie. In contrast to Tod he liked to pee anywhere that wasn't a toilet. He marked a lot of territory at his peak. This little charmer had a grandmother who didn't speak English, so he taught her that "Fuck You" was how you said "hello" in English. His parents found out. He complained that he'd been horribly punished: "I don't get no new toys for a month! "
Dick and Jane across the street had stricter parents. Infractions (like getting a B on the report card instead of an A) meant getting beat with a bamboo cane. Their mom was crackers. One time she burned up half the kitchen. Pets were short lived under that roof. When I pointed out that their new parakeet was not only dead but covered with ants. "Oh!" she exclaimed. "Food! I forgot the food!"
The scariest neighbors lived next door. Both sides. More about them later...