I don’t know if this is a universal experience in Philadelphia, but I spent my whole life up to this point living no more than two doors down from a drug dealer.
Visit Philly! Score some drugs!
I don’t know if it was something about my choice in row homes or just something about Philadelphia, but there has been evidence of illegal narcotics distribution within a few hundred feet of my door in every place I’ve lived. Southwest, University City, West, South.
Mind you, if you are a drug dealer, or a drug addict – or, hey, even a drug mule! – I am not passing judgment on you. I can’t afford to alienate that (potentially wide) swath of blog readers. But, more to the point, what you do inside your house is totally cool. Me, I have my wife tie me to a chair in a room covered in plastic sheets, so you guys can just keep on keeping on. I’m just saying, it’s not like I’ve always lived within two doors of a police officer, or a gymnast. There’s simply something special about drug dealers.
This is maybe why I maintain a blanket approach of wary kindness to neighbors. I want to know their name in case I have to borrow a cup of sugar or talk to the cops about them, but I typically don’t want to go over for dinner or anything. I mean, you heard about the neighbor who offered teenaged me some crack to smoke, right?
When a neighbor stopped by our house to offer to cart away some of our dirt, perhaps you can understand why I immediately assumed it was code. I mean, the dirt is just dirt, but the offer must have something to do with drugs. He said he needed to fill in his yard before he put in an above ground pool, but “fill in the yard” probably meant “bury the evidence” and “above ground pool” was probably code for “massive bong.”
In this case, said neighbor showed up with an actual wheelbarrow to transport the literal dirt. I wanted to ask, “are you a drug farmer?,” because who else just shows up at your house with a wheelbarrow? Who even owns a wheelbarrow? Farmers, that’s who.
My neighbor was not a drug dealer, a drug farmer, or a non-drug farmer. He was a friendly guy who wants to put an above-ground pool in for his hilarious five-year-old daughter, who helped us shovel and then volunteered to plant flowers for E.
I realize I’ve now unwittingly befriended everyone within a two-house radius of our new house, and so far none of them have tried to sell us drugs. Which makes me wonder: is this real life?
(Although, to be fair, said neighbor did tell us about a grisly triple-murder that happened just down the block … but I have to think that’s way more common in Philly than even friendly neighborhood drug dealers.)
Next the world is going to try to convince me that if I leave our car unlocked no one is going to come by to pee in it.
It’s not going to work! I know that unlocked cars are the world’s urinal.