Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The Worst Kid in Minnesota

We have some newish (3-4 months, maybe) neighbors in the apartment adjoining ours, and I am coming to hate their offspring. They look fairly normal- he's your standard chunky, truck-drivin' south Minneapolis rube-in-training; she's very thin and washed-out; and their kid (I'm bad with kid ages, but I'd say between one and two- he walks but doesn't speak in any coherent manner) is cute enough, in the rare moments he's quiet.

But lord almighty, that kid makes the noise. Several times a day, at intervals of roughly 2-3 hours, the little bastard will just let loose with the most ungodly howls. If you're a Public Enemy fan, think about the tortured-dolphin noise looped in the background of Terminator X to the Edge of Panic, but at higher volume and repeated for maybe twenty minutes. For a while, I thought that the new neighbors were some sort of sadists, getting their kicks poking at the kid with hot irons.

But no, there's no kid-torture going on. Just one noisy toddler. When he's not howling, El Nino Diablo is fond of grabbing mommy's car keys and playing with all of the buttons, sending the alarm on her Durango into full freakout mode. This happens a couple of times a week. Another game the little shitweasel likes to play involves sitting in the neighbor's sun porch and looking across the front yard into our sun porch to see if any grownups are out there, say, having a beer and working on an essay- and if a grownup is there, he howls something resembling "hello" and bangs on his window frame to get your attention. And when you, breaking down in disgust after five minutes of this, pull the shades down, he starts crying at the top of his lungs.

He likes to play a variation of that game with the cats; they love to sit in the sun porch windows and watch the goings-on in the front yard, and whenever the kid sees one of them, he screeches a variant of "kitteeeeee!" at them. Invariably, they put their ears back and stare at him as though they're seriously thinking about putting their weight against the screen, jumping down at him, and checking out baby flesh as a supplement to cat nuggets.

And if they tried, I'd wish them nothing but success and enjoyment.

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