Riff-Raff is a 1947 black-and-white film starring Pat O’Brien, Anne Jeffreys, and Walter Slezak.

The people across the street from us are moving. All I know about them is that the man of the house is often shirtless, and I was told (by a different neighbor) that they’re downsizing because all of the kids moved out, yet there is definitely a kid living there. In other words, what I think I know about them is probably not true (except for that whole shirtless thing).

Wait. Here is an actual photograph that I took this morning of the man of the house. (Let’s keep the publication of this between us, because he hasn’t signed a model release form, and I definitely can’t afford a lawsuit right now, as moving is very expensive. Like, putting a cap on a sewer costs $269 and this I know is true because I wrote a check to a sewer place less than six hours ago for a cap that’s apparently made of crushed up Fabergé eggs.)


Anyway, two moving trucks pulled onto the street this morning and the moving guys jumped out and immediately started packing the trucks with stuff from Cranky NoShirt’s garage. They packed and they packed and they were total horses and at around 1:00 or so, I heard yelling. I decided to stay where I was because we live in a house of windows and I didn’t want to be seen. BUT, yelling. Lots of yelling.

When I left the house at 2:00ish to pick Meredith up from school, I noticed that two fairly large pieces of furniture are broken and lying on their sides in Cranky NoShirt’s front yard. Sad Dresser’s drawers are hanging out, and Dismal Bookshelf doesn’t have the strength for any more arguments (or Danielle Steel novels, if you know what I’m saying).

When Meredith and I returned from the school, NoShirt was in his garage yelling at someone I couldn’t see. All of this to say: When the new neighbors move in, I believe I will present them with a loaf of pumpkin bread and a sprig of sage with instructions for smudging.

(Did I tell you that we smudged sage before we moved into our house? We did. And, I won’t tell you WHY, although I WILL casually look up to the right and mutter something about differences in where we get our news…)

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9 thoughts on “Riff-Raff is a 1947 black-and-white film starring Pat O’Brien, Anne Jeffreys, and Walter Slezak.”

  1. Sage smudging a new space is ALWAYS a good idea. I like to burn a little copal resin, too. And listen to Dark Side of the Moon backwards. Wait, no. Just those first two.

  2. Ohh! Maybe the new neighbors will have kids! And maybe they will bake you something back as a thank you! They’ll be friendly but not overbearing and when she hears that you ran out of an ingredient in the middle of making dinner so you scrapped the whole recipe, she’ll be aghast and insist that next time you just call her! She’d be happy to share! And a friendship will begin not seen since Rob and Laura and Millie and Jerry.

  3. We smudge any new place we move in to. We also throw salt around the inside perimeter, buy new brooms, and make sure our first meal includes a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine to symbolize prosperity. And by “we” I mean “I”.

  4. Your photo of shirtless neighbor looks a lot like the guy who owned and operated a diner in the next village down the road from us. He did wear a shirt (health dept, etc.) but otherwise… spot on. He sold the place last winter to a young couple who had both graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Mpls and who cleaned up the place. Guess what? The parking lot is always full now. Go figger.

    I hope the new neighbors are a huge improvement!

  5. Smudge away the propaganda residue, sister! Here’s hoping for friendly, courteous new neighbors.

  6. Excellent that this particular neighbor is moving out now that The Puddings have moved in. From that photograph of shirtless guy, I know my appetite would be seriously diminished if I looked up and saw him every day. New neighbors will be nicer. They have to be.

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