When my wife and I moved back to Philadelphia five years ago, we bought a house in the suburbs. Even though I really miss Burbank and the whole Hollywood scene (no bumping into movie stars at the local Starbucks here), the area is nice and the neighbors are friendly. I also enjoy the fact that the neighborhood seems to have a Desperate Housewives/Blue Velvet-y vibe to it although I haven’t found a severed ear in my backyard yet.
A few weeks after we moved into our house, my wife and I were sitting in our living room one night when we heard a noise outside. My wife got up to investigate. As she opened our front door she found herself looking at two cheeks and not the kind that you find on a face.
“I’m being mooned,” she said. I looked at her puzzled. “Someone is standing across the street showing me their ass.” I got up to check it out only to see a group of teenage boys laughing and running away. You always see this sort of thing in movies and TV shows but it’s something I never thought actually happened in real life. I imagined they were running to Arnold’s to tell Fonzie all about it.
I couldn’t help but wonder: Why were we targeted? Was it some bizarre suburban ritual to welcome new neighbors? Had the gift basket become obsolete? Did I not tip the paperboy enough? Most of the people in the neighborhood are Irish and I’m Italian. Could this be a hate crime?
That’s when it occurred to me that perhaps the Philly suburbs and Hollywood weren’t so different after all. In both places, at any given time, there was a chance you could run into an asshole.