A tale of two Tucsonans: One nice neighbor, one nasty stranger

Tucson is packed with some of the coolest folks. But like anywhere else, the cool folks are balanced out by some real pieces of work. We recently ran across two shining examples of both.

The nice neighbor

A Sunday morning knock on the door is not something many of us are particularly raring to answer. But it’s OK when our neighbor at the door, one of the neighbors we like in the first place, who gives us reason to like him even more.

Nice neighbor greets Phoebe (left) and Sawyer/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Nice neighbor greets Phoebe (left) and Sawyer/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Next door neighbor came to ask if it were OK for him to trim my mesquite tree that was heavily invading his yard. “Of course you can,” said I, “You didn’t even have to ask.”

“Well, it’s just common courtesy,” said he. If that wasn’t enough, he agreed to meet the dogs for the first time face to face. He did not even flinch when Sawyer went zooming at his, um, belly area. And he even petted the pooches, asking their names.

Nice neighbor showcasing mesquite efforts/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Nice neighbor showcasing mesquite efforts/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

The neighbor got even better when, once he was done trimming the mesquite, he called me over to make sure I liked what he did with it. I don’t know about you, but I have the sudden urge to bake some neighborly cookies or something.

Anyone who thinks I am perhaps over-reacting by falling backwards with joy because of such a courteous chap has probably neither lived in New York City for 17 years nor worked in journalism for even a day. The nice neighbor has asked to remain anonymous.

The nasty stranger

The nasty stranger, for sure, gave us a dose of Big Apple respect, or lack thereof, right here in Tucson. Nasty stranger shall remain anonymous, too, mainly because we don’t know who he (or she) is.

One of my friends experienced the nasty stranger incident. She had been shopping at Home Depot, using the cane she’s been carrying after her hip replacement surgery. She’s well on the mend, but still travels with it for support. While shopping, she puts the cane in the shopping cart and uses the cart for support.

My friend realized she forgot her cane at Home Depot/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

My friend realized she forgot her cane at Home Depot/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Alas, about 20 minutes after leaving Home Depot, my pal realized she no longer had her cane. She surmised she left it in the Home Depot cart, which I colored with orange wheels so you would know it’s from Home Depot.

She rushed back to the store, checking all the carts, inquiring at the counters and asking other employees if they had seen hide or hair of her cane.

"There's a hot spot in hell" for the cane thief/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

"There's a hot spot in hell" for the cane thief/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Double alas, the cane was gone. “Someone stole my cane,” my friend lamented. “Do you believe that? That’s low. Do you honestly think it was someone who needed a cane and happened to run across it, knowing it could help them. I doubt it. Someone probably took it for a Halloween costume or something.

“There’s a hot spot in hell waiting for that inconsiderate S.O.B.”



What do you think?

What would you do if you found a cane in a shopping cart?

Have you ever taken something someone left in a shopping cart? What?

Did you steal a steak?

Would you ask your neighbor’s permission before you trimmed his or her tree hanging in your yard?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, life, notable folks, odd pueblo, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to A tale of two Tucsonans: One nice neighbor, one nasty stranger

  1. leftfield says:

    Calling all cars: Be on the lookout for an elderly cane thief with a limp.  He is to be considered armed (with a cane), dangerous and he may be cranky and confused if he hasn’t had his nap.  He is known to wear his pants waist just under his armpits and dark knee socks with sandals.  In the past he has been often seen at Luby’s restaurant,  where he loudly demands his “Senior Discount” and bores the other patrons with stories of the Great Depression.  He may be traveling with “Dirty Mary”, a known stealer of candy from babies and coins from church collection boxes. 

    • Rynski says:

      hahahha! you are on a ROLL!!! this morn, leftfield – absolutely love it!
      best alleged thief description yet, esp. the part about his pants waist beneath the armpits and the dark socks/sandal combo.
      i’ll be ‘dirty mary’ also takes pennies from the front counters with places that have the ‘leave a penny take a penny bin’ – hahahhaha.

  2. azmouse says:

    Me and my neighbors, as you know Ryn, are all very friendly. You just have to put yourself out there, and maybe go out of your way a bit to try and be friends.

    Most of them will be wonderful, a few could care less, some might not answer the door whenever you try to meet them, and you might even have a guy across the street that now thinks you want to have sex with him because you wave and say ‘hi’ on occasion.
    Oh well……

    So sorry for your friend.

    • Rynski says:

      i did think of you when chatting with the nice neighbor – and wondered if you get that fine feeling all the time? i was really blown away how courteous this guy is.
      i’m sure others on the block, too, are fine folks – come to think of it, another one came to the door not too long ago to tell me phoebe was running up and down the street (the back gate swung open).
      hey – you’re absolutely right – there might be something to this neighborliness after all, hahhahah.
      (although i DON’T want to meet the ‘guy across the street sex’ type – hahahaha. i remember you mentioning him, something about hanging around a mailbox?)
      thanks for friend cane sympathy – i shall pass it along.

    • Jim Kelley says:

      I thought waving was the universal sign for ” Come here you hot stud, I want you now.”  Maybe that is why no one waves at me anymore. Hmmmm

      • Rynski says:

        nah, the universal ‘come here hottie’ sign is blaring the car horn and yelling ‘yo, baBEEEE!’ out the window – or at least that’s the sign i’ve seen guys doing…

      • leftfield says:

        I’m curious if there has ever in the history of the entire world and all its people been a woman who responded favorably and found true love upon hearing a man yell, “yo, babeeee”?

      • Bill Hilser says:

        Hey Lefty: I don’t know about “yo, babeeee,” but I’ve had more than my share of favorable responses to “Hey, baby, wanna ride in my Ferrari?”
        <g> ‘So many women, so little time.’  —  Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  3. Oakland says:

    When I Just Recently move in to my new home,the neighbors across the street brought my wife and I brownies. I thought that was the coolest thing. I haven’t had that kind of interaction with my neighbors since I left Wyoming 14 years ago.

  4. Rynski says:

    A SWEET CANE STORY was e-mailed to me by Dolores Ellis, nickname Rusty, which I am posting below with her permission.
    Here it comes pretty much verbatim:
    Recently, a 92-year-old lady from Indiana came to visit with us.
    She is one of those knockout seniors who rocks. When she was getting back to the airport to meet with the transportation back to Phoenix where she was to spend the remainding days of her visit, the car pulled away and we followed shortly thereafter.

    My granddaughter found the gal’s cane that the she had forgotten.

    We sped up to find them and caught them just as they stopped to pay the parking fee, we did the same in the opposite lane and started honking and pulled up beside them.

    The back window went down as well as their passenger window
    when we got their attention and stuck the cane out the window.
    We pulled up beside them in the right lane. Drivers behind slowed down and honked with delight when they figured out what we were doing.

    Laughing, granddaughter shoved the cane over so it could be retrieved. We couldn’t stop talking about that and the passenger let us know later when she was back in IN she wants to come back. (the granddaughter beat her at Scrabble and the lady is a topnotch player). (She never used the cane in our visit, even walking over to meet neighbors with us!)

    thanks, delores/rusty!
    fine story indeed!

  5. radmax says:

    Man, what a bummer on your friend’s cane Rynski. I bet the fool tossed the thing soon after stealing it. What fun! ?
    Good neighbors are the finest of the fine, and not all that uncommon in the old pickelbarrel.
    Alas, it only takes one cranky old man/woman, crack house or meth lab to ruin the whole neighborhood.

    • Rynski says:

      old pickle barrel – hahahhah! nice image, radmax. reminds me of renaissance fair where these giant barrels are stocked with pickles as big as tennessee!
      thanks for cane sympathy for my friend – yeah, she was in total disbelief – i, too, doubt it was found and put to good use.
      as for good neighbors – they sure don’t always grow on mesquite trees! but when they do, it’s like a fragrant bloom!

      • radmax says:

        How could I forget?…almost. 😉
        The illustrations are adorable! You should write an illustrated children’s book. 🙂

  6. Alan Melroy (Alan from Kent WA says:

    Here in the socialist NW, canes are too small of fish.  Instead, we have people moving into vacant 5 million dollar homes in the Eastside saying that they are abandoned, and they are just claiming ownership. 

    Obviously, the cane was abandoned by some capitalist pig, who deserved to give it to someone else who it didn’t belong to.  From each, according to his ability, to each, according to his need.

    By the way, when I lived in the Old Pueblo, they called it theft.  Here in Seattle, they call it power to the people right on. 

    • Rynski says:

      ha! wow-ee alan from kent WA,
      i never made it as far north as seattle – lived in southern oregon where the attitudes were dandy – but it sounds kinda strange out there – hahhahahahah.
      thanks for input!

  7. smarkham says:

    From the top:
    I think you need to reconsider your use of our language, retreiving abandoned goods is not, under any stretch of the imagination, theft. I’ve never taken anything that was left in cart preferring to return it to the store in case someone comes looking for it. That’s just me, though. The only steak I recall being stolen was two (or was it three) that the illustrious chairman of the county democratic committee was caught walking out of store with back in the mid-seventies. And yes, I would certainly ask my neighbor’s permission to trim an overhanging plant. Heck, I’ve even asked to trim my plants overhanging their yard. Again, that’s just me.  Not everyone ticks like that.  On the other hand, if my neigbor declined my request trim, I’d do it anyway.  Asking was just being nice.

    • Rynski says:

      hey smarkham,
      thanks for comment – you’re right about abandoned objects not technically being theft – good point.
      it still feels thefty…and technically the cane was not abandoned but rather forgotten…
      oh, the linguistics of it all!
      the ‘finders keepers’ rule i guess could kick into effect – but i’m glad for those times i’ve forgotten or dropped something and folks do turn it in to store or actually run after me to give it back. i’m big on dropping/losing scarves.
      funny on the steak anecdote! and good for you on being a good neighbor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s