When I moved out to the suburbs back in aught seven (or was it aught six?), I didn’t expect that I’d blend right in. While I do live in the area in which I was raised, being an adult is much different than being a child. Mainly because you have to remember to take out the recycling bins every Tuesday, and who can remember THAT shit?

(answer: The Daver)

I was a young mother. Not like Teen Mom style, but birth-control-fail-whale and happy-twenty-first-enjoy-your-bottle-of-baby-formula, kind of young. In some parts of the country, having a baby at twenty-one is more normal than it is here in Saint Charles, IL (NOT MO). I’ve never been looked down on, per se (unless the person in question was taller than I), but I’m definitely the odd one out when I take my kid to Jr. High orientation, and not just because I’m wearing a shirt that says “HOORAY BEER” on it.

So the house in the suburbs, that seemed pretty okay with me. I mean, it beat Oak (no) Parking, which is so beyond liberal that me and my boring biological child (not a baby I adopted from some exotic country) well, we were breeders. I was never gonna make it there as a parent.

But here in St. Charles, well, people here are NICE. Within five minutes of moving in, two sets of my neighbors had brought over brownies and cookies for us to eat. It was incredible, considering that, in my condo, the last thing I’d gotten on my doorstep was a bag of dogshit.

My neighborhood is so overrun with kids that when mine go out to play, I can barely identify them in the swarming masses of swirling kids clamoring for money for the ice cream man. It’s fucking great. No, seriously, it is.

Until I go and fuck shit up.

Now when I moved in to my house, I hadn’t realized how piss-poor the landscaping job was. It was like the original owners hired landscapers and every owner since just sorta threw up their hands and decided that rather than “maintain the bushes,*” they’d just wallpaper the bathrooms in every possible fug ass pattern. I imagine it went like this:

Old Owner #1: “Man, those bushes need to be trimmed.”

Old Owner #2: “I’m thinking a three swatch pattern for the bathroom. The room’s only 4×2 – that should make the three patterns POP!”

Old Owner #1: “But the shrubbery must be maintained! We cannot see out of the windows!”

Old Owner #2: “You’re right! We should put a faux wood toilet seat on, too!”

Old Owner #1: “But! We look like recluses!”

Old Owner #2: “What do you think of an angel theme?”

It was February of Aught Six when we moved in and I didn’t know anything about the shrubbery except that there were a number of fake flower beds planted in the front of the house. Oh, and the old owners had been kind enough to leave us a hanging basket of fake flowers that looked like it had come over on the Mayflower.

It took walking into my backyard after the snow melted to note that there was, in fact, two gaping holes in the lawn as well as a number of bushes so overgrown I wouldn’t be surprised if we were on the FBI’s watch list.

“The Serial Killer Next Door,” tonight on Fox News Chicago.

(please ensure, Pranksters, that you find the picture of me with a chain saw to accompany that particular news segment. OH! And I want Tori Spelling to play me in my Lifetime Original Movie.)

I applied this bizarre mix of shredded paper and grass seed to the gigantic spots on the lawn, and oddly, grass grew. Apparently, you grow grass by putting newspaper on it. Perhaps print media ISN’T dead!

But the shrubbery? That was a different ballgame. Two years, two busted ankles, a couple of trips to the Serial Killer Section of the hardware store, and eventually, all of the fug ass evergreens were replaced by daintier azaleas and rhododendrons. Flower beds with REAL FLOWERS were planted and sometimes? They even LIVED.

The problem started here:

I bought Mark Zuckerberg.

Yeah, I know, he’s not the ultimate in tacky and he and I aren’t speaking terms because HELLO, he had a wedding and didn’t invite me. HOW DARE YOU, MARK ZUCKERBERG, HOW DARE YOU?

Once I bought Mark Zuckerberg, I realized he needed some friends. Sure, you can’t have a million friends without making some enemies, but I suspect Mark Zuckerberg has very FEW friends.

I introduce to you, The Bros Winkelvoss, or, as I like to call them, The Winkelvii:

Now you may be saying, THAT’S FLAMINGO ABUSE, or, if you’re my mother, “I raised you better than that.”

But what makes these flamingos even awesomer? THEY’RE SOLAR POWERED.

Yes, that’s right – I have light-up flamingos that I named after the ALMOST Founders of The Facebook.

I decided that this wouldn’t do. It simply wouldn’t do. It needed MORE.

It needed THIS:

I’m thinking these may be Tom from MySpace (that dude was EVERYONE’S friend), Justin Timberlake from Napster, and the guy who put together Friendster.

Who doesn’t want a prop-filled backyard filled with Internet People?

Jimmy Wales – you and your eyes that watch me wherever I go, silently judging me for looking up “Why is orange a color and a fruit” on Wikipedia – You’re NEXT.

You’ve been warned.


Edited to add: Here is the link to where you, too, can purchase Zombie Gnomes!

P.S. The flamingo one is next.



37 thoughts on “Probably Why I Don’t Get Invited To Block Parties

  1. OMG Bex – I love your Facebook Flamingoes AND the zombie gnomes *runs out to buy them stat*. Imma send you something–need your shirt size. 😀

  2. Love the yard decorations! I have a picture of Zombie gnomes eating a flamingo on my Pinterest page. Does your blue flamingo come in purple? That one is awesome!

  3. Light up flamingos. I had no idea such thing existed. Did you get them from a skymall mag?? 🙂 I’m thinking garden frog for Jimmy Wales. Just saying, a big eyed one would do nicely.

  4. OMG I am SO Jealous. I NEED those Flamingo, where or where did you get them? And I also MUST own the Zombie Gnomes, where did you get those? I have decided I need a garden with only figurines, (hmm I don’t know what else they would be called) forget flowers.

  5. Dude, I don’t get this bizarre trend of “planting” fake flowers. I have some neighbors with a faux garden out front, and my grandma once dated an old man who did the same thing. What. The. Hell.

  6. OK, just for the record, you can’t post pictures this incredibly great and not say where you got the stuff!! I’m in New England – it’s not like we’d have two yards in the same neighborhood wearing the same gnomes!

  7. Zombie Gnomes? ZOMBIE GNOMES?!?! You just make my fucking day! I shall become the bane of my neighbors existence when I find these and FILL my yard with them!!!


  8. The other day I saw skeleton gnomes (a fact that would be infinitely more relevant if I could remember WHERE I saw them), but I think the gangsta style shooting gnomes (which is “oh so STC”….I know…..I’m from there as well) are eleventy million times better. Though perhaps you could get a skeleton gnome to be Jimmy Wales….

  9. You make me want to have some sort of garden out front. However, I’m in NJ, and people would steal that shit. But I have a garden in my mind… and… its glorious!!

    But, lets back up a second… You moved in, and your neighbors brought you legit cookies?!? Like, edible ones? Not laced with poison?!

    I need to move…



  10. So awesome that you got the zombie gnomes! They are amazing. Loving the flamingos and I think the only appropriate thing to do would be to blast Katy Perry’s song Peacock in speakers around your little bird garden. 🙂 Also I was in Chicago this weekend on a last minute crazy road trip where we looked at $100,000 cars and went to Woodfield mall. It was a crazy trip. Next time I will have to make sure we have lunch or gape awkward and tourist like at things. 😉

  11. I love you for many reasons, but one of the reasons at the top of the list is that you are fucking weird. God I love that in a person.

    I have a pretty cool gnome myself. When the husband and I were host parents to a German exchange student he brought us many gifts, but my favorite is the gnome. The gnome which I’ve named, Ronald McRammstein, is holding a big hamburger and fries. It struck me as incredibly telling of how America is viewed to the rest of the world. We’re all hamburger and fry eating Fatty Fattersons in their eyes and they aren’t far off the mark.

    Anyway, I love Ronald McRammstein so motherfucking much and I think he and your zombie gnomes would have a good time together.

  12. I think you have done wonders to improve your landscaping. Have you considered a life size bear? Perhaps he can be named after Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

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