Elster's World

Sunday, August 13, 2006

One Man's Expression Of Frustration

The craziest thing happened to me this weekend. I must tell you all about it.

So there’s this squatter who has been living in my backyard, throwing stones at my house, for months. It’s really annoying and slightly damaging. I have had to replace windows and my kids are afraid to venture into the yard. The problem is that the police refuse to recognize him as a squatter and, thus, they will not remove him from my backyard. They also seem to look the other way at the fact that he’s been randomly lobbing stones at my house for the last several months. I don’t get how they turn a blind eye towards his behavior. I suspect the police simply dislike me because I’m Jewish.

Anyway, things really began to escalate last week when he entered into my kitchen, swiped my favorite cereal.

Well, my kids (who rule the roost in my house, but who are clearly too inexperienced to be properly dealing with this situation) demanded that I retaliate, but they didn’t want me anywhere near the guy. So I pulled out my trusty paintball gun and began mercilessly pelting him with paint pellets – night and day – for a whole week.

Instead of driving him away, however, the squatter simply started firing more and even larger stones at Casa Elster. The kids suggested I go out there and hit him with a wiffle bat, which I did, but damn if that son of a gun didn’t start throwing rocks right at me. Ouch.

Well at this point, the mayor of my town started to get involved. While the town council clamored for an immediate end to our violence and for me to just let the squatter live in my backyard, the mayor condemned the squatter and said that the Elsters should take as much time as they needed to remove all of the squatter’s rocks, and get back Elster’s favorite cereal, so that we could all live in relative “peace”.

And so, upon orders from my kids, out I went with a frikking two by four and homicide in my eyes. And as I’m approaching this crazy squatter, ready to beat him senseless and, thus, making his rock pile a moot point, a Range Rover pulls up in front of my house. Out pops the mayor and town council.

“Here’s the deal,” the mayor tells me, unable to look me directly in the eye. “The council has drafted a resolution regarding you and the squa..uh, I mean gentleman living legally in your backyard. Here are the terms. 1. He gets to live in your backyard. 2. He gets to keep his rock pile. 3. At a later date you can try and negotiate for the safe return of your cereal, but you will probably have to give him something else for it. 4. Oh, and you know that nice deck you have? Um, that’s his deck now.”

As I’m attempting to pick my jaw off the floor, the mayor continues. “Oh but don’t you worry boy. We’re gonna put someone right in this buffer zone area of your yard, right here by the swing set, to make sure the squatter leaves you alone.” He then goes on to introduce me to the squatter’s brother. “Have a nice day,” he said, as they all pulled into their Range Rover and drove away.

Sound familiar?

14 Comments:

  • :(

    By Blogger BrownsvilleGirl, at 11:18 PM  

  • I would be laughing my ass off if it wasn't so sad...

    By Blogger Dayli, at 7:54 AM  

  • This is actually exactly what the Arabs think Israel is.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:46 AM  

  • BVG: Yes, incredibly, hoorribly, sad.

    Dayli: Same.

    Joe: I do so strive for realisim in my satire.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:17 AM  

  • Not sure I understand your last comment. While you presumably view the "squatter" as an Arab, I think it more aptly describes how they see Israel. How is it possible for Israel to deal with that perception? Endless military attacks? Endless political concessions?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:26 AM  

  • Actually, the "squatter" in this case is Hezbollah, an unofficial "aquatter in Israel's b"backyard", Southern Lebabnon.

    You are correct that the Arab world see's Israel much the same way, buit I was not looking at it from that perspective.

    In your case, i.e., Israel as the swuatter, I don't belive that the image can EVER be changed. Arab children are indoctrinated from birth the view the Jew as an interloper to be driven into the sea. The world (and UN) view the Jew as a nuisance, begrudgingly accepting their right to have a home but seemingly always siding against them when their home is being threatened.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:31 AM  

  • I understood what you were saying. However, Hezbollah is not a squatter in southern Lebanon. Unlike your backyard, which you own, southern Lebanon does not belong to Israel. The problem is not Hezbollah's presense in southern Lebanon, but it's attacks on Israel in Israel's own home.

    From the Arab perspective, Israel is a squatter, and Arabs are frustrated that the U.S. and even Europe tells them to compromise with Israel, let the Jews have a small country, etc. Probably the best we can do is ensure that the world understands that Israel is not a squatter, but has an inherent right to a state in the Land of Israel.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:46 AM  

  • Do you have any suggestions Joe, because nothing seems to be working.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:55 AM  

  • And yes, I guess my analogy wasn't perfect, but it was simply suposed to illuminate the almost laughable nature of the current state of affairs.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:57 AM  

  • My suggestion is seeking to maintain a decent state of relations with relatively moderate Arab states such as Egypt and Jordan, so that fanatics in Iran and Hezbollah are isolated when events like those of the last month occur. That's the best we can do right now.

    Longer term, I believe the solution to the Palestinian problem requires Jordan to take security control over much of Judea and Samaria. The U.S. will have to "convince" Jordan to do so.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:15 AM  

  • But who currently weilds the true power in the Middle East? it seems to be Syria and Iran more so than Egypt and Jordan. Also, do you think Israel can mak relative peace with Lebanon or are there too many hard feelings?

    Long term, what does Jordan gain from controlling Palestine? No one in the Arab world want to deal with the Palestinians either.

    By Blogger Elster, at 1:02 PM  

  • 1. Yes, but imagine how bad things would be without peace with Jordan and Egypt.

    2. A peace treaty with Lebanon is out of the question in the foreseeable future, and as long as Lebanon allows a proxy of Iran to amass massive amounts of weapons, so is a "relative peace." Only if Iran moderates and ends its sponsorship with Hezbollah can Israel and Lebanon begin to normalize their relationship.

    3. It's not in Jordan's interest to have a Hamas government just to its west. I'm not suggesting that Jordan rule Judea and Samaria, but that it take security control over the areas (along with NATO troops) in lieu of a Palestinian state.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 1:30 PM  

  • Brilliant. You have a true talent for this kind of writing. There is more to Elster the writer than has been previously revealed....

    By Blogger MC Aryeh, at 7:22 PM  

  • Get Over It

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