By Malky Katz

February 2018
So, Charlie from across the street had a heart attack and died, and Maureen wants to live with her adult kids. San Diego. So, she lists her house for sale and guess what? Those Hasids attack the house like it’s being given away for 50 percent off on Presidents Day. First time we have Hasids checking out this area. What do they see here? It’s just an old one-family home, 30 years old, bi-level, finished basement, brick chimney. One after the other, families and families and kids and kids came and went until it finally got quiet again. Never saw such a busy open house. Very exciting for this neighborhood, but nobody in the neighborhood is excited. People here say it’s just a scare. The papers write they won’t really come here. There is nothing here for them, no synagogues, no schools for Hebrew and Yiddish, no matzah baking bakery. Why here?

May 2018
Finally, I know who the new neighbors will be. My nightmare comes true. The Hasids got the house. Signed contract, closed title, and now they’re renovating the kitchen and bathrooms. Took out the beautiful pool Maureen had put in, too. Who takes out a perfectly good pool? Six Hasid kids I saw the other day. Then the Dad. Frown-face mustache, a real beard, those ear curls they call “pay us,” a Yamaha beanie cap, black shoes, black pants, black vest, the works. I bet the guy doesn’t use deodorant either. Wouldn’t want to be stuck next to him on a plane. Yeah, it’s the real deal. A Hasid lady and a Hasid man. Bought the house. Now what? They came to check out the house the other day. It’s theirs, I guess they are entitled to come whenever they want. Whenever they want.

June 2018
Moving, moving, moving; it’s taking forever. Why do these Hasids always have to move? Can’t they stay where they are? I’m fed up with the cooling and heating trucks and plumbers and electricians. They hire new companies I never even heard of —of course none of the locals. Saw a Hasid in a red beard wearing a blue shirt. I kid you not! I thought that blue shirts on Hasids wasn’t allowed. But he was real. Came by a few times. A plumber. And now, every time I look out the window, I see a ladder, a truck, and a porta-potty.

July 2018
The kitchen people and plumber leave a trail of plastic bags and cartons all over the lawn and the wind picks up the stuff and blows it to my front lawn. I am fuming. This is exactly what the papers warn you about. These Hasids, they are filthy, they use some communal bath and don’t shower on Saturdays and have tons of kids who drop garbage like field mice droppings. The kids trample the flowers, then scamper to their backyards before I can think of setting them straight. Maybe it’s better I don’t talk to them. They’ll only give me attitude on the way, and disrespect our environment and the streams and rivers and the government. They flout the laws and norms, and do what they want.

You know, I worked hard all my life. A state trooper, with honors. Saved people, shot criminals, CPR, traffic accidents, trauma…the works. When I did the upstate highway shift, I even stopped a coupla Hasids from time to time, and when I asked to look in the backseat, you should see the kids and snack bags that come tumbling out. Exactly like the papers say.

All I want is to sit on my front porch and watch the sun make her rounds every day. Just like I’ve been doing these past eight years. I spread out on my wooden lounge chair, towel on my shoulders, the breeze patting my belly, the bees buzzing behind me in the garden that me and my wife still work on together on weekends, and my lazy dog Bo relaxing at my feet. All I want is peace and quiet and beer and sun. But I’m afraid they’ll trample my flowers and make my street unlivable with dirt and germs and human beings all over the place.

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