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Nextdoor to Mayberry

People are so snoopy when they’re approaching an accident. They don’t want to look, they shouldn’t look, but they’re going to look, gawk, stair, and then bam! They rear ended the car in front of them. The Nextdoor app is like that for me. I use it sparingly because of the side effects.
But honestly, doesn’t everything have side effects? Every over-the-counter medicine warns of drowsiness and the perils of using heavy machinery. As if we are a society of backhoe operators. Darn! I was ready to break out the steam shovel but I just took a Benadryl. Driving cars causes the ice caps to melt. Using sun tan lotion, kills sea turtles. Boy there is a loose, loose situation. Go without the lotion, get skin cancer. Use it and you’re killing defenseless, sea creatures. We finally save them from the tuna nets and now we’re clubbing in the head with Copper Tone.


I guess it was an animal to human transfer that caused the coronavirus. Someone became infected while preparing a Pangolin to eat. I saw a picture of one. It looks like the Pinocchio of armadillos, but it’s actually a type of anteater, who eats that? It sounds like a game of truth or dare that got out of hand. One kid dared his friend to eat an ant. The next thing you know someone’s eating an anteater, he barfs, three months later we’re all sick. Does anyone have some Tums?
My grandma told me that when she was growing up they would eat pill bugs to calm an upset stomach. My stomach would go from upset to projectile vomiting if I had to eat a pill bug. But when you’re raised in Acorn, Kentucky during the depression, with 15 siblings, in a 3 room farmhouse, with no doctor for miles, anything with the word “pill” in it, sounds like a cure.

So, the Nextdoor app, remember that conversation? If LinkedIn and Facebook had a baby, and that baby lived in Mayberry, it would be this app. The people who post on it live in cities, but their topics and responses are, so small town. Recently, Mary found a chicken in her back yard. That is a legit post from Indianapolis. Not kidding. She even posted a picture of it. Well, she tried to take a picture and post it. Apparently, photography isn’t one of her strong suits. It looked like someone’s furry hat was perched in a distant bush. Most of the users on there aren't very tech savvy. Taking a picture of their computer screen with their phone, then texting it, is a screen shot.
If you’re a type “A” techie, the app will drive you to drink hard liquor for lunch. To me, the innocent incompetence is part of the appeal. Usually, logging in becomes a 5 minute departure from the real world. I can find answers to questions surrounding the suspicious honking car on Cooper Road, and heed the warning of the neighbor who urges everyone to get their pets and small children safely inside, because there’s a circling hawk! Small children? Really? Have hawks started experimenting with pterodactyl DNA? Meanwhile, the circling hawk post is filled with responses of people thanking her! Come on, don’t thank her, mock her with me. I smell Aunt Bee’s perfume every time I log in. Totally Mayberry, brought to life via the app and your smart phone. You can even enable it to email updates. Personally, I can’t take the emailed updates. There is too much faux rainbows and unicorns in that app. When Marilyn creates a post asking if anyone knows of a handy man who can fix her shutter, there are only so many over the top helpful responses necessary. Too much sweetness causes diabetes.

So last Sunday, the beginning of week number two of our “life in the new norm.” Moms everywhere are looking for suggestions on how to keep their kids from driving them crazy. I’m certain most are also begging their doctors for a phone appointment, hoping to get a prescription for Xanax. Now that they can’t work from the office and schools are in limbo, it’s raining kids, 24/7 and that is tapping their sanity. I completely understand. According to my grandma, that’s what happens when time out replaces spanking and manual labor.


One lady on Nextdoor comes up with a plan to get her kids out of the house. She’s going to bundle them up and walk the streets placing pennies on the pavement. Obviously, they live in a sleepy neighborhood with no through streets or busy intersections. Although that would be another reason to post. “Did anyone see that strange mom who had her kids scavenging along the highway? I took this picture of them.” The picture is so fuzzy it looks like a family of Bigfoot’s are planting flowers near someone’s mailbox.

We’ll call the penny mom, Betty. She wants the other moms to bundle their kids and look for the pennies. First of all, are pennies still a thing? I mean, I think they are, but I’ve used plastic for at least a decade. In the last two years I’ve seen more 4 leaf clovers than actual cash.


I responded to Betty’s post with a smiley face and in my sweetest accent replied, “Hi Betty, I’m touched by your frugal creativity. Did you know that touching other people’s penny’s is not advisable right now? They are shutting down cities so that we don’t go around touching each other’s touches. No touchy!” She used a scowl emoji before saying, “OK! I’ll soak the penny’s in bleach. My kids and I have been home since Friday, the virus isn’t going to hang in the air behind us long enough for anyone to catch something.” I respond, “It’s not your breath that stinks! It’s your lack of consciousness that does. We don’t know where your fingers have been.” ( Did I just quote my mom?). Another voice of reason posted an info graphic that illustrates how long the virus lives on surfaces like plastic, paper, COPPER! I appreciated her efforts, but as they say in comedy, know your crowd. These aren’t pie chart people... how about an apple pie with a message etched in the crust, “Welcome to Nextdoor! Extended use of this app may result in reality loss. Please Lysol your screen before entering.”

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hikerpoet
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