I was up pretty early on Saturday morning. I don’t know why. I was wide awake at 6 am on a weekend morning; I’m not even awake at that hour on a work day! But there I was, doing the chicken-on-a-spit routine, unable to fall back asleep.

I finally got out of bed around 7:30. Even then I felt stupid. Who gets up at that hour when they don’t have to? Seniors, that’s who. My own mother. I do not. But I did on Saturday.

It was actually rather nice. All was quiet in the neighbourhood, the sun was just starting to glow in the eastern sky, I was snug and cozy in front of my laptop, sipping my first café au lait of the day and nibbling on a cinnamon-raisin English muffin. As I checked emails and blogs, I mentally planned my day. I needed to get some laundry done, the house badly needed vacuuming and dusting, my Christmas stuff needed to come out of storage, and I wanted to put up my outdoor lights if the weather held.

Gradually, I became aware that the sun was fully up. I opened the kitchen blinds. I made myself another café au lait. Then I noticed the sound.

A regular thump-thump-thump. Rhythmic, even. Somewhere outside. I heard it for a while, then I didn’t. Then it started again. Then it stopped briefly. Again it thumped. It seemed to be pretty near to my house.

It really sounded like a bouncing ball, I eventually deduced. Wait – a bouncing ball? What the … I went to the living room window.

O – kay. It was some stupid kid. He looked to be about 13. He was bouncing a frickin’ basketball and trying to shoot baskets in a stupid portable basketball hoop. The same stupid portable basketball hoop that some stupid people who used to live across the street from me neglected to take with them when they moved about two years ago. The same stupid portable basketball hoop that now mostly sits, unused, next to the house in which those stupid people used to live – which is across my driveway. And this stupid kid, whom I had never seen before, had discovered this thing and dragged it out into the middle of this driveway, which is shared by three houses, and was now practicing shooting hoops.

At eight-bloody-thirty on a Saturday morning.

Seriously, didn’t he have any anime to watch or any video games to play? Why was he even UP yet? And why didn’t he take that stupid basketball hoop over in front of HIS house?

So much for my tranquil morning.

And interestingly, it’s now just after 7 pm on a Monday evening. He’s out there again as I type this, shooting baskets in the dark.

I guess someone is excited that the NBA is coming back.


14 responses to “Hoopla

  1. Wow. What kid is up that early? On a SATURDAY? I mean, kudos to him for being active outside but wow.

  2. Well, of course, I have to disagree about the pool. But that’s only because my ex and I had a lovely one right in the heart of suburbia. And yes, the frickin’ pump went all the time. We didn’t have a lot of wild parties but we did have one in which assorted people well into their cups thought it would be cool for us to go swimming nekkid around midnight. The neighbors, however, were away that weekend.

    • mrwriteon – But I’ll bet your pump was properly housed and insulated, not just sitting there out in the open like my old neighbours’ was. Also, you didn’t have three kids under the age of ten at that time, did you? (Obviously, drunken adult noises at midnight don’t count, because that doesn’t bother us, the drunken adults!)

  3. and ignore the fact that I just posted this at 7:30am eastern, 4:30am pacific.

    • VioletSky – Yes, but I didn’t actually see your comment till after 9 am PST (noon EST), so technically, we were following the rules and playing together within the regulated hours.

  4. When I was young… there was a rule: no calling on friends or playing outside from 9pm to 9am. I still feel that way.

  5. As long as you got enough sleep, there’s no solution to early rising. Just think how well you get your day started. And you weren’t awakened by the boinking sound of the basketball. That’s so irritating. At least the kid isn’t hanging out on street corners getting into a mess. You’ve got to give him that.

    • Nora – You’re right, but I would just like the kid to take the basketball hoop to his own house. It doesn’t seem to belong to anyone any more, so if he’s going to use it, he might as well have it in his driveway, not mine. DD and I certainly aren’t using it, nor are the little girls at the corner or the empty-nesters next door.

  6. You’re not old, it’s just that that sound is annoying. Our neighbourhood kids used to have one of those annoying portable hoops too. And they never use it at normal, loud-is-acceptable, times of the day, always in the morning or late in the evening. It annoyed me when they first got it and I wasn’t even 30 at that point. So, see it isn’t just old, crotchety people that get annoyed. 🙂

    • I haven’t decided which is worse, a basketball hoop or a #@%& trampoline. Former neighbors used to have one of those goddamn things. Anyway, darling sister, there is no solution to early rising, I hate to tell you. Unless there is something really interesting to keep you under the duvet, it gets progressively worse. I wish I could sleep as late as your early rising. That would seem almost decadent to me.

      • mrwriteon – A pool. A pool is WAAAAAAY worse. When I was married and living in the depths of suburbia (I’m only on the outer edges now, not plumb in the centre 🙂 ), our neighbours across the back fence had a pool. When their kids weren’t in it, splashing and shrieking up a storm, we had to listen to their frickin’ water pump. All summer long. All night long. Drove us crazy, it did. We finally spoke to them about it. They said, “Oh, you hear that? We don’t!” Twits.

    • Kimberly – I think the worst part of it is that I used to be one of those “annoying” kids, playing basketball (or street hockey or badminton) at weird times. How the worm turns … though, to be fair, the neighbourhood in which I grew up was a kid factory, so there was nothing but noise from kids there for years, so I suspect that all the adults just tuned us out completely.

  7. Look at the bright side, at least it didn’t wake you up!

    • Jazz – True. At least I was saved that annoyance! (Man, I’m sure sounding more and more crotchety lately! I must be old … or something. Let’s stick with the “something”.)