Thursday, March 16, 2006
Lookie Loos Gone Wild
Spring is in the air. It's almost time for little birdies to start building their nests and the crocuses to push their leaves and blossoms through the snow to say hello to the sun.
Soon the kids will be on spring break. It's almost the time for Easter eggs and bunnies.
...And it's almost the time for Lookie Loos Gone Wild.
When I was a kid, there used to be a Realty commercial that featured "The Lookie Loos".
Cartoony-Ziggy-ish characters poking their enormous noses into every nook and cranny of open houses with no intention to buy. If I recall correctly, they never spoke, but grunted a lot.
Now with spring comes the dreaded Lookie Loo season.
Let me explain.
We live in one of many mountain communities that abut national forests.
The entrances to our developments are clearly marked with kitschy monikers like "Seven Lakes Homesteads" along with "Private Drive" and "No Outlet" signs.
Which means there is one way in and one way out. This road isn't a thru-way to anywhere.
Each lot is around 2 acres, so although we're a bit spread-out, it's not like we're living in the wilderness. We're within screaming range of our nearest neighbors--if say--there's a bear in the garage (true story!).
Every spring, during Lookie Loo season, carloads upon carloads of people drive up and down our road.
Who the heck knows where they come from.
Garden groups? Realty investors? Mom and Dad piling the kids in the car to spend a day driving around looking at houses? I've heard tales of cults that do that.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not an isolationist. It's a road. You have a right to be on it. I don't have a problem with it.
But just stay in your freaking car!
You see, a LOT of Lookie Loos seem to confuse private yards with public parks. Maybe a lack of oxygen in this high altitude is affecting their brains.
While some people would never dream of driving to a suburban neighborhood and picking flowers out of the gardens of absolute strangers--they don't seem to have any problem doing it to mine.
Our home is only about 50 feet from the road. Yes, we have some trees, but no---you can't miss us.
I'm an avid gardener. Up here at 9000 feet, the growing season is very short, so the flowers we plant have to be chosen carefully and nurtured to thrive in this climate. We put a lot of time and work into it.
Seeing some lady and her daughter get out of their car and pull them out by the roots while their leashless dog is running around crapping in my yard does not make me a happy camper.
Early one Sunday morning, my husband got up, made some coffee and stood in front of our large picture window in his undies.
A woman was looking in our window and waved at him. He nearly plotzed.
One of our neighbors is fortunate enough to have a small pond in the middle of his property. His lot is heavily forested--and the only way to get to the pond is by a little path that runs from his driveway alongside his house into the woods.
Over the years, from time to time, he's found garbage by his pond. It could have been from people. It could have been from bears or raccoons.
He was a little worried that maybe some neighborhood teenagers were using this spot as a party place at night and was concerned about the liability (drunken drowning) issues, so a bunch of years ago, he put up warning signs. Everywhere.
A few years ago he was on his deck and heard voices. He smelled something burning. He went to investigate.
He found a family. Picnicking in his back yard. With beach chairs. Cooking hot dogs on a portable grill. Mom, Dad, Snotleigh and Spot.
They were bewildered when he rousted them. Apparently this had been their picnic spot for years. They had "no idea" it wasn't open to the public.
You mean the "Private Property/No Trespassing signs that were posted all along the path that runs next to his HOUSE weren't clues?
And people wonder why Colorado has a "Make My Day" law.
It's because of the damn Lookie Loos.