I Walk past Odd House Everyday and Someone There Always Swears at Me, but I've Had Enough – Story of the Day
I used to walk past this creepy house on my way to work and a strange voice would say the most horrible thing to me.
A few years ago, I became unemployed and ended up working odd jobs. I'd been an accountant at a big firm and found myself working as a caregiver to an elderly woman in the suburbs.
You do what you have to do to survive, and I was a single mom with a little boy to raise. The lady I worked for was really sweet and I enjoyed my job, but I hated going to work every day.
I'd get off my bus and walk three blocks to Mrs. Gordon's house. I'd have to walk past this big yellow house on the corner and as soon as I came into sight of the house, I'd hear a strange voice crooning at me in Spanish.
My grandma was born in Venezuela, and she always spoke to us in Spanish, but the words I heard were nothing she ever said. This person said the most unpleasant, filthy things, things I won't repeat here.
I always tried to catch a glimpse of the man -- I was sure it was a man -- but the yard was always empty and the curtains were drawn. Once I saw the curtains move as if someone was watching, but the mysterious man stayed out of sight.
I told Mrs. Gordon about it, and she was very surprised. "That's Johnny Urbeck's house!" she exclaimed. "He's the sweetest man. I've known him since he was a baby. His mother died last year, and he's fixing up the house to sell it."
"Well, it's very unpleasant to walk past his house. He says the filthiest things," I replied, "so he can't be that sweet!"
But Mrs. Gordon kept insisting that Johnny Urbeck was a lovely boy and a U.S. Army veteran and he'd never swear at a lady. I just kept my peace from then on. No use in upsetting Mrs. Gordon.
I started crossing the street opposite the yellow house, but the voice would just screech louder and filthier slurs at me. One day, I saw a man out in the yard leaning on a ladder against the side of the house.
This must be the famously 'nice' Johnny Urbeck! I crossed the street, opened the gate, and marched up the path towards the yellow house. The man was halfway up the ladder when I shouted, "Excuse me!"
The man nearly fell off the ladder. He was so surprised and I saw that he had earphones on. He quickly climbed down and came towards me. "Good morning," he said with a smile. He looked like a nice man, I wasn't surprised that he'd fooled Mrs. Gordon.
"Listen," I said coldly, "I'm sick and tired of your perverted filth. So the next time you say those things to me, I'm going to the police!"
The man was looking at me with his mouth hanging open, looking like a bit of a fool, truth be told. "Did you hear me?" I asked sharply, "I'm sick of your harassment!"
"Miss," he stammered, "I'm sorry, but I don't understand! I've never..."
"Don't you 'I've never' me! I've been listening to your disgusting, lewd suggestions for a month now, and I'm sick of it! ENOUGH!"
"But Miss," he said, "I can explain..."
"I don't want your explanations!" I screamed. "I want it to STOP!"
Sometimes things aren't quite as they seem.
I turned my back and marched down the path, out the gate, and on my way to Mrs. Gordon's feeling empowered and vindicated. That should put the fear of God in him, I thought. This type of man was always cowardly.
The next morning, when I walked past the big yellow house there was only silence. No creepy voice whispering, no sign of Johnny Urbeck in the yard, though I did see the curtains in the front windows flutter.
I turned up my nose and marched past. I was never harassed again, and I told Mrs. Gordon what had happened. "Well," she said hesitantly, "I'm glad it's sorted out, but I'd never have pegged Johnny as that kind of man..."
Three weeks later, Mrs. Gordon invited me to her Easter Sunday church picnic. "You must come and bring your son," she said. "It's great fun and there's even an Easter Egg hunt!"
So the next Sunday, I took my son to the picnic and as we walked past the yellow house, we were treated to a wonderful silence.
The picnic was lovely, with all the children running around with baskets, looking for the Easter eggs while the grownups gathered around the tables, chatted, and ate barbecue and delicious desserts the ladies had brought along.
I was standing watching my son scramble through the bushes on the chocolate treasure hunt when a man came up to me with a glass of punch in his hand. "Hello," he said with a shy smile, "I'm John Urbeck."
I stared at him. The cheek of the man! "I know who you are," I said coldly.
"Look," he said, "I think we got off on the wrong foot, and I want to apologize -- and explain."
"You have an explanation?" I gasped, "For those disgusting things you said to me? This I've got to hear!"
The man blushed and I noticed that he was actually quite handsome. Pity he was a pervert. "Yes, I have an explanation," John Urbeck said. "A friend of mine from the service passed away, and he had this African Grey parrot."
"I adopted the parrot, but unfortunately the creature has the filthiest tongue. The only way to keep him quiet is to cover his cage. Which is what I do now when you pass by in the morning."
"You keep the cage covered all day?" I gasped. "That's cruel!"
"Oh no, only when you pass by," he explained. "He never swears at anyone else but you!"
I started laughing. "Are you serious?" I gasped. "I've been propositioned by your parrot?"
John Urbeck grinned. "Yes, and for that, I'm truly sorry. Please let me make it up to you by taking you to dinner!"
So I said yes. Mrs. Gordon was right. Johnny Urbeck really is the nicest, sweetest man, and now he's my boyfriend.
That parrot turned out to be Cupid with a filthy mouth.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Sometimes things aren't quite as they seem.
2. Love always arrives unexpectedly and in the most unusual ways.
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