I live in the ghetto. Well, it was a ghetto until I moved there. It’s hard for me to say anywhere I live is ghetto. I’m not very ghetto at all. I still wear underwear with animal prints on them. The underwear I’m wearing right now has a dog in a Santa hat. It is Pitbull though. That’s kind of ghetto.

It’s a weird thing for me to live in an area where someone gets murdered every other week within walking distance of where I bathe and tuck my imaginary children in at night. I didn’t always know that this place was so ghetto. It took about a week of living here when my dad sent me the police blotter. A police blotter is one thing you don’t want to see places you recognize.

(My imaginary children sitting on a swing set talking about how to kill daddy)

There are obvious signs now that I live in a ghetto area. The first being there is trash in front of my door that does not belong to me. Somebody who enjoys Salt and Vinegar potato chips thought it would be humorous to leave their empty package there. I think differently. Other random things appearing in front of my door have been toy cars, a potted plant, a basketball, and a small black child named Jamal who tried turning my doorknob. Did I need to say he was black? I said his name was Jamal. He had just moved in and his careless mother who lives above me was letting him roam around at 9 at night for some reason. This wasn’t the first time a child tried breaking into my home. When I was around 13 an autistic Spanish girl around 7 years old opened my front door. I yelled “Who are you? Who are you?” She closed the door then sat in front of my house picking at the grass as autistic children tend to do. I went outside with my sister and tried to communicate with her. I said whatever Spanish words I knew like “hola” which means hello and “cago en tu leche” which means I shit in your milk. My sister had noticed the property value in the neighborhood going down due to the new Spanish family that lived two homes away so we returned her there without a reward. Question, how do you not realize your young autistic child has been missing for a half hour? If she went two houses in the other direction she probably would have been murdered. Her mother should wake up and thank me every afternoon. They’re Spanish. They sleep in late.

(“Sorry I was late Mr. Belding, I didn’t think school started until 6 pm.” – AC Slater)

The other day I saw a truck with shopping carts on top of it. Apparently some of my neighbors really like shopping carts. They like them so much that they bring them home with them. The truck was picking them all up from nearby dumpsters and returning them to their awful grocery store that is within walking distance. The dumpsters in my complex don’t contain too many strange things. Squirrels usually jump out when I toss in bags of shit. Isn’t that weird? I have thrown and will throw more bags of shit through the air than women I will ever have sex with. Even if I become Wilt Chamberlain, I’ve thrown hundreds of bags of dog shit into a dumpster or garbage can in my lifetime. Hey, I think I’ve got my epitaph written up.

My apartment complex is directly next to a couple other complexes. Those are a lot worse than mine. People get shot there all the time. There are pot holes in the roads that never get fixed. Some of the windows have pieces of wood on them. There’s a tennis court with a tree in the middle of it. I’m really glad I didn’t move there to save $50 a month. I’ve never really felt threatened by anything in my time living here. Today while doing laundry a cute girl said hello to me. Or maybe it was hi. Shit. I was too distracted thinking “don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall” when she entered. I probably should have made some quip about brown underwear stains. If at any point that would be well received it would be laundry day. Instead I left and set my timer for when my clothes would be done drying. I think I blew my chance at ghetto sex.

(Whenever I drive through the more dangerous apartment complex I imagine myself getting a flat tire and ending up in a Black Hawk Down situation)

Despite all of the ghetto signs they try to make this look like a nice place. There are lots of pine trees, the maintenance guys are always walking about, a security guard drives around all night long, and each apartment has central air conditioning. I never had central air conditioning until I moved here. Ghetto people don’t have that. So maybe I’m not living in the ghetto. There might be loud arguments from neighbors, gang signs spray painted on trees, and random women’s weaves lying near my car, but that doesn’t make it ghetto. It makes it a place with a lot of character. A place I can call home.

  1. OMG!!! I almost fell off my chair reading this! So funny! Lily will love this because she loves talking about Ghetto things. One of her favorite words when she was young was, “Poor.” In fact I think that still might be her favorite word? haha! Being racist and being observant are two totally different things, right? The Blackhawk Down photo and caption killed me. Seriously, Jamal? Women’s weaves lying near your car? You’ve painted quite a colorful picture. This might be my favorite post?

    • mooselicker says:

      Haha wow I can see you beaming from miles away. This morning my neighbors upstairs were yelling at each other, again. The baby’s mama said “You’re out of here today” with a few curse words thrown in for effect. They’ve been there a year and get into a fight once a week. Even the maintenance man told me that he hates her. She’s 22 years old too yet acts like a crazy woman in her 30s. So much drama for someone who doesn’t hae a job, a car, or the ability to whisper.

  2. breezyk says:

    Don’t worry about it- living in a ghetto increases your street cred exponentially. I can’t say I live in an actual ghetto, but my neighbourhood does border both the gay village; and is a hop skip and a jump from two housing projects and several drug rehabilitation centers. On my morning runs, I often run the gamut of being leered and shouted obscenities at, to being ignored completely. I’ts kind of a zero-sum game, really.

    • mooselicker says:

      Street cred huh? Hmm I have been looking for ways to become more ethnically or culturally diverse. Although, if I put it the wrong way I will come off as racist. Woe is me!

      Gay neighborhoods are always the safest. Only murders of passion ever take place there. I’d like to send my children to a school in a Gay Jewish Neighborhood. They’ll never feel scared.

  3. Pete Howorth says:

    My area’s quite dodgy, although it’s mainly delinquent teenagers wondering the streets causing trouble. They tend to leave me alone which is fine. I think it’s because I try and run them down every time I drive past them.

    I’ve been to some really rough areas in Sheffield (the city near my house), people actually breaking into a police car, while the police were inside sorting out a domestic =/

    • mooselicker says:

      England seems to go through periods of looking so safe and friendly to looking extremely scary and violent. At least there doesn’t seem to be so much open area where your body could go missing. You’d always end up washing up on the shores of French, worst case scenario.

  4. Lily says:

    Ahh calling things ghetto when they aren’t really ghetto is my expertise. Your situation actually sounds semi-ghetto. The little Spanish girl and Jamal would have freaked me out. Can’t believe you survived those encounters without being scarred for life.
    I would love to play on the tennis court with a tree in the middle of it. Perfect location for the 2012 US Open.

    • mooselicker says:

      My town’s nickname is “Little Camden” which if you know anything about dangerous cities, Camden is always near the top.

      I was prepared for Jamal. The little autistic Spanish girl was my practice. She served her purpose in life.

  5. cat. says:

    Welcome to the real world … ghetto or whatever you want to call it … Love and compassion is what makes this world work … I gather you were born in this country … well, I wasn’t … which means that I’ll never Belong here or there ever anymore … except in my ghetto. Love, cat.

  6. brennagrimes says:

    I lived in the ghetto for a little while (wait…I still might, just a different one). The people in the apartment above mine burned their place down & the people beside me (there were like 8 guys living there) were all in a band…they were actually a pleasure to listen to, even at 3 am.

    No one ever tried to break into my apartment (that I know of), but I did get my bike stolen…might be a good blog post for next week, I’ll keep ya posted.

    • mooselicker says:

      That sounds like my place, sort of. I hope my neighbors don’t start a fire. Luckily I don’t think they can afford food so unless a cigarette is dropped into the wrong place I should be safe.

      Bikes always seem to get stolen. I never had much use for one though. I have thought about stealing bikes just for the thrill. They’re always fun to break. I hope you find the thief and exact some revenge.

  7. Cafe23 says:

    My second favourite post! =P
    Glad you’ve come to terms with your ghettodom. It’s all about looking at the positives, right? I’ll take a cue from you the next time I’m writing about the places where I’ve lived 🙂

    • mooselicker says:

      Thanks J.H. Toronto isn’t very ghetto though. I heard the worst part is only one street and even that is like one pissed off guy that yells.

      • Cafe23 says:

        Hahahaha so funny. Yeah, I’m pretty sure our “ghetto” doesn’t even compare to your guys’ “ghetto.” I’ll live vicariously through you 😉

  8. Maintenance men walking around MUST mean things are all right! You are in an oasis surrounded by a ghetto. Same with me. My street is invisible to the crackheads that wander one street…and 3 streets over…and 5 streets in the other direction. There’s a zone I don’t pass through basically. I think mine is safe because I live on the street with all the grandmas. You don’t mess with grandmas. They call your mother. No, really. That’s happened a bunch of times. My neighborhood has had some of the same residents since the streets were paved. Which happened BEFORE running water. Poor begets poor begets poor. Until it becomes gentrified b/c the mortgages are so cheap.

    • mooselicker says:

      It’s funny you mention grandmas. Thugs always listen to “abuela” for whatever reason. Ghetto Grandmas (perfect band name) can put a spell on their little Latin Kings grandchildren.

      Whitey never seems to care about their grandmas as much. Not sure exactly what it is. Maybe we get crappier gifts?

  9. mindwarpfx says:

    Aw home sweet home. Ghetto or not, does the maintenance man also have a second job as the hoods crack dealer? It seem like that in the last place I lived. He always had to run for something else to fix anything. Always came back saying ” I have a deal for you!”

    • mooselicker says:

      I haven’t asked him haha. All of the maintenance men have southern accents but are from the area. I thought you had to live below Richmond to be educated but still sound a little…off?

  10. Faux ghettos are the best. You don’t get the stabbings and genocide of a real ghetto, but you get to justify calling it a ghetto because someone stole a bulb from a street light or knocked a bike over.

    • mooselicker says:

      I actually never see vandalism in my area. That seems more like a white person thing to do. Not that I’m the lone white ranger in the neighborhood. But if a stop sign ever does get turned upside down I will be the first suspect.

  11. Cafe23 says:

    Hey Tim, check it out – finally got that post up that you participated in!: http://cafe23dotme.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/why-do-you-blog/
    Hope you like the comic 🙂 Dunno if that’s what your house looks like, but that’s what it looks like now haha

  12. […] of my favorite other blogs to read recently did a post about the ghetto (read https://mooselicker.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/ghettos/), which inspired me to tell you guys about my own run-in with the ghetto. While I was still in […]

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