by Deborah Reed
I’m thinking of killing Hoelsher. With a gun. Shooting him right in the head. I don’t even care if I get caught–it would be worth it to get that loopy grin off his face.
Hoelsher lives next door and a more obnoxious neighbor can scarce be found. For one thing, he makes a lot of noise, although nobody but me seems to mind. A good five days out of seven I find myself once again begging him to please, please, please stop the racket. I’ve called the cops several times, but they always take Hoelsher’s side—he’s got that sappy, “I love everyone and everyone loves me” kind of personality that allows him to get away with just about anything. So the noise continues and apparently I can’t do a thing about it. I can’t even find peace in my own house. You can see, Dear Diary, how a thing like that would eventually build up? How it would make a man start thinking about the gun in his closet?
Hoelsher took not one, but two, walks today. These walks are particularly annoying to me because he parades up and down my section of the sidewalk. He does this on purpose because he knows the very sight of him makes my blood boil. Often he pauses in front of my house to visit with one of our other neighbors. “Look how popular I am” is the implication here. Well, those people would like me too if I weren’t constantly having to cope with him.
So I’m sure you can understand, Dear Diary, how upsetting it was to see him take, not only a morning walk, but an afternoon one as well. Is this going to be a daily thing? For Hoelsher’s sake I hope not. That gun is looking better and better.
Well, today I came close. I almost did it. Shoot Hoelsher, I mean. I discovered that he’s the one who has been stealing my newspaper; although why I didn’t realize it sooner I don’t know. I saw him with it this very evening when I went to the backyard to ask him once again to keep the noise down. After seeing the newspaper-my newspaper-beside him and seeing how he had so carelessly mistreated it, I went into the house with the full intention of getting my gun. But reason prevailed—it was only a fifty cent newspaper–and I made a call to cancel my subscription. I’ll have to buy one on my way to work every morning, but at least Hoelsher won’t be getting a free paper. Do the other neighbors, the ones who think Hoelsher is so great, realize he is a thief? I’d like to inform them of this fact, but it would probably just alienate me further.
Well, Dear Diary, I did it. I got my gun out. This time when I called the cops they said it was too early to enforce the noise ordinance and refused to even come talk to me. That was the final straw. I went to the closet, retrieved the gun and went to the back yard. Hoelsher came up to the fence, acting all congenial, although he must know I detest the sight of him. He didn’t even look scared when I aimed the gun at him, that’s how stupid he is. My hands were shaking so hard I could barely hold the gun and it took me a while to get the safety off. Hoelsher didn’t even wince at the click it made. He just looked me with those soft puppy eyes of his and gave me a little grin. The idiot looked happy to see me, even though I was pointing a gun at him. He wagged his tail and gave a little woof and that’s when I realized I just couldn’t do it. I engaged the safety and walked back into the house. Dear Diary, I hate to tell you this, but shooting Hoelsher is no longer an option.

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