Lemme tell ya about my last 48 hours or so.
To begin with we met Wednesday morning with a financial advisor/estate planner concerning my Mom. The good news is that she seems to be pretty well provided for. She inherited everything, and everything was in both names. It looks like she will be covered come what may. And the advisor, a friend of my sister who met us for 90 minutes gratis was a funny guy who caught my sense of humor right away. But he also clued us into the possibility of problems from the other survivors, which I hadn't given more than a moment's thought. We're all Hoosiers, after all. Everyone's an altruist, right? But his attitude was that where money is concerned, people will act selfishly regardless.
So I spent the afternoon composing a letter to the other survivors detailing what was going on, which was a double slog seeing as how it brought my Mom's situation up constantly, plus the (remote) possibility of some (possibly legal) difficulty down the road. I had a thick rubber band squeezing my head just below the brow line and a serious case of indigestion by the time I'd finished, so I lay down for a bit and got up just in time to listen to the beginning of another installment of Hoosiers Celebrate the Freedom to Set Off Back-Yard Artillery.
This stuff was loud. It was professional fireworks-shot out of a cannon-rattle the windows loud. And persistent. And it was coming from the trouble house, aka Little Appalachia. This is the house with five teenagers, a drunken slut of a mother, and a sad-sack chump who's the nominal adult but not likely anyone's biological father. Trouble since they moved in a couple years ago, one mass arrest of underage drinkers last year, and an ongoing battle with the elderly crackpot they moved next door to. She's one of those screaming get-off-my-lawn nuts every neighborhood seems to have, a woman in her late 50s when we moved in a decade ago, who I tried to help and be neighborly to, and who repaid that with such high-volume insanity I eventually just backed away and stopped talking to her. You can imagine it's been constant problems over there, which reportedly led to police mediation, after which all was pretty much quiet until it exploded again yesterday.
This stuff was going off every couple minutes from well before dusk. It's July 5th. People have jobs to go to. There's another elderly woman one house south, then a couple with three dogs, then one with two young children. Four of us went down there at various times to ask them to knock it off and got drunken fuck-yous for the effort.
It was all adults, by the way; the main reason I'd gone down there was to spot some underage drinking so I could report that to the police. Because...
of the wonderful Indiana state legislature, which made 11 fucking PM the legal shut-off time for fireworks, excepting selected holidays when it's midnight. This is a good two hours later than we used roll up the streets a mere decade ago. And...
because the police, natcherly, don't want to be bothered, and are using the new ordinance as an excuse to do nothing. But get this piece of third-hand hearsay: my neighbor told me this afternoon that another neighbor who went over there much earlier says the festivities included the burning and subsequent emergency-room treatment of a three-year-old child. Which, if true, at least implies that fireworks negligence is now a legal form of child abuse in Indiana. On account a'...
A piddly-assed industry with all the cachet of a carneys' port-a-john "lobbies" the state legislature for years. And so what used to be an infrequent annoyance one tried to ignore one or two days a year is now a constant bombardment courtesy of Freedom's Lowest Common Denominator.
Our hostess was keenly aware of the 11PM shut off. The fireworks ended, to be replaced by a drunken screaming fit thrown at her poor neighbor. And of course it started up again tonite.
Mr. Riley, in his golden years, has remained low-key about this in public. If it happened that someone matching his general description was online today gathering large amounts of personal information about a particular household, or if someone similar managed to, oh, swipe someone's trash with the intention of harvesting some discarded fact or two which might someday come back to haunt someone, well, he doesn't know anything about it.