On Neighbourly Expectations and a Fishing Expedition
All those who have read this blog,please don’t be mad at me. Re-blogging this from an earlier post as it seemed relevant to the prompt.
Apparently it is not one of the simplest of expectations to have good neighbours…. at least not for Mr P. He was pondering on all the expectations he had had about his neighbour and it was so maddening how most of them were dashed to smithereens:
- Mr P had expected his neighbour to be artistic but every time P had played his violin, his neighbour seemed to get into a car and rush off somewhere instead of staying at home and lending an appreciative ear. Mind you, this was after P had taken special care to get to the open window closest to his neighbour, when he played the violin, so as to give his lonely neighbour some entertainment.
- He had expected his neighbour to be altruistic but he was sadly disappointed. There was a time when P had tried to squeeze park his car in the common drive-way and ended up slightly denting his neighbour’s car. P had expected his neighbour to say in all good neighbourliness and bonhomie, “Don’t you worry about that teenie-weenie scratch, my lad.” Instead, he just received grave looks and a bill to foot at that!
- There were the times when P merely peered through the curtains to see who his neighbour’s guests were, and caught disapproving frowns directed in the general direction of the windows behind which he stood. P had expected his interest and concern, about the guests that visited his neighbour who lived all alone, would be understood and applauded. But no, the quaint neighbour was totally of a different mind!
- P remembered the totally unexpected dressing down he got from his neighbour one other time as well. It was not the way you would have expected to be treated, when you hopped next door to commiserate with your neighbour who was back home from hospital after a stomach wash. Always willing to help people out, the previous day P had given his neighbour some basil leaves from the garden to make a herbal remedy for his cold. Granted P had forgotten about the liberal dusting of insecticide he had given those plants for his fire-ant problems. (https://avatarofmrbean.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/holy-basil-a-version-of-mr-bean-as-a-good-neighbour-and-fire-ants/
- To talk about adding salt to wound, P could not believe the reaction he got from his neighbour when a week later, P threw some smelly anchovy over the fence to feed his neighbour’s cat. It was true that he wanted to get rid of the anchovy meal he had bought a load of, but P thought the cat would have enjoyed it. The neighbour just decided to be a spoil sport.
- The thought of fish brought another incident to mind, where his neighbour had fallen far short of P’s expectations. He remembered the ridiculous birthday present from his neighbour. P had had a lot of expectations about his birthday presents from family and friends, and most of them, if not all, never came true. The jovial person that P was, he usually took things in his stride and whistled through his disappointments. On his last birthday, his neighbour had given him his best wishes and a neatly gift wrapped package over the fence. This was the first ever birthday gift from his neighbour and he opened the package with “Oohs” and “Ohs” to show his appreciation. P, however, could not help his sudden in-drawn breath of shock from escaping and the dip in enthusiasm from reflecting on his face… The present his neighbour had given him was a book titled “Old Man and the Sea”, by somebody named Earnest!
Remembering the book now, P went to hunt it down. He had solely used the book as a lid or coaster for his tea-cup. Now that it was Easter holidays, P had some time on his hands and decided to leaf through the book. Flitting through the blurb his intelligent mind could pick out that it was all about a fellow who went to fish and caught nothing for a long, long time… till he finally caught a big one. P considered himself to be quite an intellectual, but he could not make any sense of the book. Only the theme of fishing stuck to his mind. After a few bored yawns, P decided to put the book down and set into some sort of action. P wanted to go fishing.
Sitting by the pier his fishing rod cast well into the sea, he whistled merrily. He expected to reel in a heavy load to feed himself, his neighbour and the cat. It was a bit late in the evening by the time he had got to the beach, but he was hopeful of making it back home early enough to cook a good meal for dinner. He watched as others reeled in fish after fish and P smirked! “Well wouldn’t they just be flabbergasted seeing the big ones he would be reeling in soon?” he thought… Hours went by and the wind began to get icy cold. Still hopeful, P held on to his rod moving it around a little bit occasionally.
P saw that others who had been fishing nearby leave as the darkness settled in, and soon, he was the only one left on the pier. P held on for a couple of hours more till he could not stop himself shaking from the cold. Finally his expectations frozen, he decided to call it a day and pulled in his reel. He looked at the hook, wishing he could find one of the gill-bearing aquatic craniates hanging on to it. Alas! He could not find even a bit of bait left on the hook. This set him wondering… Had the big fish eaten the bait, cleverly avoiding the hook? Or, in all his great expectations, had he simply just forgotten to bait the hook?