Sunday, August 22, 2010

From One Balcony to the Next

Just when I thought that I was the only member of this family to have random conversations with strangers, Ryan goes and beats me by having one of the most bizarre yet!

Yesterday, Ryan decided to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing lunch on our porch balcony.  He walked out there and was surprised to see our neighbor sitting across the way on his balcony.

"Hey!" Ryan said, taken back a bit because we've never seen anyone sitting on their balcony.

"Hey," the guy said, lowering his cigarette.  He is probably in his early thirties and is very friendly and talkative.  He once invited us to the Juneteenth Festival in downtown Buffalo--but then told us to bring a gun because we would be the only white people.  We weren't sure if he was joking--about the invite or the gun.  It was awkward.

Yesterday, though, he started with a question, not an invitation.  He looked at Ryan's bowl skeptically and said,  "What you eating? Cereal?"

"No, a salad."

Apparently this is funny because the guy burst out laughing.  I can just imagine his inner dialogue:  This kid is a salad-eating weenie.

After finishing his chuckle, he started in with, "I have another question for you, my brother. "

"Okay," Ry responded, holding his salad bowl protectively.

"Is eating Sour Patch Kids and smoking marijuana bad for my teeth?"

I must add that, during this conversation, I was sitting just inside the open porch door working on my computer.  As soon as I heard that question, I knew this was going to be good.  I started taking notes.

"Smoking anything is bad for your teeth,"  Ryan answered and went on to explain about periodontitis and bone loss.  (I think he was trying to assert his manhood via intellect.)

The neighbor wasn't impressed.  "Bro, you know too much about teeth.  Being a dentist is boring.  You need to get a different career--something that will stay exciting forever.  Something like being a car salesman."

I'm sure Ryan could hear me giggling from inside the apartment, but he maintained his composure and said, "I don't think I would be a very good car salesman."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't really like to talk; I like to listen a lot more than I like to talk."  Ryan answered reasonably.

"Well, the best car salesmen are good listeners," the neighbor insisted.

Ryan didn't have a response to that, so he just started eating his salad.

The guy continued, "Or another really cool job would be dealing drugs.  If you're a drug dealer, every day is different.  You never know when you're going to get shot at, and you make lots of money."

(I must interject here, do you think Ryan would be a better car salesman or drug dealer?)

Ryan told him that he had no interest in being a drug dealer, even if it meant that he would get lots of money.

This led to a conversation about the meaning of life, true happiness, and religion.  Well, it wasn't much of a conversation, really.  It was the neighbor lecturing Ryan about his views on the universe.  I guess he took Ry seriously when he said he likes to listen more than he likes to talk.

After about 20 minutes, I decided to call Ryan's cell phone so he'd have a reason to escape.

As his phone started ringing, Ry said, "Well, I better grab this."

"Okay, brother," the neighbor shouted from his balcony.  "But you need to actually think about stuff.  I'm telling you, I've done my research."

And I tend to agree.  Ryan needs to forget about dental school.  I think he'd make an excellent salad-eating, drug dealer...don't you?

I can just see this thug turning to a life of crime on the streets.


  1. Okay, I can't stop laughing! That is the funniest thing ever! Crazy neighbor!

  2. Oh my gosh people are crazy. See, for us also being fellow native buffalonians, we are relatively normal lol

  3. I must say, I laughed out loud at the guy suggesting that Ryan be a drug dealer! You didn't tell me about THAT suggestion! Especially since that guy was sitting in a different car (passenger side) talking to a different guy every night when I was there at about the same time, and I thought to myself, "I think that guy might be dealing drugs!" Go figure.

  4. I've actually hear of marijuana referred to as "Salad". So, maybe the next time Ryan eats a bowl of salad on your porch balcony, his 'brotha' will be enjoying a bowl of "Salad" on his porch balcony as well. You just never know.

  5. That is so funny! Glad you documented it for our enjoyment.

  6. Bahahahaha!! I giggled through this WHOLE post. Classic. You can't make this stuff up. Why on earth didn't WE find Rounds before Mapleview? We have a few stories of neighbors, but NOTHING this good. And I can just picture good ole Ryan throughout this conversation... polite but probably dying inside. Honestly, this needs to be sent to a newspaper or something... I'm sure you could get good money for these stories.

    (Oh, and I'm at a loss between drug dealer and salesman... how to pick?!)

  7. Ryan has an honest face. I bet he'd be a great salesman. I'd buy drugs from him. Or a car, I guess.

  8. only in Buffalo. . .

    the guy is right though. . . drug dealing *would* be an exciting career choice! ha!

  9. LOL! Too funny! I can't see Ryan dealing drugs but I must admit it is a bit enticing when you see the cars these thugs drive. I mean how does a kid barely old enough to drive get a beefed-up Cadillac Escalade with rims that are worth more than our house. There is some truth to what your neighbor said...Drug Dealing is the new career choice to follow. (or you could be boring and be an honest, clean cut Dentist "whateva dude")

  10. If my last post doesn't make ME sound like a thud..I don't know what will :-D. Honestly Ryan, just stick to's best to earn your riches the right "Moral" way! (can you imagine expalining a drug dealing career to your bishop?)

  11. Classic! I can't believe you were mean enough to let it go on twenty minutes without calling his phone . . . Ha!

  12. Love it. Absolutely love it. We had a neighbor in our old apartment with a big red truck, loud music, and a macho attitude who asked Kyle about drugs too, and Kyle explained the biochemistry of why drugs are addictive while our neighbor, with his bad ol' hat on sideways, shook his head and said, "Man, you sound all smart when you talk about that stuff!" I'll have to get the exact quote from Kyle. I love your storytelling! You're the best!


I love hearing from you!! Thanks for the comment!