At 4:45 am, the Jogger Meister clods through the neighborhood, waking up any resident foolish enough to have his window open on a cool summer night. It is said that the Jogger Meister is ex-military, so he is used to waking up early and beginning his day. We, his neighbors, like to wait at least until the sun is up before getting up for work. But that is impossible when the Jogger Meister is on the run.
As he clomps down our road, sounding much like a Clydesdale, he wakes up the residents of each house as he goes by. We live on a cul-de-sac, so we hear him go past, then we lie in wait for him to come back around the circle and back past our house before allowing ourselves to nod back off to sleep. Some, Mr. Porter among them, are unable to sleep and are “up for the day.”
To add insult to injury**, as Bailey barks at the Jogger Meister, he calls back, “Hi, Bailey!” If Bailey stops barking, I go back to sleep. If not, I wake up and grump to Mr. Porter, who hasn’t slept in months.
The Jogger Meister heads toward home, only to return to the neighborhood within the hour with his two dogs. Again, Bailey barks as they go by, and again he yells, “Hi, Bailey.” Well, it’s almost 6 o’clock and Mr. Porter has already started his day, which sometimes includes grocery shopping, ironing, and fetching water from the Springs.
Then, (really!), the Jogger Meister rides through the neighborhood again, this time on his bicycle. Usually, everyone is awake anyway, but since this is the quietest of his routines, why doesn’t he do this at 4:45 am, and let everyone sleep at least until their own alarm goes off?!
At a recent neighborhood BBQ, one by one we confessed that we hear the Jogger Meister coming through the neighborhood, and that we have all plotted revenge in our imaginations.
Doug* confessed that he would like to point his lawn watering system toward the road, and spray the Jogger Meister with water as he runs by. His wife Lynn* is a little kinder, saying that we should all turn on his porch lights as he goes by in solidarity, so he can see that he wakes up each house as he clomps by.
Mr. Porter would like to get some of those poppers that you get on the fourth of July, so that when he runs by, his feet will set off the pops.
Tim* said he would like to put a big caution/police tape across the end of our road so that he can’t enter. Jane* chimed in that we should also cover it with a huge sheet of Saran wrap so that he runs into an invisible shield and can’t enter the road.
Yes, everyone has a dark side. Even the nicest neighbors in the world. When you mess with a person’s sleep, you have entered a zone where you do not belong.
I’m still writing a note in my head–a polite one–that I can leave in the Jogger Meister’s mailbox anonymously, asking him please, please, let us sleep until the sun comes up.
For now, we have closed all the windows and put on the air conditioning, so we don’t hear the Jogger Meister. But what happens in September when we open the window again to catch the cool evening breeze and save some electricity?
I hope we will have found a solution by then!
** sorry to use a cliche’ but it seemed fitting
* Not their real names 🙂