Have I ever mentioned Commando?
Commando is the guy that most neighborhoods tolerate. There are a few varieties of Commando, some know the history of the neighborhood going back 100 years, some are incredibly nosy, ours is a super hero. Well, more precisely, a super hero in his own mind. My dad knows the guy because he's the one usually in the front yard watering or gardening so dad knows the neighbors fairly well. Dad says Commando is actually a nice guy, but Commando freaks me out.
Commando wears camouflage pretty much every day. He jogs up and down our mountainous streets backwards. He recently built a fortress-like wall around his home. When a neighbor's house caught fire from a freak power line ignition, Commando came jogging up the street, before the fire fighters, with his backpack on and carrying what appeared to be a canister of oxygen. I'm not sure what he's got in his pack but I'm willing to bet he's packing mace, kryptonite and heat. We're all sure he's got a police scanner and is ready to leap into action at any given moment.
I thought of him tonight because, as I drove off my offramp, I could see a strange red glow in the distance. At first I thought it must be one hell of a party but then thought "Uh oh. Red glow at 11:00 pm? That's not good." Sure enough, the fire engines started flying by and I knew some poor folks were watching their house burn down. The good news is that we have an outstanding fire department, due to the high fire risk in this neck of the woods, and they do a bang up job of saving homes. I hope the damage isn't too bad. Even though we live about a mile from the burning home, I'm sure Commando was there. I'm not sure what he does when he gets there but I know he likes to be where the action is. He's sort of a bad-ass Mrs. Kravitz.
Several months following our terrible brush fires, dad tossed me a video that Commando had "filmed, produced, and edited". Commando apparently got REALLY close to the action and filmed the helicopters and fire fighters in action. My nephew was about 2 1/2 at the time and the tape quickly became his favorite.
I try not to piss off Commando so I give him a little nod or a wave when I see him. I've never spoken to him but I suppose I should. God knows, when the shit hits the fan, I'm gonna want whatever C-Man's got in that backpack.
In honor of Commando, I leave you with one of my favorite little gems that never gets old. Here's to you Commando!