You know the type. The neighbours who throw a party that starts inside and eventually spills onto their backyard deck. It starts with the pop of beer bottle caps and the trill of merry laughter. Slowly, the music, which commenced with pleasant retro 90’s tunes – a bit of Ricky Martin singing “La Vida Loca” followed by a few numbers from Bryan Adams Waking Up the Neighbours album and everyone sings “Everything I Do” together. When they crank Shania Twain you think maybe you can go over, pour a hefty Jack Daniels and Coke with lots of ice so you too can shout at the top of your lungs “Man, I Feel Like a Woman”.
But when the song choices run to 90’s rap (of course, “Gin and Juice”) you know they’ve switched from wine spritzers to Stoli on the rocks. The bass bumps into the walls, vibrates through the glass of the deck doors, thumps on the new wood deck which was the reason for the party (C’mon over! A new deck needs christening.) and you wish they’d turn that shit down so you can sleep. After all, you’re almost 62 and 10 o’clock is a half hour past your bed time.
You close all the windows, roll around in bed fervently asking your husband why the neighbours aren’t classical music fans mumbling in hushed tones as Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” violins careen to the finale with the cymbols’ clang and the peel of victorious church bells joined by a chorus of happy citizens and a canon fusillade which, even if you twisted the volume to full on your surround sound system, would barely rattle the spectacles on your nose.
Actually, our neighbours are fine. But our backyard cherry tree is party central for the neighbourhood blue jays – not the baseball team, though that would be VERY exciting – squirrels of all hues, robins, chickadees and assorted indistinguishable dun coloured birds.
They arrive at sunrise squawking raucously. The red squirrels and jays are the loudest partiers, probably Rap fans. The sweet little brown birds quietly trill – they’re like the drunks who doze in the leather wing chair regardless of the tumult around them, or retreat to their beds.
The critters are attracted by the overripe and undoubtedly fermented cherries clinging stubbornly to the tree’s branches. This is the fruit out of our reach but easy pickings for acrobatic squirrels and any birds winging by.
In July, we pulled at least 15 pounds of cherries from our prolific tree but there’s that much or more hanging out of a stepladder’s reach. Now the cherries are a deep, juicy red, a raw, organic Kirsch-on-a-stem temptation for the party-starved. Yesterday morning I counted five blue jays ravaging the crop. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind, but like all partiers, they have no respect for the clock or their voices’ volume. One blue jay is bad enough but five is like being at a convention of glass-cutters’ using dull tools.
And still the tree is full of fruit. I pray this morning they will clean the damn thing and find another place to get loaded. Please. Summer is a moveable feast. Move yours to the apple tree down the creek path. I hear it has worms.