Boys: Demented & Dangerous,  Tiny Kingdom Exclusive

Our Neighbors, The Drug Dealers

We didn’t immediately catch on to the fact that the neighbors were selling drugs.  Of course, we’d just moved in and had a three-year-old, six-month-old twins, and I was starting a year of treatment for hepatitis C.   I had plenty to keep me occupied inside and no time to check out the other houses on the street.

Also, the Tiny Kingdom isn’t the first place I’d look for a drug dealer.  Sure, there are kids in the community  with plenty of money, and drug use isn’t anything new, but I figured they got their drugs downtown or at any rate, somewhere else, not right across the street.

But as the years passed, my boys spent more time in our driveway, which has a clear view of the driveway across the street.  Kids don’t miss a thing.  At first their reports were tame.

“The guy in the house across the street was drinking a beer and he doesn’t look like he’s twenty-one,” Finn announced one time.  He was about eight at the time and was shocked.  I tried to act shocked, too.

“You know the house across the street?  All these teenagers are sitting in the driveway smoking.  Should we call the police?” Porter asked another day, as I was putting away groceries.  “I mean, cigarettes can kill you.  And if the smoke drifts over here and we breathe it in and die that would be murder.  I’ll call 911.”

I restrained him with great difficulty.  He was perplexed by my attitude, and summoned his brothers.  They shared his indignation.  They all put bandannas on their noses  to protect themselves from the fumes and hid in our bushes so they’d have a front row seat when other sins were committed.

As time passed there were late night parties, some broken up by the police, some with abrupt endings.  The driveway beer and cigarette gatherings continued. My boys began coming home from school and grabbing their air soft guns, playing Capture Osama in the front yard while keeping an eye on the happenings across the street.  They grew familiar with all of the cars that made regular stops at the house.


Then cars began stopping by briefly during the day.  The occupants weren’t staying to smoke or drink.  They’d get out, glance around, disappear behind the garage, and emerge moments later looking satisfied.

No one ever bothered us, and we couldn’t call the police simply because teens were sitting in a circle smoking in the driveway.  Still, the house gave off a scary aura.  When Porter had to draw a map of the neighborhood for his Webelos Travelers badge, he marked the house with a skull and crossbones:

Closeup neighbors

His map key helpfully noted that this house contained “bad peaple.”

On several occasions we’d see police cars circle the block several times, slowing as they passed the bad people.  I instructed the boys to wave at the police, to refrain from peeing in the bushes when the police were around, and not to strangle each other while the police were watching.

Yesterday I left the boys playing air soft in the yard while I ran a quick errand.  When I left, Drew and Porter had teamed up on Finn, who was hidden behind a tree and running out of ammunition fast.  When I returned, they’d forgotten all about the game.

“Yo, Mom, you should have seen all the cops hanging around here right after you left,” Finn said.

“I want to tell it, I want to tell it!” Drew said.

“So first one police car started cruising around the block and my heart started pounding really fast because I thought maybe the cop thought my air soft gun was a real gun and I was trying to kill my brothers even though for once they were beating me,” Finn said.

“Yeah, we were beating his behind so bad,” Porter said.

“So I held up my air soft rifle and waved to the policeman to say, like, no real killing going on here, but he wasn’t paying attention to me.  He was all talking into his radio and looking up at that house.”

“Yeah, he was holding this phone thing up to his mouth and talking into it,” Drew said.

“It’s my story,” Finn said.

“I was there, and I was hiding in the ivy and I saw the other police car park down the street and stay there,” Drew said.

“Yeah, so this other cop car comes and just, like, parks right past the house and the policeman just sits there and waits.  And we were all like, whoa, and stuff, and so we got in the garage so we could watch.”

“And I made popcorn and chocolate milk,” Drew said.

“Yeah, Drew made us popcorn and stuff and we three just sat in the garage and took in the show,” Finn said.  “Hey, did I tell you about the time I saw a guy walk up the driveway and come back with a bag of powder?  I didn’t know what it was then, but now that I’ve watched CSI:Miami, I bet it was cocaine.”

“When was that?”

“Maybe a year ago,” Finn said.  “Come to think of it, that was kind of stupid for me to just stand in the middle of the yard and watch this big dude buy drugs.”

“So did the police ever go up to the house?  Did you see anyone come out of the house?” I asked.

“No, we ate all our popcorn and the police drove around and the other guy parked and watched for a while, and then they left.”

It’s hard to know what to make of all this.  Until now, the neighbors have seemed to be more of a nuisance than a danger.  Of course, all I’ve seen is the groups of teenagers hanging out, and the occasional late, rowdy party.  I don’t know whether Finn’s account of the powder purchase is true, but I do know that there have been a lot of strange comings and goings at the house lately.

All I can do is hope for the best and look on the bright side.  There have been a rash of burglaries in the Tiny Kingdom lately.  The increased police presence around our house may not be intended to thwart the thieves, but it’s making me feel more secure on that front.

air softno finn

Plus, I have a battalion of air soft soldiers ready to protect me.


One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: G-Strings and Tube Socks


It’s hard to believe now, but I was one of those moms who said, “No guns in our house! I mean it.” It’s a losing battle. Boys pick up stuff and say “bang bang” whether they’re holding a spoon, a stick or a feather.

My guys are way into airsoft guns (they shoot soft rubber round things) and they like both the Rifles and the guns like the 44 Magnum.   Overall it seems like harmless fun, but make sure your kids are wearing Safety Glasses at all times.  Plus, put them in charge of sweeping up errant round ammo. It’s a pain in the ass and you don’t want to do it.


  • Kathryn

    You might think I’m a little crazy, but when I lived in an apt and I thought my neighbor was dealing drugs, I contacted a police detective and explained what I saw and suspected (I think via email or the dept website). The detective called me back and asked questions and opened an investigation. He even called from the parking lot and asked me to identify the person and their car as he was staking out the place. I moved before the investigation yielded anything, a few months after I alerted the police. I just wasn’t willing to sit there and let it happen in front of me. I think it would be different in a neighborhood, and I wasn’t asked to do anything that seemed to expose myself so it didn’t make me uncomfortable. Have you thought of contacting the police?

  • Headless Mom

    Yikes, Anne! That’s kinda scary. Personally I would be worried about the impact the air soft guns would have on the drug dealing neighbors. I know, paranoid, but my kids might be playing out back instead of front. (I’m sure that you keep your kids safe-this is not a commentary on you, just what I might be doing for my kids. Just so you or anyone else won’t think I’m being judgemental or anything.)

    Headless Mom’s last blog post..Thankful (Also Known as Fat and Happy)

  • andrea

    What cracks me up is that I assume your local readers know where you live, which means they know which house you’re talking about, and in Mountain Brook that means that everyone knows who lives there. I bet it wouldn’t be hard to find out something concrete. How old are the alleged drug dealers?

  • K

    Its hard to imagine in the Tiny Kingdom, but we’re not safe anywhere anymore. My son lives in Hoover, very close to the Met (or whatever they call it now) and the high school. I constantly admonish him about being out alone at night, etc. and get the usual rolled eyes and “oh, mama” but I maintain that the big drug money isn’t in the ghetto – its in the nice neighborhoods where the nice homes are. Then, couple months ago when those mexicans were shot execution-style in RIVERCHASE and the 56 year old lady was shot while walking her dog in an apartment x from the Galleria, he started paying a little more attention. Sometimes it pays to be too suspicious. I’d not take anything for granted. I can’t believe I’d say this, but I miss the sixties. Or being a kid in the sixties.

  • Lettie

    We lived by some drug dealers at our last apartment. I was not concerned about our safety and hoped for the best too. That was before there was a car chase that ended 2 feet from our car and 20 feet from the room my daughter was sleeping in AND there was a gun in the car. Then I became concerned – stupid people with real guns.

    I would contact the police and tell them your suspicions. From experience, they appreciate the information. People more often refrain from calling the police than do and the more information they have to work with the better.

  • Cassie

    As a daughter of a cop, I’ll give you some advice. Pick up the phone and call the cops regardless. They will appreciate this tid bit of info.

  • Jerri Ann

    Oh and I was so anti-gun it wasn’t even funny. Then I married a military man…gah…so I’ve fought it as long as I could and now…now we have little toy air soft watchamacallits all over. We even let Santa buy some great big fun guns….double ack.

    I give up……like you said, they will take a spoon or whatever and if none of that works, they’ll use their fingers, old fashion gunsmoke style

    Jerri Ann’s last blog post..Dear Mother I’m Dying..

  • jeff

    I don’t think you should be worried. Sounds like a bunch of non-violent druggies. I’d tell your kids to not stare at neighbors, it’s none of their business.

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