Tucson is packed with some of the coolest folks. But like anywhere else, the cool folks are balanced out by some real pieces of work. We recently ran across two shining examples of both.

The nice neighbor

A Sunday morning knock on the door is not something many of us are particularly raring to answer. But it’s OK when our neighbor at the door, one of the neighbors we like in the first place, who gives us reason to like him even more.

Nice neighbor greets Phoebe (left) and Sawyer/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Nice neighbor greets Phoebe (left) and Sawyer/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Next door neighbor came to ask if it were OK for him to trim my mesquite tree that was heavily invading his yard. “Of course you can,” said I, “You didn’t even have to ask.”

“Well, it’s just common courtesy,” said he. If that wasn’t enough, he agreed to meet the dogs for the first time face to face. He did not even flinch when Sawyer went zooming at his, um, belly area. And he even petted the pooches, asking their names.

Nice neighbor showcasing mesquite efforts/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Nice neighbor showcasing mesquite efforts/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

The neighbor got even better when, once he was done trimming the mesquite, he called me over to make sure I liked what he did with it. I don’t know about you, but I have the sudden urge to bake some neighborly cookies or something.

Anyone who thinks I am perhaps over-reacting by falling backwards with joy because of such a courteous chap has probably neither lived in New York City for 17 years nor worked in journalism for even a day. The nice neighbor has asked to remain anonymous.

The nasty stranger

The nasty stranger, for sure, gave us a dose of Big Apple respect, or lack thereof, right here in Tucson. Nasty stranger shall remain anonymous, too, mainly because we don’t know who he (or she) is.

One of my friends experienced the nasty stranger incident. She had been shopping at Home Depot, using the cane she’s been carrying after her hip replacement surgery. She’s well on the mend, but still travels with it for support. While shopping, she puts the cane in the shopping cart and uses the cart for support.

My friend realized she forgot her cane at Home Depot/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

My friend realized she forgot her cane at Home Depot/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Alas, about 20 minutes after leaving Home Depot, my pal realized she no longer had her cane. She surmised she left it in the Home Depot cart, which I colored with orange wheels so you would know it’s from Home Depot.

She rushed back to the store, checking all the carts, inquiring at the counters and asking other employees if they had seen hide or hair of her cane.

"There's a hot spot in hell" for the cane thief/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

"There's a hot spot in hell" for the cane thief/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Double alas, the cane was gone. “Someone stole my cane,” my friend lamented. “Do you believe that? That’s low. Do you honestly think it was someone who needed a cane and happened to run across it, knowing it could help them. I doubt it. Someone probably took it for a Halloween costume or something.

“There’s a hot spot in hell waiting for that inconsiderate S.O.B.”

[tnipoll]

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What do you think?

What would you do if you found a cane in a shopping cart?

Have you ever taken something someone left in a shopping cart? What?

Did you steal a steak?

Would you ask your neighbor’s permission before you trimmed his or her tree hanging in your yard?

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What do you think?