Editor’s Note: writer Lyman Dratt has lived in Los Angeles for 13 years, and tells me he has had many “lowlife” neighbors. I suggested he define the term “lowlife”or at least give us some examples. Below is his “Fifteen Rules of Low-Lifedom.” It could just as well be titled, “How to tell if a lowlife has moved in next door.”
BY LYMAN DRATT
Bar none, I’ve always lived next door to a lowlife. Sometimes a whole lowlife family – mom, dad, kids, cousins, uncles, aunts. I’ve become a kind of expert on them. I am writing this because more and more of them are moving into our neighborhoods, maybe next to you. So, how will you know if a lowlife has moved in?
Here’s what to look for.
1. When they watch from their front yard as their pit bull craps in your front yard.
2. When another junk car is abandoned in their yard.
3. When they set up a “permanent” yard sale on their weedy front lawn, which they never water.
4. When detectives show up at the yard sale, looking for stolen goods.
5. When you find out the “cousin” who visits each month is really their parole agent.
6. When you look them up on the Megan’s Law Registry and find them.
7. When they fire automatic weapons into the air on the 4th of July and New Year’s.
8. When you realize you have memorized the non-emergency number of the local police department.
9. When red flashing lights in front of their house wake you up in the middle of the night.
10. When they graffiti your wall, and misspell words.
11. When they have a flat, they replace it with the spare “donut” tire and drive on it for a year, when they have another flat.
12. When they tell you the show they miss most on television is All My Babies’ Mamas.
13. When the pregnant mom sucks down her fourth gin-over-ice while chain-smoking on the saggy sofa on their front porch.
14. When their diapered 5-year-old is outside, screaming on a caffeine-sugar high.
15. When you look in the front picture window of their home and see yourself in the tinfoil.