|My neighbor is crazy. Crazy in the psychiatric sense,
not in the "fun to get drunk and take to parties" sense.
I call her Crazy
Helga is married to Nearly Dead Olaf, a veteran of World War II.
Until October of 2005, they lived together across the street. Crazy
Helga beat Olaf so badly the state intervened and placed Olaf in a nursing
Now, Crazy Helga spends her days puttering around the neighborhood,
advertising her pro-life stance or attacking unwitting pedestrians.
You never quite know what she will do next. You
can watch to find out.
How I met Crazy Helga
original post from July 16, 2004
is insane and not in the metaphorical sense. She is what psychiatrists
refer to just before they send men in white jackets to cart you away.
An objective observer might say this old, German lady is just odd.
That she walks to church every morning cradling a plastic baby in her arms
is no proof of mental defect. That she stands in downpours wearing
stiletto heels, a thin skirt and sweater, wiping the water from her face
in flailing, angry motions, is also insufficient proof. And perhaps,
one might even disregard that she has, against her will, spent time in
mental health facilities.
I call her Crazy Helga.
Crazy Helga's husband, Nearly Dead Olaf, spent his days sitting in a
nonfunctioning Volkswagen, drinking beer and reading bad romance novels.
Someone took the Volkswagen away, so now he just sits in a plastic chair
and mutters at Helga. Nearly Dead Olaf is constructed entirely from
small twigs and worn leather. He is a walking corpse.
Crazy Helga knocks on my door and announces: "I do not like gay
people in my neighborhood!"
I reply: "I'm not so fond of crazy people in my neighborhood.
Can I bring you a casserole?"
days later, while sitting in the front room with a friend, we observe Crazy
Helga heading my way. As I watch, she begins digging up my flowers
and carrying them back to her yard. Then, for the first time since
moving in, I realize that all the flowers in Crazy Helga's yard came from
Crazy Helga and Nearly Dead Olaf disappear around the back of their
home and I head across the street to settle this matter. I poke my
head around the edge of the house and say: "Hello there!"
Crazy Helga: "Who are you!?"
Me: "I'm your new neighbor. Remember, we met last week?"
Crazy Helga: "I've never seen you before in my life. The
man who owns that house said I could take all his flowers."
Me: "Well, I bought that house nine months ago. And while
I'm happy you like my flowers, I'd like to keep the rest."
Crazy Helga: "You did not. That woman with the horrible
dogs owns that house."
Me: "No, she was my tenant. I bought the house last year."
Crazy Helga to Nearly Dead Olaf: "Well, I suppose if he is new
to the neighborhood, that gives him the right to poke around other people's
Me: "Actually, I just came by to talk about my flowers..."
Crazy Helga: "Fine! All you have over there is weeds anyway!
Me: "Well, then I'd like to keep my weeds."
Crazy Helga becomes quieter and says: "That is how my son died."
Crazy Helga: "You know I am pro-life?"
Me: "Yes, I've heard that from the neighbors."
Crazy Helga: "They all think I am crazy."
Me: "Yes, they do."