Should I Warn the Neighbors?

“Should I warn the neighbors?”

We are lighting a smoke bomb today. I’m good at this. If the wind is favorable, the smoke will travel to the top of the old, oak tree that towers over my driveway. No one called the fire department in a panic last time. The man across the street lingered in his own driveway sweeping leaves that didn’t exist just so he could watch, but we avoided the sirens and red and blue lights.

Still, it’s a dilemma. Do we alert people or not?

This time we are shooting a stop-motion video in Barbie-doll scale. The smoke bomb for this shoot is full, human-sized. I could engulf a pink, plastic convertible many times bigger than the one my Ken doll occupies. That is a lot of smoke. It should make for a good sequence of stop-motion pictures, unless I am engulfed in smoke too, in which case I will simply keep snapping and hope for the best.

We are using fake blood for this video as we did for the last, “The Fake Guy”. I know a recipe that looks convincing and has a great splatter property. It is made almost entirely of powdered sugar with just a bit of cocoa and a massive amount of red food coloring. Yes, it’s edible. Yes, it’s gross. What is the amount of blood needed for a Barbie-doll bombing accident? Last time, I mixed a cup. I needed a teaspoon. Those dolls were small. I am good at math, but I tend to overdo things.

Ken’s doll double required some post-apocalyptic mutilation. I didn’t want to damage him too much, so I used a small hammer and tapped. That was pointless. Who knew that plasti-Ken had #absofsteel? I grabbed my industrial goggles – no selfies here – and the big hammer and pounded away with all my might. An exhausted 30 minutes later, and Barbie’s beau has a few gaping wounds.

“Should I warn the neighbors?”

What would you say? “Hey, I’m shooting a stop-motion video with Barbie dolls in my driveway. I’m going to be spilling fake blood and lighting a large smoke bomb. Please don’t panic when you see the mini-mushroom cloud rising above my roof line.”

My children think I’m weird and funny. That’s a good thing. It keeps them interested, laughing and engaged. My antics also teach them to think outside of the proverbial, collective box and take creative risks. We will be all hands on the “deck” of my driveway. At least one of them will be standing by with buckets of water should anything go wrong. What could possibly go wrong?

My only real dilemma:

“Should I warn the neighbors?”


Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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49 thoughts on “Should I Warn the Neighbors?

  1. I’m sure your neighbors know you well enough by now to know you do weird things. 🙂 They are probably more curious and want to play too than anything. Unless you have a crazy, grouchy neighbor. Then you may have to leave a loaf of banana bread on their porch with a note. Good luck with the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…I lean toward not warning them. The closest neighbors to me love my family and are used to some of our driveway crazy by now. I figure that a bunch of smoke just keeps everyone on their toes.😊


    1. Lol…Thank you so much! We had smoke bomb success and Ken doll carnage. I’ll be putting pictures up on Instagram in a bit, and the video will be up early next week. It’s so much fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What can I say, Tanya? You do plan some very unusual events at your place! Should be interesting to see how it all turns out. Should you inform the neighbors? Well, that depends on how well they know you. If they are the type to say “Oh that’s just Tanya up to something again” then I’d say no. But if they don’t know you, it may be a good thing to put the word out to a few of them. Leave it up to the gossip mill to spread the word to others…hehe!

    Enjoy your day, you little trouble maker!


    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I don’t know much about you, but I feel I know you well enough to know you don’t really care how people feel about you and your little antics!

        You just be you, Tanya! There’s a golden heart that beats inside your chest, and you are a sincere, genuine and loving person. Don’t loose that “fun-loving” side of yourself either!

        Have a great day and stay warm…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awwww, thank you, Steve! No, I don’t worry too much about what other people think. I’ve never found that to be a path to happiness. We are preparing for our next stop-motion now…Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Just drove to the bakery over the dam and on the other side of the river. 30 Canada Geese on the Keswick Flats: first I’ve seen this year and the robins are in. Thunder and a downpour. Rain so heavy we had to shout and we couldn’t hear the car engine!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you didn’t let the neighbors know. you could have the firedogs show up with their lights and sirens and red trucks and there ya have it … free extras in the vid.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps if you told the neighbors, they’d join in because they enjoy seeing perfect Barbie and Ken get their comeuppance. On the other hand, maybe they’ve got mint condition collectible Barbies, still in the box, taking up space in the spare room.

    The safest course is probably just to let them wonder about you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Too tough! I needed a “bashed up” Ken for the post-explosion shots. It took several hours and a large hammer, named “Big Bertha” (I am not making this up), to accomplish the task. I tried the small hammer and couldn’t make a dent in him. 🤣😂😆


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