‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Will Remind You To Be A Bit More Neighborly
Photo: Jason Merritt (Getty Images for Focus Features)
This month, we got see an old, friendly neighbor — actually, the most neighborly of neighbors, the late Fred Rogers — in the Won’t You Be My Neighbor? biopic. No, not the one with Tom Hanks. But instead of building it up or ripping it down, we thought we’d give the Morgan Neville movie a different treatment and discuss how the movie might remind you how to be neighborly.
Below are some things you might learn or remember about being a good neighbor from us. Or you could just go see the frickin’ movie (it’s out now) and learn it from the master.
Ring The Damn Doorbell For A Change
Why are people texting “I’m here” when they could park the car, get out and come to the door like their father taught them? Is it because you still fear someone will open the door with a shotgun? That only happens in the movies. Well, mostly. Fred taught us that showing up unannounced to greet your neighbor was normal.
Alright, maybe text before you come to the door.
Quit Honking Your Car Horns
People honking in their cars and cussing out other drivers in traffic feels like an all-time high, but it isn’t. Whatever happened to civil decency? What would Fred think of that? He’d let you merge into his lane; no questions asked.
Then again, Fred hung out with puppets on remote control trolleys. Chances are he walked or rode his bike when he could, which is what you should be doing.
Workout Inside, Please
The weeks are tough enough without seeing your unsightly body and its matching hair. Nobody wants to see you shirtless and sweaty. Workout inside like a good neighbor. That, of build a fence.
Fred might have told you to join a gym, but he’d more likely just do something high kicks in the living room with all his casual clothes.
Stop Clowning Around
Are you a clown lurking around a quiet neighborhood? Stop that! You’re scaring the straights.
Fred tried to make clowns fun and exciting, but really, he was fighting an uphill battle, even if it’s just balloon animals and face paint.
Stop Letting Your Dog Shit In My Garden
The garden of my mind is crowded with hateful thoughts about your dog shitting in my garden. Did you train it to do that? Because I worked hard on my landscaping, but I don’t have to work too hard to get drunk and even.
Pretty sure Fred would tell me shitting on your lawn in retaliation is not the more humane act.
Don’t Swim Drunk In My Pool When I’m Gone
The whole neighborhood knows you drunkenly jump my fence when I’m out of town and get naked in my pool. No amount of chlorine could account for that. Fred might say it’s polite to share, kind of like he did in that historic kiddie-pool episode with Officer Clemmons, both a black man and reportedly a homosexual.
But Fred never saw your pale ale drunk ass from out his kitchen window. He might’ve told you to cover up so the Lord can’t see.
Quit Looking In My Windows At Night
Peeping Toms were an almost adorable thing back in the day that you could almost get away it, kind of like micro-cheating on social media today. If Fred was peeping inside your window, you wouldn’t think anything of it. Anybody else gets the shotgun.
Fred might have told you to try the front door first. But still shoot a text, obviously.
Please Lord, Lock Up Your Guns
We’ve had a little problem lately with kids and guns. All we ask is that you lock them up so your kids don’t shoot at us when we take out the trash. Speaking of which, don’t be afraid to help with the trash bins (especially when I’m hungover and incapable of sunlight).
Fred would’ve probably brought your cans back in for you. Most people who do that now are just stealing your recycling for their own profit. It’s good exercise; don’t be so scared of doing something for someone else.
Or Would You Prefer To Keep This Going?
Case in point.
Seriously though, people are cruel these days. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is the truest reminder of human decency and a red flag about how far we’ve traveled down the wrong path.