The man sat in front of our house in a non-descript American made car, slung low and peering out of the windshield over a newspaper at a house down the street. He definitely looked like he was on a stakeout. Though my knowledge of what a stakeout looked like was based solely on every cop show and movie I’ve seen.
I pointed the guy out to WonderWife™ with a “psst” and a nod in his direction. “What do ya think that guy’s doing just sitting there?”
WonderWife™ thought this was curious indeed. People come and go all of the time to my next door neighbor’s house, but never had any of them parked on the street and hunkered down as if they were going to be there for a while. So we kept an eye on him.
A little later, we noticed that the man had moved the car across the street as we returned from the grocery store. He was still sitting there reading the same newspaper, same stakeout stance.
“I’m going to find out what he’s doing here,” said WW™ as she started across the street.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said. “What if he’s really a cop on a stakeout or something like that? Don't get involved.” I said this with the knowledge that WonderWife™ can sometimes be a little brash in her confrontations. Like the time she angrily told a woman who had rung our bell one evening to pretty much fuck off, only to later realize the woman was innocently trying to let us know about a crime that had been committed a few streets away.
“I don’t want some weird guy to be hanging around here. Our children are playing outside!” I could not argue against this statement. And with that she strode across the street to his car.
I finished unloading the car and went inside with the kids. A few minutes later, WW™ returned looking a bit ashen.
“So?” I said.
“You know that guy that lives down the street that I don’t like?”
“Yeah,” I said conjuring up the image of our horrible neighbor who likes to insult you and pretend that he was only making a joke.
“It’s him,” she said and she sat down.
It turns out that the guy, our neighbor, suspected his wife of having an affair. The guy spun a series of lies to convince his wife that he was away, so he could try to catch her with her lover. It truly was a stakeout. I guess he'd seen the same movies I have. And WonderWife™, having confronted him was treated to the entire, uncomfortable tale as if watching an episode of Melrose Place that she couldn't turn off.