Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Our Lamanite Friends

For the last week I've been in a strep-throat "special place" coma, coming in and out of rational thought. I like to think it's something like a peyote-induced hero's journey, where I've learned something significant about life and the journey of eternity. I know nothing of the peyote, which will surprise noone, but I once took a Native American literature class that I quite enjoyed, and we read a lot of books, although the only thing I clearly remember was that Star Wars is a classic example of the Native American hero's journey. That bit of information both impressed me (wow, we're we really are all connected. . .) and disappointed me (you mean it wasn't an entirely original. . . story. . .? George. . . ?) That, and we got to give ourselves our grade at the end of the semester. That was particularly difficult for an overachiever with serious issues with guilt. But that's a topic for another day. And one more important detail: my teacher had a white, round non-Native American face and wore plenty of turqouis and blue eye shadow. Come to think of it, I had TWO English professors who fit that description. . .

So you can see that I'm an expert in all things Native American.

I'd like to share my relationship with my neighbors who are, technically Native CANADIANS, not Americans, but have lived in Provo for almost 3 generations. They have different "teens" from their tribe come and stay with them to go to school in America, and they have "a band" which consists of several different kinds of drums and chanting. I know that some could accuse me of being overly dramatic to emphasize comedic elements in my life (Tina), but I want to assure you that the following are true, accurate accounts of the facts. I will try to dress them down in the dullest flesh-toned twin set I can find. Keep in mind that Topher and I have had face-to-face conversations with our neighbors on several occassions. Whenever we see them we say Hi and wave, and that their youngest children have been inside our home several, several times to play. These are most of my encounters with my next door neighbors, Ralph and Yvonne.

1. When we went to look at the house that we now live in, Ralph (older Native Canadian with long dark hair pulled back, stern expression on his face) came up to us, we said hello, introduced ourselves and said we were considering buying the place. His only response: "You guys aren't from California, are you?" I replied no, and he walked off. scene.

2. A few weeks after we moved in, I introduced myself to Yvonne, and asked "So, how are you?" she replied,"Yeah, so we need all sorts of stuff--anything you want to give--like laundry soap, dish soap, and soap."

3. Ralph goes on long walks down the middle of the road and when you say hi, he pretends not to hear, even if you say it really loudly (Topher has experimented on many different levels of volume).

4. Ralph came over to borrow some laundry detergent. When I returned with it he looked inside the cup and said, "liquid?" and walked off. This has actually happened twice.

5. Ralph came over at 10:30 pm in the pouring rain to borrow an umbrella.

6. Ralph came over to borrow a red pen in the middle of the day. I gave it to him, he crossed something off on a list he had in his hand and handed me back the pen. I told him to keep it.

7. One day Topher came home, got out of his car and tried to make small talk (yet again), he said, "Looks like you're moving someone out! Who's moving?" Ralph looked and stared at him, Topher repeated, Ralph stared, Then, after some time Ralph said, "You live there?" pointing to our house. "Yeah.. ." Topher replied and Ralph said,"Oh. .. I thought some young guy lived there." then turned around and walked inside his house. We had lived in the neighborhood for a year and a half. (That was the day Topher double-clapped Ralph.)

8. Ralph came to borrow the phone (one of 12 times) and turned back as he was leaving (wha-wha-wha-what? I thought) and said, "Your husband. . . is he into computers?" I told him, no and explained in two sentences what he "does," and he ended with, ". .. He's kinda . . . an . . . eccentric guy, isn't he?" I laughed and he walked off. (Christopher, upon hearing the story, yelled, "Since when is RALPH the barometer of eccentricity?!!?!?!")

9. For no "reason," Ralph came over and had some how found out my brother's band "did well," and told me his band was cutting a CD, too. I wished him well. (We actually don't mind hearing the drums. It's no so loud and it's got a good rhythm to it.) It occurs to me on this occassion that he always calls me, "neighbor," when I call him by his first name. He has no idea what my name is. Christopher considers going up to their front door and offering them one million dollars if they can name one of us, or one of our kids.

10. Yvonne has just started coming to our ward, and is incharge of Primary birthdays. Last Sunday she looked around and said, "Who's Bro. Clark?" I laughed out loud and told her he was gone. We've been next door neighbors for two years now.

I guess I'll end on #10 because it seems appropriate. They are actually good neighbors, all things considered. Right? You don't have to be best friends with everyone in your neighborhood, right? I don't have anymore clarity thanks to night after night of 10 hours of sleep, but I'm still on my meds so I suppose there's still time to have a vision of clarity to make sense of all this.


christopher clark said...

I love how Ralph thinks I'm eccentric. There is no justice in the universe. And why is it only ME that they don't know? They seem to at least recognize Lisa. But it's MY NAME they don't know, or MY FACE they've never seen. Crazy.

And one time Yvonne called Lisa about some reflections contest sign-up forms. She left a message, and called Lisa 'Mrs. Clark' and sounded like she had no idea who 'Mrs. Clark' actually was. So Lisa called back and said "I'd be glad to bring some of these forms to you, or you can always stop by, SINCE I'M YOUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR!"

Lisa is a lot nicer to them than I am. I get really PO'd.

Eric said...

Lisa, THANK YOU for explaining why I don't like Indians.

Jillian said...

As a Canadian, I feel I should tell you that there is no such thing as a "Native Canadian." In Canada, they are called members of the "First Nation." LOL.

Love the blog. I was especially fond of "Just Enjoy It." It fits my new motto in life which is "Bite me."

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

lisa, they sound drunk

wendysue said...

Maybe you could offer them a million dollars if they could name all the items they've 'borrowed' from you :)

Yeah, a new blog. These darn, I mean lovely kids don't let us talk as much as we used to so at least I can get my Lisa fill by reading your blogs :) Love you!

Are these the neighbors with 'Mindy' the cat? I thought up another great name for a cat, besides Barbara, how about Dorothy? "This is my siamese cat Dorothy. .."

wendysue said...

BTW (I'm so hip aren't I?) Do you mean Topher got to leave to be on his own for 2 weeks and came home and all you got was Strep Throat? How about a trip to the spa? Or at least to Cold Stone?

lisa v. clark said...

Wendy: yeah, Topher went to Steppenwolf, and all I got was strep throat (not even a dumb tshirt!)

#11. Ralph came over to borrow an envelope. When I gave him one he said it was the wrong size. I told him it was the only size I had and he said, "Everyone told me this was going to be hard." I said, confused, ". . . writing letters. . ?" "No, my daughter's wedding." Oh, of course! I'll catch on one of these days. . .

"Bite Me"'s the new "Ignore the Crazy"

Suzie Petunia said...

I would love to read a blog by Ralph and Yvonne. I bet they have some pretty hilarious stories about the dozens (and dozens!) of people that live in the house next door to them.

Seriously...does Ralph have dementia? Or a peace pipe?

c jane said...

Wanna trade neighbors?

Hailey said...

Sorry about the sickness stuff, Lisa. I'm surprised Chris hasn't written another grumpy blog this week because "When momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy" (feel free to insert the world healthy, and to say it with proper grammar if you're so inclined)

As for your neighbors, it seems to me that some people are in our life for the express purpose of making it a bit more amusing. They're not even fakers or trying hard, they are just being their own crazy selves--I love it!

ashleywilkinsonneves said...

I love it! I love your "First Nation" neighbors!
But I feel exactly opposite about your friend you called her toe ring "toe doe". I hate her.

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...



~j. said...


Ben said...

Lisa: I love these. I have read through the scenes probably 25 times now and I still laugh (and sigh while shrugging my shoulders). I really want to see a movie with characters based on Ralph and Yvonne.

~j. said...

yes, with adele and stanley as THEIR neighbors.

AzĂșcar said...

And this story is supposed to make me want to move into the 16th ward?

Anonymous said...

I actually think his borrowing misc. items is an attempt at spying on you. The red pen is the most obvious! Yvonne sends him over to spy on the eccentrics!

Aaron Shafovaloff said...

You might be interested in the fact that many Mormons now, including nearly all LDS apologists, reject what Mormonism has taught for over 170 years... namely, that the Lamanites are the "principle ancestors" of the Native Americans. For more info, check out:

http://mormonwiki.org/Book_of_Mormon_geography (see list of links at bottom).

If you'd ever like to have lunch/dinner with my wife and I, we'd be glad to do so.

Grace and peace in Christ,


I also recommend the chart on:


Aaron Shafovaloff said...

Here's an easier link to that video.

Aaron Shafovaloff said...

By the way, I can be reached at: