LA CROSSE, WIS — Barbara Hammiburr has a good relationship with her neighbors. When the pandemic started earlier this year they looked out for each other.
“The younger couple next door would usually check on me if they were going to the store for something, and I’d usually make them lemon bars or bread as a thank you. It was kinda nice, you know, even though we had to be socially distanced, the pandemic kind of brought us closer together.”
But that’s where the niceness ends.
When asked about the federal police force that has been spotted in Portland and, according to President Donald Trump, is going to be sent to other protest hotspots across the country, she had a different opinion of her neighbors.
“Oh, I can’t wait for the secret police to arrive! I’m going to sell those commies down the river!” she said. “They had a Bernard Sanders sign up in their yard for the longest time. Health care for all? They’re gonna take my money to pay for their abortions? Fuck! That! And you can quote me on that. In fact, write it out so that the fuck and the that are two seperate sentences. With exclamation points! One day I swear I smelled marijuana coming from their house, and they were listening to hip-hop music.”
Her neighbor, Pheleau Youngperson, told a different story.
“Our dog got sprayed by a skunk, that’s what she smelled,” Youngperson said. “And it was a Ray Charles CD!”
Hammiburr wasn’t just going to target The Youngpersons, she also had complaints about The Blacks across the street.
“Their pitbull is always outside terrorizing people and constantly barking. I’m definitely going to turn them in,” Hammiburr said.
According to Jennifer and Kyle Black – the owners of the dog in question – this isn’t the whole truth.
“We let our dog out a couple of times a day. He barks at people, but he’s mostly an inside dog,” Jennifer Black said. “Besides that, he’s not even close to a pitbull, he’s a corgi.”
There are others in the neighborhood who are looking forward to a secret police force showing up in La Crosse. Barbara Hammiburr’s oldest friend, Ethel Fartwrangler is planning on turning Barbara in the first chance she can get.
“I made her a blueberry crumble in 1983 and she never returned the Tupperware container I put it in when I delivered it to her, despite asking about it repeatedly,” Fartwrangler said. “Maybe a couple months in a cell with no sun will teach her!”
When asked if she was afraid if pitting neighbor against neighbor in a potential police state would become a witch hunt, Ethel demurred.
“I wouldn’t say Barbara is a witch, but she definitely took my container and that’s all I care about.”
Reporter DJ Bigalke contributed to this article.