I have a neighbor who is a senior citizen version of Benita Butrell (the “I ain’t one to gossip, so you ain’t hear that from me” woman on In Living Color). She sees all, she knows all and has no problem sharing it with you. All you have to do is say “hi” and if you don’t keep it moving you can get an earful.
How does she get her info? Does she have a network of spies who report in daily? Is she stationed at a window furiously taking note of everything that happens in the street?
If she wants to know your business, she’ll ask. Her grandmotherly like voice can mask an interrogation.
The day after we got back from San Fran, she stopped to speak as I was getting out of the car…
Granny: I see you’ve been away for a while, where you been off to?
Me: We went to San Francisco.
G: Oh, that sounds nice. How’s the weather over there?
Me: Cold, but no snow.
G: Was it sunny? Cuz you’ve gotten darker.
G: You can take all that time off of work?
Me: I go back tomorrow… wait, did she just say…
G: (tilting head to the side) What’s happening with you, that coat is drooping. You losing weight?
Me: I’ve been exercising… I was getting darker?
So, there, in one brief convo: location tracking, melanin monitoring, employment check, and health inspection.