Better Garden

A few blocks away from where my family just moved, there’s a house that eats children. I can’t relocate because of work, but I’m interested in not having my kids devoured by a California bungalow. They keep skipping school to sit on their bikes outside the chained fence, staring at the windows for hours on end. It’s getting old that I have to drive over there and pick them up every afternoon. Any suggestions?
Better Garden in Huntington

Better Garden,

This is a localized problem. As such, either remove the problem from your locality or remove yourself from its locality.

If you’re not interested in moving to a new neighborhood, then it’s time to assume a demon-hunting role. I have some experience with this field. First off, you’re going to want fire-retardant clothing and a melee weapon that has been polished to a mirror shine. Apply oil from the tail gland of a lemur (or, failing that, a small quantity of Brylcreem) to the blade of your weapon, kick down the door of this Cottage of Death and start taking the structure apart. This will excite a defensive posture from whatever being is occupying that space and it will attack you. Obviously, this is both what you want and what you don’t want simultaneously. Such is the life of the true venator

Now you kill it. Go at it with some confidence. As strong and scary as demons might seem to the uninitiated, it’s worth noting that most are in really poor shape from want of exercise. Sloth is, after all, a pretty cardinal vice. That said, you’ll pretty quickly figure out why the fire retardant clothing is important. Once the enemy is vanquished, exit the building quickly. It should burn to the ground on its own which will earn you the thanks of local parents as well as a nod of approval from the homeowner’s association.

Whatever you do, do not take a gun. I cannot emphasize this enough.