A Handy Guide
Strong Clue: Immediately upon moving in, they dig up their entire front lawn AND front walk, and replace it with pallets of bricks and piles of dirt, and a gaping hole where the walk and front stoop used to be. As I write this, lawyers are probably out recruiting folks to fall into those holes.
Very strong clue: When they leave it that way -- for 8 months.
Another very strong clue: On a recent evening as I'm driving by, I spy the mom and the two kids attempting to "deal" ... the older boy is hacking at the weeds with an old-fashioned hedge-clipper ... the kind that nobody uses anymore, with the advent of electric hedge trimmers twenty years ago ... one at a time ... chop, chop, chop ... and some of the weeds are so tall the kid doesn't really have to bend over at all ... and then there's the whole "you have to pull up the roots or you're wasting your time" thing. The mom, in a scene straight from a slave labor camp, is using a pickaxe to make feeble scratches in the huge mounds of dirt ... I have no idea what the hell she is doing, and I'm quite sure, neither does she. Dad is nowhere in sight ... drunk on the couch, perhaps. At least the couch is inside the house. For now.