Funny girl

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In city lingo, a heavy clear means that a team of city employees will remove the mulch pile from Parkhurst's yard.

"The taxpayers would have to front the money, and a lien would have to be put on the property," Crowley says. "Whoever the judge decides is responsible [for the dumping], gets the lien."

Needless to say, the bureaucratic runaround didn't make life on the 7200 block of Eccles Drive any easier. Tension between Parkhurst and Rhoads continued to mount daily.

On September 5, Parkhurst called the police to report that Rhoads had allegedly stolen a no trespassing sign from her yard. Although neither Parkhurst nor the police saw Rhoads take the sign, the police issued Rhoads a misdemeanor citation for theft.

At least four additional police calls were made from the Parkhurst residence during October, two of them from Heather King, Parkhurst's 22-year-old daughter.

During a recent interview, Parkhurst presented a picture of her smiling, blonde daughter and volunteered that she and King had recently got into a fight over the daughter's boyfriend. Anticipating that her enemies will use information about the confrontation against her, Parkhurst concedes that she gave her daughter a black eye.

"I did hit her," says Parkhurst, who displays a picture of bruises on her own arm. "But she hit me worse."

The day Charlotte Parkhurst got hauled off to jail began innocently enough. But it quickly turned into a nightmare, which was perhaps appropriate considering the next day was Halloween.

Tim Smith, a friend of Rhoads, agreed to spend the day planting pansies in the Eccles Drive cul-de-sac, right in the middle of Parkhurst's line of sight.

According to Parkhurst, she was at her kitchen island baking cookies all day in anticipation of the trick-or-treaters who would arrive the next day.

Except for taking her car to Precision Tune for a lube job, Parkhurst says, she never left the house. At dusk, she was about to feed her dogs when a police officer arrived and told her that the neighbors were complaining that she had been yelling at them all day.

Parkhurst says that she tried to explain the ongoing problem with her neighbors, but that the officers wouldn't listen. Instead, they suggested that she go downtown to speak to a judge. Parkhurst left for the jail, with no shoes on her feet and high hopes of bending a judge's ear.

"I was never told I was arrested," says Parkhurst, who spent the night in jail after being arrested on a Class C misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct and profanity.

But, like her conspiracy theory, Parkhurst's version of events is just a little too weird to believe.

Although he could not produce a full report on the arrest, Dallas police spokesman Miguel Sarmiento confirms that the officers made the arrests after repeated attempts to calm Parkhurst.

"She began screaming at the officers after they arrived, and they warned her about staying calm," Sarmiento says. "She refused a couple of warnings."

When told that Parkhurst contends that she was baking cookies all day before her arrest, those gathered at Rhoads' home break into laughter.

At about 5:15 p.m., Rhoads dialed 911 and reported that a woman was screaming at people in his yard.

After enduring comments from Parkhurst throughout the day, Rhoads says, Tim Smith finally lost his patience when Parkhurst approached him and asked him if he was going inside Rhoads' house for his payoff.

"'You worked all day, and now you're going over to get your reward. Kissy, kissy, kissy, faggots,'" Rhoads says, recalling the words that Parkhurst allegedly told Smith. When the police stuck Parkhurst in the car and carted her off to jail, Rhoads concedes there was an air of celebration about his house.

"Tim is screaming, 'Woo hoo!' and pumping his fists," Rhoads says. "Tim was happy. I said, 'I'm glad she's going to jail, but we won't break out the champagne.'"

"Not everyone who comes here is gay," McCord says, his words barely rising above the laughter.

"We have to see the humor in this," neighbor Peterson adds. "Or else we'd all have a nervous breakdown."

The muted, candy-cane refrain of the Angels singing My Boyfriend's Back plays over and over again from a closed room inside the Parkhurst home. A pair of mimicking cockatoos squawk "rock and roll," and each takes turns commanding the other to "be quiet, please be quiet."

The spacious living room is impeccably neat. A row of Jesus and Mary figurines is carefully placed atop a player piano. Pictures of Charlotte and Duane Parkhurst's wedding fill a bookshelf, accompanied by glossy photos of their daughter Heather, who resides in New York with her grandmother.

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Rose Farley
Contact: Rose Farley