My neighbors have been abducted by aliens. That's the only explanation for their house being empty, lights off, and nobody home.
The aliens were thorough. They took the basketball hoop. They took the pool furniture and bar-b-que pit. Even the For Sale sign is gone from the front yard.
We didn't know our neighbors very well, obviously, since they vanished without so much as a "See you 'round the asteroid belt!" They had funny accents. Either Scottish or Rigel V. I can't really tell the difference unless they say "trrrrransporterrrrr", but that's a difficult word to use in a sentence casually.
"So, had any trouble with your transporter lately?" "Yeah, ours is on the fritz, too."
Speaking of fondue, preparations are well underway for the Fondue Fiesta Twelve Two Two. Bread gets baked today and the truck will deliver the cheese tomorrow. Now, if only I can line up some dancing poodles we'll be in business...