Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Crazy Neighbor

We've lived in our house a little over 5 years, now, and today was the very first time I've ever spoken more than a single sentence with one particular neighbor. The conversation was not pleasant.

The joy began while Amanda was on the phone with my stepmother, Randy. Amanda was looking out the window, watching this guy (hereinafter "4TCREWS", after his license plate) ride his lawnmower around his scorched yard. Now, it's worth pointing out that this guy mows about 6 times a year, generally waiting for the grass to get waist high before the first cut, and then cutting it right down to the dirt to prevent any chance of the yard surviving. He also likes to cut about 8' into our property.

So the guy's mowing, and Amanda's chatting away. Then I hear her exclaim that 4TCREWS has just tossed a beer bottle under one of our bushes. She's getting worked up about it when she sees him pick up more trash from his yard and deposit it similarly.

I needed to go out front and bring in the recycling bins, so I went out, chucked the bottle back into his yard (it landed right beside his driveway!), retrieved the bins, and came back to see him darting a very nasty glance at me. I stepped inside and resumed my good time playing with Monkey-Boy, figuring the guy might realize that we didn't want his trash.

Oh, no. Lazy sack o' shite rides his mower over to (what he perceives to be) the property line, and strolls up to my front door. I let him ring the doorbell 4 or 5 times before casually sauntering up to the door with my child and a nice hot cup of tea. When I opened the door, he was fuming and asked me if I was trying to make some kind of statement.

I told him that my wife had witnessed him throwing trash into our yard, and that we didn't appreciate it, all while calmly sipping on my tea and smiling at Alastair. He replied strangely that it wasn't his trash: he doesn't even drink beer! Oh, well, that makes it all better...

So he prattles on for a while about how he doesn't want to hit the bottle with his mower, that he was going to come back and get it, along with all the other trash he'd deposited, and that he didn't appreciate me throwing it back. He went into the trials and tribulations of having neighborhood hooligans target his yard for their trash (hey, they get everybody).

I just let him rant for a bit, and told him that if it was truly his intention to retrieve the trash, then in that case (and I carefully implied that ONLY in that case) I would apologize, but that our yard was not an appropriate receptacle, even temporarily.

Now, I'm not a calm person under fire. I get all trembly, but I did my very best to keep that cup of tea from revealing my nerves. I think I pulled it off, as he just sort of muttered and wandered off.

I've spoken with other neighbors about this guy before, and they've all told me that he's an ass. We've had summers when he waited long enough to mow the grass that we got ticks. We've had to endure his curious arc-sodium lamp on the back of his house, we've had to endure his constant warfare against our grass, and inherited his leaves every Autumn. I'm inclined to agree with my other neighbors, and now I can kvetch with the grumpy old man across the street, who positively foams at the mouth whenever 4TCREWS comes up in conversation.

With apologies to Sesame Street:
O an asshole is a person in your neighborhood,
In your neighborhood, in your neighborhood,
O an asshole is a person in your neighborhood,
A person that you meet each day.


Daniel said...

Bah! I'm pretty sure that the county has rules against grass height and they can be enforced with a quick call to the local government. A friend of mine once had to cut his grass because the city said it was too high--it was easily waist-high.

Your neighbors have no problem calling the county government on your trailer and that now-ORANGE! racecar. In fact, if you leave the car uncovered, it may well pay all your neighbors back a-bit.

My neighbors aren't like this at all, they'd never knock on my door and complain. Instead, they'd shoot me, or continue doing drug deals in the alley behind my house, lawl!

ev said...

So, I say we put up a nice "fence" of chicken wire on that property line (just temporarily). In the fall, it would certainly keep his leaves in his yard.
Which side of you is this? The corner or the dog who gets no love?

ahamos said...

He's the fellow on the corner of Lourdes & Lydell. The other folks haven't caused us any heartburn since they got their fence (well, except the 2 or 3 times Holly has gotten out).