Monday, April 11, 2011

When bad neighbors turn worse

I don't remember when he moved into the building next door. I could hear his voice from my kitchen, it was that loud. His unsightly uniform included baggy shorts, tank top, visor and scraggly balding ponytail.

During daylight hours you would encounter him IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, picking up a single half inch leaf. This was bad enough if you were walking up the street, but exponentially worse if you were trying to avoid hitting him with your car. OCD, for sure.

A neighbor who was way more up with the gossip told me he kept trying to give a neighbor child candy - I'm sure to get to his mother - but was rebuffed and continued until the door was slammed into his face. They eventually moved.

Soon enough, he got into trouble with the law. He would constantly argue with his neighbors; I don't know the details. I did hear the police telling him once that the next time they were called, he'd be leaving with them - but this was an empty threat. Five-O was called at least four, maybe five times, then he was evicted.

We knew there was movement/progress when we saw a large truck with a garish sign that said "We Haul Junk" parked in their lot for several days. My dear husband says the mover must have spent his time trolling the neighborhood for trash put out onto the sidewalk. In the open truck, he viewed all kinds of flotsam and jetsam, including toys - to appeal to children and their mothers?

The ideal neighbor is not a pony-tailed unshaven creep who picks fights and comments loudly, brings to my mind all manner of unflattering and profane descriptions and clutters the neighborhood horizon with his unsightly presence and strident voice.

I had almost forgotten - there was someone I called the Vomit Cougher. She was EXACTLY the way that sounds. Not a pretty sound - it may have been a sneeze - by ANY stretch of the imagination! My world has been a lovely, peaceful place since those two moved! And you may remember my hearing is like a dog's!

While the pony-tailer was the pinnacle of bad neighborliness, there have been other such points. The people next door were an older couple. When our son was teething, they did not hesitate to call the police to tell them we were abusing him. It was obvious they were not parents, as children do cry when teething. And they teethe for years! All the police saw was a child unmarked except for tears and drool.

Another neighbor would fix his motorcycle in his parking space in the garage, all of his tools spread out, gunning his engine. He also fixed his friend's motorcycle. And his friend's friend's motorcycles. His son would ride his moped into the elevator while I was in it! When they finally moved, they made it onto the evening newscast by claiming all their presents had been stolen from under the Christmas tree. Right.

Who is the ideal neighbor? One respectful of your privacy, unobtrusive, who will graciously agree to pick up your newspaper or mail or Fedex delivery, but otherwise LEAVE YOU IN PEACE! I have two neighbors I can depend on for all those things, and I hope they feel they can call upon me for the same! Now, if only one of them can keep his cats off my lanai!

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