7/11/2006

Just Say Nay To Neighbors

Next door to me lived a lovely retired couple.

She was in charge of groceries and gardening while he cut the grass and swept the driveway.

I loved them because they never engaged me in anything more taxing than a smile or hello. One day, they waved goodbye on their way to retiring to a condo.

The person who bought the house decided to turn it into a rental property.


A group of people of assorted shapes and sizes moved in. Their first act was to cover the front of the house with satellite dishes.

Then they began to use the grass median between our two driveways as a turning lane for their used car collection.

One particularly rainy day, I came home to find mud spattered all over the side of my house and deep tire ruts in the grass.

Rather than engage in direct warfare, I divided the grassy knoll by putting a fence down the middle.

Just when they were getting the hang of using just their driveway, they moved. Satellite dishes and all.

The next group to move in was a family of four. He drove a big truck and
was rarely home. She did more laundry than was possible for a family of four to have and hung it all out in the backyard to dry.


The back yard looked like an ad for a white sale that was never going to end. Rows and rows of sheets and the like. I come from a large family and we did not have this much laundry.

They had two small children. I’d occasionally see them over the fence playing in their backyard while I sat out on my deck. Thing 1, a girl, seemed shy and simply stared. Thing 2, the more outgoing boy, would jump up and down waving his arms yelling Hey Mister Hey Mister Hey Mister Hey Mister until I acknowledged him. Then he’d start yelling Hi Hi Hi Hi until I went back in the house or threw something at him.

One day, the white sale finally ended and they were gone.


My assessment of this latest group has been more meandering. It seems as though the main adult would be a very blonde former pole dancer who is still on the bottle. (Of peroxide)

A guy who looks like he might be a handyman who pulls up every now and then in a pick up truck and spends quality time deep tongue kissing her on the driveway, in the front window and sometimes in the back yard. She seems friendly.

There are occasionally two younger women who are exceedingly pleasant and always say hi. I say hi back.

There are also occasionally about five or six young men throwing a football or punches at each other in the back yard. A few weeks ago, they were having bare knuckle boxing matches and cheering each other on very quietly. I think they’re taking that first rule of Fight Club too literally.

I’m pretty sure either I’m on some sort of Truman Show reality thing or there's one being filmed all around me.

This post was a result of reading Berry's post on her neighbors. While she seems to have become something of an expert on taking out the trash, I just like to rush to judgement and comment on it.

23 comments:

Tanya Espanya said...

Hey Mister, I think I'm your neighbour!

ziggystardust73 said...

I live in an apartment in central London and although I try to avoid my neighbours at all costs, sometimes it is impossible due to the fact that there are shared walls.

Sometimes that really isn't fun.

chelene said...

I avoid my neighbors unless their mail is accidentally put in my box, in which case I light the offending catalogues and bills on fire and throw it on their lawn. I know it's really the mailman's fault but he's untouchable. Someone's gotta learn a lesson.

Holly said...

I have a strange feud with the cranky guy with whom I share a back (chain link) fence: he objects to "critters" of any sort, including bunnies and chipmunks, simply on principle (it's not like he has a garden they destroy) and leaves, right by the fence (because my yard is critter friendly), traps which I routinely sabotage.

When I was growing up we had the perfect next-door neighbor: a very large vacant lot, which we owned. Behind us was a cow pasture. Unfortunately at some point all the vacant land had houses built on them.

So "Nay to Neighbors!" If you say it again, I'll say it with you.

Beth said...

shhhhhhhhhhhh He's not to know that he's the star of "The Dale Show."

ziggystardust73 said...

Dale said: "No fun unless it's you making the noise really now is it? "

- couldn't have said it better myself, Dale!

Dale said...

You're not the quiet Thing #1 though Tanya are you? I know an apartment in London that would love to have you.

Hey Ziggy -- No fun unless it's you making the noise really now is it?

Chelene - I know why I like you so much, you're setting fires and blaming which really is the only way to deal with this problem.

I hate that guy you're describing Holly and good for you for the sabotage. You had a good start which is nice. And, I'm saying it right now.

As far as I can tell, I'm only a great secondary character Beth.
Props to Rinda who has some great t-shirts in her Cafe Press store for the secondary character comment.

Dale said...

I had to repost and delete my comment to fix the link to Rinda Elliott so it appears now that Ziggy is putting words in my mouth. Stop it.

X. Dell said...

Dale, if you're on "The Truman Show" you must be on HBO, for I'm not getting you on basic cable.

I'd set up a video camera for these latest neighbors, if I were you. If they're that affectionate, you might wind uy with something you can sell.

BTW, thanks for teaching me that Canadians spell 'neighbors' without a 'u.'

Dale said...

I insisted that if I was to be secretly filmed that it be for HBO X-Dell. And what a great idea, at least some of the cameras should be rolling on that crew.

We can spell it with the u but I left it out just for you.

justacoolcat said...

"I just like to rush to judgement and comment on it"

It really is the neighborly thing to do, well that and throw the occasional dog poo over the fence into their yard.

Oh, and the mail burning.

And I almost forgot the occasional illegal entry and beatings.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, the renters in our hood are always changing too.

A. Estella Sassypants said...

Ahh, nostalgia overtakes me. Where we live now is quite boring, but in our former home we had a family of 8 one one side (eight girls, two parents) and a rotating cast of losers on the other side. Not to mention the people across the street who owned horses (in town) who would occasionally get loose long enough to use our driveway and flower bed as their personal toilet.

Grant Miller said...

I've TiVoed this already. Should be awesome!

Shroom-Monkey said...

Just wait til the Mexicans move in and the grassy front yard becomes a parking lot and there appears to be about 21 families living there.

Disclaimer- I am Mexican- I can say this shit if I want to- you should see my front yard. Two broken down low riders, 6 functioning cars, a old ass Air Stream and about 23 people inside, 6 of us on constant torilla duty. A pallet of beer in the back and a root cellar full of pinto beans. It is a good life!

mellowlee said...

The house across the street is full of young college guys. They're fricken crazy. They have a deck that we can see from our front room. They always have friends over for bbq and beers : Very entertaining. The only thing they do that drives me nuts is play drunken street hockey at 2am. I keep waiting for a ball to come crashing through our window.
Hey, remember that 1981 movie Neighbors?

Dale said...

Jeez, what we all do if we were living next to each other, die of boredom? We'd all be lovely and polite. I'm sure of it.

JCC - if I run out of torture methods, I'm calling you first, you're good at inventory.

Andi - horses for neighbors? That's cool. Except for all the making hay and stuff.

Grant - let me know if I look fat in Tivo okay?

I'm still waiting to meet a Tex-Mexican but your clan don't sound so bad. Except for the being Mexican part. I can say that, oh wait...

A ball or a head or the bbq could come through that window but don't be alarmed, I'm sure it won't happen MellowLee. You know, I haven't seen the movie but I remember the ads for it and I thought of it when I was writing.

Mob said...

Two of the most frightening words in the English language when used in relation to one's neighborhood: Rental Property.

Maybe the white sale woman possessed a time machine and was 'taking in laundry', as they used to say, from the mid 1800's?

I can identify with you on the creepy pole dance crew. In a previous townhouse experience, the folks next door were apparently comprised of possibly the same woman you described, a shirtless, cut-off jean wearing guy with a mullett, and several barely legal, fairly loose-looking women that I'm conviinced were living there to get lessons from the older broad. They all spent a lot of time laying out tanning in back of the house, and generally having no discernable jobs...he sold dope, because my girlfriend at the times older brother bought from him, and as for the women...strippers, I assume, unless they drew some sort of check for hanging around the house all day, drinking beer.

thebeloved said...

Hysterical Post, thanks!

ziggystardust73 said...

oooohhhh I was being psycho, I mean *psychic* again!

Dale said...

I thought of the taking in laundry thing Mob, very strange. And don't you just love trying to figure out the relationships of the undesirables that sometimes show up next to us?

Glad you enjoyed it TheBeloved. Are you like Jesus or something with a name like that?

Can't talk to a psycho like a normal human being can you Ziggy? But we both can try.

mellowlee said...

found another neighbor ref. for ya Dale. "Neighbor" by Ugly Kid Joe That song is a bit scary.

Dale said...

I'll look it up MellowLee and probably be suitably frightened. Thanks.

Dale said...

Aww, poor Ugly Kid Joe - that wasn't so bad Lee! I actually liked it and I'm pretty sure I lived next to him for a while too.