Monday, November 10, 2008

The Grass Isn't Always Greener...

I was recently reminded of a neighbor that I had years ago; this was the neighbor from hell.

My kids were young at the time, as were hers. Her children, ages 2 and 3, were always welcome in our home. Mainly because they were similar in age to mine and they enjoyed playing together…but also because I felt sorry for them. Their mother had her own agenda and their father was rarely at home.

To say this woman was lazy would be an understatement. She would shoo her kids out the door send them out to play, unattended, with the dog; while she chatted on the phone all day. The kids, not being allowed to bring many toys outside to play with, would actually climb on top of her car and jump on it like a trampoline for fun…while her dog would poop in my front yard. Now, I can’t say for a fact because her hair was long-ish, but I’m pretty sure her neck was a deep shade of red.

Though I questioned her parenting skills, I never said anything to her. Her children were fed, for the most part clean, and seemed happy. I did try to draw the line when it came to her dog. I would have occasional bouts of bravery, get past my shyness, and ask her to either watch her dog or at least clean up the messes he would make in my front yard. Sometimes she would comply, but for the most part she would ignore me.

When we both bought our homes, the contractor provided sod in the front yard only. The covenants of the subdivision stated you had a year to landscape the front yard and plant grass in the back. We did both. They did not. The model of house they chose did not have an attached garage. They said they were planning on building one in the backyard and were not going to plant grass until the construction was done.

Two years later there was still no garage and still no grass in their backyard. We never complained. What’s that old saying? “Good fences make good neighbors.” We put up a fence. A six foot fence.

About a month after the fence was installed our neighbors told us part of it was on their property. They wanted us to move it as they would need as much room as possible when they built their garage. We called the fence company and they admitted they were slightly off (1” to 2” for about 15 feet) from the survey. They moved the three sections of fence involved.

Another year passed and still, no garage, no grass and their dog was still shitting in my front yard. “Enough!” I told myself. Enough of always being nice; enough of always being afraid to speak up, enough of cleaning up dog crap. I told her in no uncertain terms that it was not okay that I was cleaning up after her dog. So the next time I scooped poop…I put it just outside her door. I did not put it in a bag. I did not put it in a bag and light it on fire. I did not put it in a bag and light it on fire and ring her doorbell. I just scooped up a pile of fresh steaming doggy excrement and left it on her doorstep. Oh, and of course I waited by my window, because yeah, she ended up stepping in it.

That, after three years, got her attention. Now she was pissed off and it was ‘game on.’ The next move was her’s.

We had a large sandbox/play area in our backyard that was adjacent to their driveway; the driveway that had about a foot of grass on their side of the fence; the same driveway that met up to a sea of weeds.

Her response was to run her sprinkler on said driveway, for about five hours. Half of the water was hitting her driveway and that one foot section of grass. The other half was going over the fence into my kids’ sandbox/play area. For five hours. I called her on the phone and asked her to shut it off. She laughed and hung up. I didn’t call the police because a.) I wasn’t going to waste their time and b.) Her husband was a cop.

About a month later she ‘opened the window’ of opportunity for me. She parked her car in front of my house (blocking my mail box) and silly her; she left her windows down. Damn, if it wasn’t time to water my front yard…and the inside of her car…for three hours.

We sold our house and moved about six months later.
Her husband left her for another woman a year later.
There is now, 23 years later, still no garage in that backyard. There is grass, however it’s not greener.


RiverPoet said...

WOW! Sounds like that was quite the feud! You're lucky she didn't end up driving down the real estate market with her redneck ways. Ick.

Peace - D

Unknown said...

Well done. Me? I would have lit the bag.

Megan said...

Wowwww. You are awesome! Doesn't it make you smile to get revenge.. :0)

Question, do I need to give you my address?

Badass Geek said...

What a great story!

I've had many opportunities to get revenge on my neighbors, but I've never followed through because I didn't want my landlord to kick me out.

Anonymous said...

wow. I really appreciate my neighbors right about now. She sounds like a real 'treat'....

Michael C said...

Ok, THAT is a story. Why do some people just look at their house as a big bedroom and take no pride in it?

With the scooping of the poop in the bag paragraph, I really though you were going to go Dr. Seuss on us ;-)

Michele said...

OMG...I am cracking up at this story. Well done with the poop...I, too, would have lit the bag!


Heather said...

I would have stolen the dog and taken it to a no kill shelter in another state.

Good thing you moved, because it obviously wouldn't have ever improved.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant. I would have lit the bag too. I cannot believe she let her dog poop in your yard for years. Some people....

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!
Good for you for the poop by the back door. Other people might have slung it at her.

Eva said...

What an awesome story! I would have scooped the poop into her open car window on that one fateful that wrong? ;)

p.s. Sorry I've been so MIA lately.