As a seasoned survivor and long term neighbor of various, coast-to-coast nutjobs, the people next door are fairly harmless (so far). And not wanting to label anyone prematurely, I usually reserve my opinion just long enough to give others time to gather sufficient rope to hang themselves, as it turns out.
Case in point: The couple next door. (That would be the unit marked “666” in the corresponding image at left. Yes, it has been p-shopped for emphasis.)
Let’s call them Michelin Girl & Loud Howard because this is what best reflects their characteristics. Aside from the fact that neither Howard nor Michelin are capable of speaking to each other in conversational tones, preferring instead, to talk as if they are at a Metallica concert, they had been mostly tolerable.
The problems started when I realized they were letting their dog defecate & urinate right outside of our respective doors instead of taking the dog for a walk so it could do its business elsewhere. I suppose this is fine provided that you enjoy smelling and having to walk in dog shit & piss, but I wasn’t having it. So I complained to the property management company. Two months and four complaints later, they finally got the message that letting the dog stink up the place = lease violation.
In the meantime, daily life progressed without any further issues. About a month went by when things started disappearing from my patio arbitrarily…trivial things such as cleaning rags. Whenever I have the occasion to use a rag, I drape it over the balcony to let it dry overnight, then fetch it and toss it back into the rag bag the next morning. I had been doing this habitually until one morning, the rag I had put out the night before had mysteriously disappeared. No matter, it is just a rag, after all. Probably kids.
A week later, I put out another rag to dry, but this time I put it on the front balcony so that random passersby couldn’t just reach out and grab it. I did this somewhere around 7 or 8p.m. on a Friday night while Loud Howard watched me through his front door that was open at the time. He pretended to be doing something else, but it’s hard to miss someone watching intently over something as mundane as hanging a wet rag out to dry.
That same night around midnight, I happened to be in my living room when I heard a bump coming from the patio. I have my bike, a camp chair and a cinderblock chained together out there so that any thief who wants to get cute has to haul all three items over the wall together, thereby making a whole hell of a lot of noise and alerting me in the process. When I looked through the vertical blinds, I fully expected to see some dumbass trying to drag my bike over the wall with chair & block in tow, but that wasn’t what was being swiped. It was Loud Howard staggering over the 3.5 FT wall and making a lot of noise just to run off with the cleaning rag.
I decided it wasn’t worth my time to get into a brawl with an obviously drunken neighbor –what other conclusion can one reach logically– after all, who in his right mind jumps onto a neighbor’s patio in the dead of night just to steal, of all things, a cleaning rag?
Wanting to nip this event in the bud (and create a paper trail to be referred to later if a police report is filed) I called the property management company to complain. The rep I spoke with was incredulous that anyone would bother to take something as ridiculous as a dirty rag from a neighbor’s patio. You’d have to be really drunk, really stoned, or just really stupid, especially if you wake up the ‘hood while you’re doing it. Turns out Howard is just really stupid.
Since then, the neighbors have been playing childish little games. The other day I was on my bike in front of the building when Michelin & Howard came out of their apartment. They didn’t see me because I was across the street, but I saw them. I watched Michelin reach into her purse, pull out a handful of empty candy wrappers and toss them onto the bushes and my patio. Then she & Howard quickly walked away presumably to their vehicle. Turns out they park it on the other side of the property for whatever reason. I only know this because I continued to ride my bike and watched them walk to the car.
About a day and a half later, a little rubber doggy ball was evidently tossed on my patio as well. I knew this belonged to the little children next door because I had noticed it in the dirt in front of their patio when I was lifting my bike over my balcony to lock it up again after using it.
It’s actually really amusing that these two morons next door are tossing crap onto my balcony and stealing cleaning rags desperately trying to get some payback for reporting their shitting mutt, but it’s going to be even more amusing if they decide to take it a step further because the documentary evidence of their nonsense is already there on file with the property management company.
It’s not little retaliatory acts that get you evicted, but a long series of those acts that can be used to justify filing a restraining order for harassment that results in a constructive eviction. After all, restraining orders almost always specify distances the restrained person must maintain at all times. That’s going to be very hard for Michelin & Howard to follow the court order when the nutters live right next door.
Until next time, keep taking those happy pills and stay off the neighbor’s patio because you never really know who you’re taking a swing at until after you’ve been evicted for acts resulting from congenital dumbassery.