Last weekend Toney and I were walking through Sam’s Club and passed our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Half-Shirt. And we stared straight into the eyes of pure, undiluted hatred. They can’t stand me, especially, but don’t like Toney either. Sure, it’s easy (and probably prudent) to just say ‘fuck ’em.’ But I have to admit it bothers me a little. I mean, we’re not that bad. In fact, we’re pretty good. We’re quiet and stable, and create no neighborhood drama. We could have a passel of snarling pitbulls over here, and work on our 1984 Caprice in the driveway at all hours, and get credenza-shitting drunk and fight each other on the lawn while cranking the Atlanta Rhythm Section.
But they don’t approve of the fact that I don’t put lawncare at the very top of my priority list. Our yard always looks fine, but there’s is like some kind of showplace. And so, our levels of enthusiasm don’t match-up, which causes problems. He’s one of these guys who practically zig-zags around his backyard during the fall, doing shoulder-rolls and Pete Rose dives as each individual leaf floats toward the grass. We just get to ours as soon as we can, and that makes them INSANE.
Also, years ago they got it into their heads that we were responsible for their basement flooding. They said our downspouts were pointed in their direction, causing rain water to enter their house. I reminded them that the downspouts have been pointed the same direction since 1966. But they would not be convinced. One early morning they called over here and began shouting all sorts of craziness down the line, and I got pissed and ran over there. It was raining, my feet flew out from under me, and I went sliding down the hill on my back. I was wearing Dockers and a dress shirt, and was now smeared in mud from bottom to top. And Mrs. Half-Shirt and I got into a heated argument on their patio. Nothing has ever been the same, even after I paid someone to reconfigure the downspouts, to satisfy their delusions.
It’s been years now, and they won’t even acknowledge us. In fact, they’re fairly hostile. They want it to be known that they hate our guts, and are quite successful in the endeavor. I sometimes find myself altering my driving route, to avoid getting an icy stare from one of them. Other times, depending on my mood, I just smile and wave, and shout, “Top o’ the morning, Halfy!”
Whatever. It’s not a huge thing, and I rarely even think about it. But when you come face-to-face with both of them by an Oreo floor display… it’s uncomfortable. And it bothers me a little. Ya know? I don’t think I deserve to be HATED. Sheesh. I’m about as laid-back and easy as they come. Oh well.
In the comments please tell us about the worst neighbors you’ve encountered. I can’t really remember any other spectacularly bad ones, other than some upstairs apartment neighbors in Greensboro who never stopped copulating. Good god! The frequency… the tempo… the howling…. It was extremely distracting. And that was a million years ago. Do you have anything on this one? If so, please share.
And I need to get moving, my friends.
I’ll be back on Thursday.
Have a great one!