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01 July 2009 @ 09:34 am
Please excuse me while I rant on about petty offenses...  
It seems that we're now at war with our new neighbors.

We forgave them for the days of polyurethane fumes leaking through our shared wall when they had their hardwood floors installed. And I begrudgingly forgave them for putting their yappy little dogs out in the back yard at five in the morning the first week they were here, even though their desperate howling was enough to wake anyone in the neighborhood not audibly-insulated by central air. And I can deal with them occasionally blasting Frank Sinatra records on a weekend afternoons.

What's a lot harder to forgive, thought ultimately futile to argue about, is his constantly chain-smoking on their front stoop. One of the great things about our house is that the first floor stays remarkably cool for most of the summer, because it gets good cross ventilation. But of course, that only works if the windows are open, which we can no longer do, because our living room literally fills up with secondhand smoke. Sadly, that's just something I suppose we'll have to live with.

But there is one offense, which we're not putting up with. The first week they were here, they put their garbage in front of our house, instead of theirs. It struck us as strange, but we gave them them the benefit of the doubt and moved it over to their stretch of the sidewalk, figuring that would be a gentle enough way of letting them know. The second week, they did it again. We moved it again, planning to speak to them about it, but every time I've seen him since then he's been sitting on the stoop drunk, which I don't begrudge him, but it seemed an ineffective time to make my point.

Now, there are a number of ways you can get fined for putting out your garbage incorrectly in Philly. You could put it out too early (which they always do), you can sort it incorrectly (they're using recycling containers for general garbage), and you can put out too much (which they've been coming damn close to). Even if being caught is unlikely, I'll be damned if we're going to risk getting fined for their violations.

So last night, when we went out and saw that they'd once again put their garbage in front of our house, we went over and knocked on their door. We waited several minutes, since we knew they were home, knocking periodically, but they didn't come out. So I decided that if I was going to move their damn garbage one more time, I'd put it where they were a lot more certain to get the hint. So I put all their cans on their stoop, piled in front of their door.

Of course, the instant we walked out of sight of their windows, she stuck her head out and was all startled and flustered. We came back and explained the situation and she said they've never had to put trash out before and didn't know how it worked. "So you thought the right thing to do was to put your trash in front of your neighbor's house?" I asked, hardly believing that I had to have this conversation with a woman in her early 50s. "You really thought that's how it works?"

She apologized and kept pleading ignorance, but I'm fairly certain they knew exactly what they were doing. They were putting their trash out in front of our house, so that he didn't have to smell it on his long night of smoking on the stoop.

I'm almost looking forward to the next confrontation, but far more than that I'd rather have our old neighbors back.

Listening to: Mungo Jerry - "In the Summertime"
(Deleted comment)
Diary of an Ass Monkey: comics: evil monkey grinassmonkeydiary on July 1st, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
It becomes likelier by the day!
zantimisfit on July 1st, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Ugh, neighbors. We've been fortunate in that we've never been in all-out war with a neighbor. However, I do suspect that in our last neighborhood some neighbors may have been the culprits regarding our 3 break-ins.

At least these neighbors aren't like the people who I learned built my house. My current neighbors told us this sordid story the day we moved in having to do with a lot of thievery. I believe they may have been Travelers.
(Anonymous) on July 1st, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
sounds to me like you did the right thing, although I'm afraid the husband might not be as "apologetic" as the wife. and I find it somewhat depressing that people of their age are acting in that manner. ah, well. sorry you have to deal with this. if I were you, I might send off an email or a dated copy of a letter stating your new neighbors are doing what they're doing, and that the purpose of the communication is to establish grounds for appealing any future fine of yours due to *their* negligence.

is it really only wednesday?



ps any news on K.'s vertigo? my fiancee is still getting it every now and then, but she's dealing with it. her doc actually recommended benedryl, of all things, the reason for which escapes me at the moment.

pps "The closest to a legend of origin known to exist describes the Travellers as descended from a tinsmith who helped build the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. According to this tale, Christ cursed the tinsmith's line to wander the earth until Judgment Day;[2] compare Matthew 16:28 and the legend of the Wandering Jew." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Traveller

that's interesting as hell!
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: green waitressassmonkeydiary on July 2nd, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
That's a really good idea. If it keeps up we'll do that.

K's not loving the new meds. This one's giving her bad insomnia and dry mouth, so the doc is looking into a substitute.
lilyvalleylilyvalley on July 1st, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Hey, you were nice--you could have strewn their garbage on their porch, so they had to pick it up and put it back in the cans.

I've picked up dog poop in my yard and thrown it on my neighbor's porch (their damned dog, what in the world made them think it was OK for its poop to lay in my yard, so I had to mow over it?). Then there was the different neighbors who put their trash out WITH mine--without paying for service, of course.

What the hell? I'm pretty sure the basics of getting along with other people are taught in kindergarten. Are these people stupid or what?

Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: ballerina escapeassmonkeydiary on July 2nd, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, I hate it when people's behavior forces me to conclude they're either stupid or evil. I don't like thinking either of folks.
Pallaspallasathene8 on July 1st, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
I think that was a good way to handle it.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: icegrafassmonkeydiary on July 2nd, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Thanks. I feel mildly guilty, but if they'd just answered their door, it wouldn't have happened.
lipbylipbylipby on July 2nd, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
Oh, man. The perils of city life. I think I might actually miss it.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: joslin zoomassmonkeydiary on July 2nd, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, you might go crazy without it.
(Anonymous) on July 2nd, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
good luck, dude. Dealing with ill mannered people is bad enough. Bad neighbors?
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good luck, dude. Dealing with ill mannered people is bad enough. Bad neighbors? <sigh!>

I believe in "instant karma" usually, but when they live next to you? Better to be as civilized as possible. which means when they don't respond to polite requests, get the authorities involved. document their illegal behavior and inform whoever it is that does the fines. The smoking on the doorstep you'll have to find a way to deal with. There's a large number of diehard idiot smokers out there (who in their right mind actually doesn't believe it's not HORRIBLE for them?) that seem to think they can pollute up the community air with their sh1t. They don't recycle? Big surprise. Play loud music? Big surprise.

Be polite. Be firm. They're your neighbors. They don't have to be your friends.

And if you want to help Karma along, they're are plenty of subtle ideas out there for "revenge" and such that with a little effort on your part you can make their lives pure hell.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: blue bottleassmonkeydiary on July 2nd, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely don't need them as friends. I'll try being nice again now, but I'm definitely thinking revenge strategies....