I know there was a recent thread about nightmare neighbors, but I am COMPLETELY stressed out about my own neighbors today and I don't know what to do. Why I am a good neighbor: - I soundproof my basement home theater and implore my neighbors to ask me to turn it down if they hear it. - I never play my stereo loudly. - I keep my "yard" clean. - I don't get involved. My white trash neighbors have a couple of new habits that are really bad. One is that they now have four cars for some reason, and because we live on a tiny inner city street not only can I never park in front of my own house anymore but they BEEP the alarm on one of the cars at 11pm and again at 7am. I don't know why they do this, as the cars never move. So I can only sleep between 11 and 7, of course. The second bad habit is something so bizarre as to defy logic: they have taken to feeding the birds in their back yard. Why oh why would you ever feed the birds in the city, when you end up feeding the shitty pidgeons and the rats, too? So now, there are always pidgeons loitering about shitting on things, and the rats know where to come for food. It makes no sense, especially in light of the fact that these are people who complain to me when I leave a few tiny WOOD CHIPS from construction in the street out front. Wood chips. Not Dorito's bags; wood chips. Anyway, this morning I popped good-naturedly out my back door when the mother was throwing cupfuls of bird/rat-seed over the fence into the alley (of all things!), and I said something innocuous like, "Hello, oh, what are you doing, huh, feedin' the rats? ha ha." Well she went NUTS on me! It was a true white trash argument [ie, I say: "Didn't I ask you to tell me to turn down my stereo if it ever bothered you?" She says: "ACTUALLY, you said 'TEE-VEE,' NOT 'stereo.'" etc etc.], and she was shouting at me, about how nasty I am and about how "everyone hates me." Huh? It went on and on. I think she said that everyone hates me because I complain about the dogs barking. I said stuff like, "Well, I don't care if THOSE people hate me; it's about CONSIDERATION," but they don't know what the word "consideration" means. It just doesn't enter into their heads. "You'll hear from my lawyer!" The woman screamed at me! Completely irrational. And WORSE: At one point, just like Alvy Singer in ANNIE HALL, I COULD SWEAR -- AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP -- THAT SHE DISTINCTLY SAID "JEW." When she did, I actually laughed (because, it's funny!), and then just ignored it, but now that I think about it, it's sort of frightening. Tomorrow morning I have to leave the house for the weekend, and I plan on getting up early and sleathily moving my car into a spot in front of my house when they move one of their cars for a moment in the early morning. And I am sort of frightened that something will happen to my house while I'm away. I'm going to have to ask my other neighbor, a kindly old woman who feels the same way I do about them, to keep a real keen eye out for my place and my car. I think pretty much everyone on our block knows to keep out of the way of these people. They are like the schoolyard bully. They are the "block bullies." A couple days ago I was talking to another neighbor, a guy I work with. I said, "Charlie, can you believe this: they're feeding the rats and parking four cars on our little block now! What can I do?" And he said a very sage thing: "Just let it go," he said, "let it go. There's nothing you can say to those people. Just let it go." But no. I had to step outside this morning and "grab it." I'm all jittery and achey now. I want to kill them. Slice their 16 car tires and bash their four windshields in with a baseball bat. I'm a little scared to leave my house unprotected after that. I have actually just considered not traveling this weekend. Huh. I have to move out of the city. Can someone sooth my fears, calm my raging alarm? Tell me a bad neighbor story.