can we talk about neighbors again, please?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Micah Cohen, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    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.
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    Well my next door neighbors on both sides are senior citizens. I give their grandkids free Mountain Dew and they've returned the favor by sending over fresh baked bread along with tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden. I don't have to worry about noise complaints either because my house is fairly soundproof, my ears would bleed long before any of my neighbors would hear as much as a peep. Fortunately we don't get too many rats or pigeons around here, just an occasional robin. [​IMG]
     
  3. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    That's supposed to help?! [​IMG]
    I'm green with envy.
    I can't believe how much this is stressing me out.
    MC
     
  4. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Do all of the cars run? If not then you might want to check into any bi-laws that were put into place possibly by your culdisac or housing developments when it was built. If one was put into place it may actually not allow cars to be parked on the street for a regular parking space or to allow people to work on their cars in the driveway or street. And if your really lucky there may be a law in your city that prohibits people from feeding animals (strays) whether bird or worse yet rats that are not their own. Check into your local public health to see if there is something against them feeding the rats & birds.
    I guess that I am lucky we only have 1 bad neighbor and they keep to themselves which is what is bad about them [​IMG]
    Best of luck and dont just let them be since what they do will de-value your house costing YOU money.
    KyleS
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Your post sounds eerily familiar to my story.. read all about it in this post.
    We ended up moving out. But, several people said we should talk to our alderman. "Alderman!?!" I thought, "what is my alderman going to do about it?" But apparently, they take complaints like that. You may want to look into it.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Before taking Kyle's advice and complaining to local authorities, keep in mind that this tactic will make your bad neighbors dislike you even more. You will need to decide if filing a complaint is worth the possible repercussions.

    Fortunately, I cannot relate any bad neighbor experiences at our current home (everyone is pleasant and keeps their homes and yards well-maintained). However, at our last house we did have some neighbors with rather nasty yards. However, since I did not notice anything that would be considered a health hazard, I chose to just let it go. Better to not create ill will until we had the money to move to a better neighborhood.
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    1. Throw rocks at their cars to set off the alarms at 2am.
    2. Get a high-powered pellet gun and shoot the birds.
    3. Ask Justin why he has not changed my name yet.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  8. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    My uncle lives in Mt. Airy, just a bit up I-70 from you. He has a giant 3-story,new construction home, with a big yard, in a quiet neighborhood.

    You should move there.

    Sorry, I couldn't be of more help.

    I'd do something. I don't know what, but something. I'm not talking about breaking stuff/revenge, but something that will make the situation better. I have no tolerance for bully neighbors.

    Todd
     
  9. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  10. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  11. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  12. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Put out some d-con or the like for the rats.

    As for the birds, shooting them seems uncool, and may violate some law. Get yourself a nice big fake owl and stick it outside your house. With any luck, that will keep them away. Or, try an ultrasonic bird repeller, or some other bird repelling device.

    Last resort, get yourself a bunch of stray cats. Put them in your backyard, provide them with food, water and a place to sleep, and play with them on occasion. They'll keep the rats AND the birds away. One word of advice, don't get too attached to them. Outdoor kitties rarely last long, especially with neighbors like yours around...
     
  13. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  14. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    That was me. I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with quiet neighbors who mind their own business. :wink:
     
  15. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Warning:This post is kinda long and boring, but the two stories at the bottom basically sum up the situation for those who don't want to take the time to read the whole thing.
    Micah, I'm in a very similar situation here, confounded by the fact that I live in a duplex (I'm assuming you're somehow attached to your neighbors as well, being as its downtown Baltimore). It must be something about this town that attracts white trash, although I'm out in the sticks here. A few of their more "charming habits."
    -Blasting horrible rap music (I have nothing against GOOD rap music, but they listen to absolute crap) on their crappy 80-watt stereo. This can actually be a good thing, as it gives me an excuse to crank up the HT and blast them back into the Stone Age from whence they came.
    -The parents are divorced, but the father, affectionately known by us as "Jimbo" stops by at least three times a week. A while ago, he wasn't allowed into the house because of a restraining order, but now he and the "mother" seem to be buddying up again, a rather alarming development, since her now ex-boyfriend, who seemed to be the only decent person in the house, moved out, and we were hoping this would force their departure as well. Anyway, there's plenty of room for two vehicles to park out front of our house, but these asses always park in the MIDDLE of the curb. Really this isn't that big of a deal since our driveway is plenty big, but my Dad always returns the favor, sometimes not moving his truck for days on end because he often walks to the bus-stop for work.[​IMG]
    -Then there's the screaming. Good god, the screaming. The mother is the absolute shrillest bitch
    I've ever had the displeasure of hearing, and I have never, I mean NEVER, heard either her or one of the two hellian children utter a complete sentence without completely butchering the English language. According to my Mom, there's a daily shouting match between all three of them at 9:00 PM every week night, and around 6:00 AM most weekends.
    Finally, to wrap up, two of my favorite stories:
    -First words we heard any of them say on the day they moved in. Tommy (6th grader at the time) asks his mom, "Hey mom, is ain't a word?"
    -Apparently the girl (now a 9th grader) and my cousin who's in her grade, got into some sort of feud after once being friends. So I go out to get the mail one day and they're standing across the street. Tommy says to me, "Is Melanie your cousint , to which I reply, "Yes," to which he replies, "She's a bitch." In true Dennis Green fashion, I took the high road, and haven't spoken to them since (not that I did to begin with anyway.)
     
  16. FredHD

    FredHD Stunt Coordinator

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    I would recommend these ideas that Ryan suggested. rodents are natural predators of rodents and most small domestic birds are afraid of owls.
     
  17. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    First, some quick advice on your neighbors: See if you can file complaints anonymously. Around here, as far as I'm aware, the authorities are not supposed to let you know who has filed a complaint against you. If you can, report them for the cars and the feeding of the rats as a health hazard.

    Now for my bad neighbor stories. The first one, I believe I posted elsewhere, so I'll try to make it quick. The neighbors who used to live behind us had a real "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude when we first moved in. They had a vision of themselves as the youngest, most affluent household on the block, and they wanted to keep it that way. I didn't really pay attention to this until we bought our new Buick back in '98. The reason I bought it was simple--it had the best leg room for the price (I need a lot of leg room). A week later, they bought a new car. Around the same time, we got new windows. Although they didn't need them, they immediately got new windows. Two years ago, we went to Disney World. My wife's car needed work at the time, so we took it to the shop, then picked up a rental. My sister watched the house while we were gone, so within a week we had what appeared to be two new cars in front of the house. The day after we got back from vacation, they had a new car. Three months later, my wife's car died, so we had to get her a new one. Within a week, they had traded in their new car, and got an even newer car. A week after that, they put their house up for sale.

    Our worst dealings with them, however, came right after we got back from Disney. It had been dry that summer, so I hadn't mowed for quite some time prior to us leaving. There was just nothing to mow. We got a little rain while we were gone, but nothing to warrant another mowing when we got back. My wife's grandmother died just before we got back, so the following week was taken up with funeral dealings. I then returned to work, and while we started getting rain (and just on my days off), I threw my shoulder out. Just as that healed, I threw my back out. My back finally felt better, I had the day off, and it wasn't raining, so I decided to mow. Now, it had been almost 8 weeks since the previous mowing, but there was still really nothing to mow. The only spots that needed it were a couple places in the back yard thanks to the dogs; but otherwise the grass was very short, and was just starting to recover from the dry summer. I ran to the gas station to get some gas for the mower. When I got home, there was a notice taped to the front window. Turns out someone had reported us for: 1) not mowing the lawn; 2) "rubbish" scattered all over the yard; and 3) Bulk pickup items left in the alley. I mowed the back (didn't mow the front or sides because, after a couple passes, I could see I wasn't cutting anything, even though the mower was on the lowest setting), then called immediately, and spoke to the officer who had been by the house. He said that he didn't understand the complaint about the lawn because it didn't appear to need a mowing, but he had to include it in the report since that was the main point of the complaint. As for the "rubbish", he didn't know what this was, unless it referred to the sticks we had piled up next to the wood pile. We had cut down a tree and had stacked the branches for kindling. They were stacked neatly, but the person who called in the complaint said they were scattered around the yard. As for the bulk pickup items, the officer said the complaint mentioned a tire we had supposedly thrown into the alley. That explained something I had seen while mowing. When I went to mow behind the fence, there was a round depression in the grass. It matched in size the tire that was always leaning up against the neighbor's tree (he was planning on making a swing for his kids, but never got around to it). The tire was at that time on their driveway, and looked as though it had been laying in the grass. While the inspector wouldn't say for sure it was them, he ruled out every neighbor but them. We figured they had tossed the tire into the grass behind the fence, where I wouldn't be able to see it because of the wood pile. They then figured the inspector had already been there, and moved the tire back to their yard. Had they never mentioned the tire, I wouldn't have known for sure it was them. The inspector wanted me to file a complaint against the people for filing a false complaint, but I declined. He then said he'd call me before investigating any other claims by them.

    A week later, I got that call. I had decided to get rid of the branches in the back, just to eliminate any other possible calls by the idiots. I bundled them up and called yard waste disposal. They were booked at the time, and said they couldn't come out until the following Thursday. I left the single bundle of branches under the carport, against the fence. The idiots called in a complaint against us, saying we had thrown them into the street and left them. The inspector wanted me to file a complaint again, but I told him I'd wait until the third time. Unfortunately, they moved before they could file another false complaint.

    Our other "bad neighbor" is the old lady who lives next door. She doesn't like dogs. She has done some nasty stuff, like breaking a lightbulb and sticking the pieces in the ground right where my dogs would always do their business, and unhooking our first dog's chain from our fence (before we had a post for the yard--it was a couple days after we moved in and we were still getting settled), knowing that he liked to run. The oddest thing happened about five years ago when I was still working nights. Her son-in-law never goes in her house. They'll take her out from time to time, an while the wife and kids go in, he stays outside with the mini-van running, smoking a cigarette, but never going in. I was getting ready for work one afternoon, and was down in the basement getting dressed. The dogs started going nuts! It sounded like they were trying to get out the side window. I went over to the side of the house and listened closely. I heard odd noises. I went to the top of the steps, and couldn't figure out what the sounds were. We had old, single-pane windows at the time, and the sounds were quite loud. I peeked around the door, and saw the son-in-law with his face plastered against the window, making faces and odd noises at my dogs. I stood there watching him for a minute, when he finally saw me. He turned around, ran inside the house, and locked the door, leaving the van running in the driveway. I didn't leave for work for another hour, and the van was still running in the driveway when I left.

    I literally hadn't seen the son-in-law since. At least, not until about a week and a half ago. I've been working from home for a little over a month now. I have a daily team meeting at 10am. My wife left a few minutes before the meeting started. Just as everyone joined the line, my dogs went nuts. I muted the phone and yelled at them a couple times, but the barking just got worse. This was much worse than the cat-on-the-porch barking. I listened closely, and I could hear someone on the front porch. It sounded like they were trying to get in. Just as I got up to check on it, I heard a van door shut next door, then the van pulled away. I assumed it was the neighbor's son-in-law. After my wife got back, I ran to lunch. When I got home, the van was there, and the son-in-law was standing outside it, smoking as usual. I approached and asked if, since it sounded like he was there when it happened, did he see anyone on my front porch that morning. His response was "F* you! Are you trying to accuse me of something?" I told him no, but that if I ever found someone trespassing again, I'd take a baseball bat to them, then call the cops and have them arrested. I told him that if he'd ever see that person who was on my front porch, to pass on the message and explain that it's their one and only warning. For the second time since we've lived here, he actually went inside after that. Later, I talked to my next door neighbor, and told her that I think I've been having a problem with people tresspassing, and that I was going to be installing security cameras sometime this week. I told her I was thinking about this before when I caught a couple teens between our houses late one night. I'm not really planning on it, but I'm assuming she'll pass on the warning to her idiot-in-law.
     
  18. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Just to clarify, my post was a joke. I'd never condone firing a gun within city limits. Guess I should have put the [​IMG] up there.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  19. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Scott,

    I hate those damn code enforcement complaints. Somebody filed a complaint against me not too long ago - I posted about it here. It's illegal to park a vehicle on anything but an "approved surface". Apparently, the solid ground on the side of my house where I park my RV is not "approved." The complaint also claimed "junk vehicle visible from the road." My wrecked Fiero, which I bought back for parts, is some 80 feet from the road. Behind a 30' RV. WITH A CAR COVER ON IT. Yeah, real valid complaint there, assholes.

    I did have to "fix" the "unapproved parking" bit. I put a fence over the front of the house so the RV is behind it and told the city "it's now in my backyard which is none of your concern." As far as I know they let it go, because I haven't heard anything yet. Knowing my city, they'll just show up with a $10,000 lien in hand one of these days and try to throw me out of my house. The fine for "not complying" with any code enforcement issue is $500 per day, and when it hits $10k, it's mandatory that they sieze ownership of your home. No, I'm not kidding: They threatened me with that when I flat out refused to license my dog. I consider it extortion: "Hand over $20 per year because we let you keep a little dog (in a house you own, on property you own) or we'll just take your property away from you." As if I need to ask the government for permission to have a dog. These bastards are like the mafia.

    I'll never buy a home in this city again.
     
  20. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Ryan, if you don't mind me asking, what city do you live in?
     

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