Jun 9, 2010

Nasty neighbors

So I live on this street of a middle-class neighborhood.  We don't have people come to manicure our lawns.  We don't have shrubs shaped like cherubs or zebras.  But we do have some standards.  They are few, but simple...basically it's these simple edicts:
  • mow your lawn before it goes to seed
  • don't let your dog do his business on my grass (and if he does, pick it up)
  • keep your trash in you back yard where I don't have to look at it
  • park in front of your own house
Now, last year, the guy who lived across the street was meticulous.  I'm talking, he'd be out there trimming and blowing and cutting and mowing all the time.  I'm not asking for this kind of perfection (and frankly, I don't want it...it makes too much work for me to try to keep with).  However, the people who bought his place are lazier that I am.  Believe it folks -- there is a couple who are actually that lazy.

It started out with their car parking.  There's this kind of unspoken rule in our neighborhood of "the street in front of your house is for your car".  Our neighbors have even come to us telling us that they'd be having a party and "is it okay if the guests park in your spot?" -- I'm cool with that, it's a temporary and occasional thing and not that big of a deal.  Now, I park my car in the garage anyhow, but still, I don't like to see other people's vehicles in front of my house (unless they're visiting me!).  It's so...ghetto.  But, that was the first thing these people did.  They parked in front of my house.  Okay, for the first few times, I get it...you're new to the area, you've got unpacking and stuff to do, and I realize that it's a lot of work to actually turn your car around and park on your side of the street in front of your own house. But whatever.

Then, they started parking the wrong way -- whether in front of my house or theirs.  I don't know why -- but this ticks me off.  I'm no saint, I've done it myself...pulled up, parked on the wrong side, ran in to get whatever it was I forgot, and back out again.  Total time parked like an idiot = 30 seconds. These guys take it to a whole new level...parking like that on a Friday evening and not moving the car again until Monday morning.  Uncool, folks...really uncool.

Soon, we noticed garbage bags.  The first was just sitting there, on the front of the yard.  I thought "hmmm...they must not know that garbage goes in the back alley."  That garbage sat on the front of their yard for 2 months.  No word of a lie.  I would have told them where it was supposed to go, but they are strange -- they don't look at you or nod or smile like everyone else...I think that their immediate neighbor told them garbage is picked up in the back -- for some reason, the bag disappeared...only to be replaced by another one less than 3 days later.  I saw this one happen as I looked out at my kids going to school.  The woman came out of the house, carried the bag of garbage - placed it on the public sidewalk and left. I shook my head.  The man of the house came home later, picked up the same garbage bag, carried it halfway up their walk and left it there. It stayed there through rain, snow, sun, wind, more snow, more sun, more rain.  A few more bags made their way to the front yard -- no pattern, just scattered about.  Some of them were attacked by dogs/raccoons/rabbits...garbage strewn everywhere, but nothing at all was picked up.

By this time, their grass had grown....a lot.  It's long enough now that it's gone to seed.  It's past my knees!! People..that's bad.  Like really bad.  Our city has a bylaw -- over 10 cm (4 inches for you American readers).  This is well, well past that.  I'm sure it's 1 1/2 feet by now!  (well, except for that area under the bit of carpet that is tossed out there)

So -- becuase I'm a coward, suck at confrontation, wonder if maybe they don't know, I printed off the bylaws that they were violating and (like the chicken-hearted soul that I am) waited until they weren't there to drop it off in their mail box.  I watched and waited for them to get it....

Then I got sick...so sick that I couldn't even stay awake. I  went to bed when the last child left here (about 5) and didn't get up until 730...but guess what -- the garbage is gone...the carpet, too.  It's been rainy, so I can't see them cutting any grass....but I'll keep you updated.


Tammy P. said...

LOL, we've lived near similar folks. Well played to avoid any unnecessary violence or bloodshed (to be inflicted on your person, lol).


C said...

lol I bet they thought the bylaws were given to them by the city and not their neighbour..othewise they probably wouldn't have complied.Insha Allah they will cut the grass. Looks like they never lived in a nice neighbourhood before. I had a neighbour before who never came out except to toss out her garbage on the side porch (read cement steps). I try to give people the benefit of the doubt though like maybe they are sick or something but in your case man look how fast they changed, lol.

Hethr said...

C -- they've lived her for almost 6 months. I believe it was Christmas week they moved in. That's LOTS of time to get over any sickness and learn where the garbage goes!

I also tried to talk -- you know, passing on the street, smiling, hi...that kind of stuff. Not this guy (or lady). NEVER do these people respond to such invitations to communicate. never. :(

Jennifer Sanderson said...

They sound way creepy. They don't look at you? I wonder what they are hiding? I am sorry you have to deal with such weirdness across the street. Do your other neighbors feel the same way? Maybe two of you can go over with a plate of cookies and try to talk to them. Then again, some people are just crazy. I had a neighbor who flagged me down on a busy road to tell me to never ever turn around in her driveway ever again. That it was dangerous and trespassing, all the while, standing in the busy road! AND she had the balls to duct tape an obnoxious note to my mailbox. Thank god we didn't have to live in that neighborhood for very long.

Hethr said...

No turning around in her driveway huh?? I might understand that if she had kids who always played there -- but otherwise, big deal??

Maybe my neighbors are in a witness protection program or something. I'm a little worried to go over there with cookies. They'll likely just feed them to their giant dogs and toss the plate over to my yard.

C said...

My neighbours are super clean but also never say hi to us. I brought cookies to them when they moved in and they did speak to me then, lol. But they also have a big dog and maybe the cookies went to it.

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