I am at my wit’s end. Seriously, I may calling someone for bail money VERY SOON.
We live a neighborhood of new duplexes. It’s a nice neighborhood, and we’ve got a nice-sized rent to show for it. We chose this area because it was firmly steeped in the middle class, and thought it would be quiet. You know, a good place for a new family to start out. The only downside was that because these were rental properties, the turnover rate was high, and we would have to deal with people moving in and out of the neighborhood on a regular basis. A small price to pay for the comfort of having one’s own garage, we thought.
For the first six months we lived here, we had no problems. Our neighbors mostly kept to themselves, and we rarely ever saw them. Then the crazy started happening.
Around this time last year, my family from Colorado came to visit, and we decided we wanted to go out for dinner. As we were getting ready to leave, the door of the other side of our duplex flew open, followed by an armful of clothes and a stream of obscenities. My family watched in horror as my neighbor, Madison*, threw everything but the kitchen sink at her on again off again fiancé, who stood there silently, arms at his side, while his worldly possessions smashed on the cement next to him.
My dad finally had enough when he heard their little girl start crying for her mommy to stop being so mean to daddy. He told them they had better sort out their differences civilly, because by God, his grandson lived next door, and he wasn’t about to let something happen. At that point, I piped up and told them I wasn’t afraid to call the cops. The fiancé told me he’d be thrilled for that to happen, because Madison had drugs in the house.
That was enough for me. I called the landlord and told her to get over there immediately. It was not my mess to sort out, and the way things were going, if I had gotten involved, I would have been rewarded with a subpoena to testify before a court of law. Nope, definitely not my problem.
Things were calm for a while after that. Then late one evening while I was going through my nightly ritual of making sure all the doors and windows were locked and all the appliances were turned off (yeah, I’m a little OCD, but whatever helps you sleep at night) I heard tires squeal out of the driveway. I flipped on the porch light and opened the door to see what was going on, but the only thing I could make out was a pair of tail lights fading into the distance. Everything looked more or less normal, so I wrote it off as another person who had gotten lost, which is easy to do when all the houses in the neighborhood look the same. I decided to take a better look the next morning, because I sure as hell wasn’t going to go creeping around in the dark with a miniature Maglite as my only weapon.
I shot out of bed at the crack of dawn the next day to check out the damage (and simultaneously reassure myself that I wasn’t going crazy, dammit.) Indeed, I hadn’t just imagined it. Someone had egged the other side of our duplex, soaped the windows, and toilet papered the pine trees. That last bit was especially impressive to me, because the lowest branches of the tree brushed the rooftop. Then I noticed that there was a baseball-sized hole in my neighbor’s windshield. Yikes.
Of course it had been Madison’s jilted lover, who decided revenge was best served with Louisville slugger and a side of one dozen rotten eggs. Apparently, he hadn’t appreciated being slapped with a protective order after he’d been thrown out of their house. I probably wouldn’t have been, either, considering the endless flood of man-flesh that scurried out of her revolving front door of a vagina every morning. Oh, and her actual front door, I guess. Thankfully, that night marked the end of our problems with her particular brand of crazy.
Fast forward a few months, when a new couple and their redheaded children moved into a unit on the caul de sac behind us, right next to our loud, redneck neighbors (whose entire existence can be summed up by the fact that they allowed their four year old to shoot bottle rockets at our roof on the 4th of July.) Now our neighborhood looked something like this:
(Click to enlarge)
Aren’t you amazed by my computer drafting prowess?
Any way, it didn’t take long for me to realize these people were going to be a problem. Sometime during the summer, the dad, who happens to be a big, burly tow truck driver I’d be scared to confront meet in a well-lit public place let alone in my own backyard, decided it would be a fabulous idea to build his evil hellspawn children a remote controlled car with a gasoline powered weed whacker engine. Oh, sweet baby Jesus on toast, that thing was LOUD. Imagine having someone weed eating outside your bedroom window starting at 7:00 in the morning and going until sundown. It’s enough to make a saint swear.
Gah. That was only the beginning. These kids are AWFUL. They’re not afraid of authority, and it’s evident to me that their parents JUST DON’T CARE. As far as I know, this family sits around their dinner table each night, plotting ways to make my life as miserable as they can. (Hey, kids! You know what would be swell? Let’s reenact the Battle of Waterloo in Chelsie’s backyard with Nerf guns and homemade explosives!)
In the last two days alone, I’ve had to ask them to stop using my driveway as their own personal art canvas and to stop using my front lawn as a depository for their toys. And then today I had the pleasure of asking them to turn down the music on the car radio.
Take a second to let that shit sink in. A CAR RADIO. Their parents gave them the KEYS to their CAR.
A car, people. As in a two thousand pound piece of machinery that routinely reaches speeds of seventy-plus miles per hour on the interstate. If that thing got accidentally pulled out of park, it would run over one of those evil, evil little children then smash into my fucking bedroom.
It took threats of police intervention to get those little monsters to turn down an Eminem CD. (Seriously? Who decided that was appropriate listening material for children under 10?) About an hour after that, they decided my house made a wonderful substitute for a soccer goal as they kicked their ball repeatedly against the living room wall.
WAIT. Wait. They’re out there doing it again. They’ve got the stereo turned up so loud it’s rattling my bedroom widows. But this time, their MOM IS OUT THERE WITH THEM. Are you kidding me?
Someone save me. I’ve got the urge to strangle me a redneck. Orange is not my color, people. And I can’t rock a mugshot like Paris Hilton.
**My favorite Facebook comment so far: “Go out there with a butcher knife, catch the ball and stab it, then toss it back to them without saying a word.”
Word, mothafucka. Sounds like a good idea to me.