there’s one on every block

So, remember how I was worried about alienating the neighbors? I can stop now. Yep, it turns out that we couldn’t possibly outdo the previous owners.

I can’t stress enough how much I love my neighbors. Joe and I fell in love with this neighborhood even before the house, and it still may be the bigger selling point. It’s an older, turning-over development with an equal split of retirees, who we love because they’re quiet, and young families, who we love because they have kids Izabelle’s age. People take care of their lawns, pick up after their dogs, and there’s a Rita’s water ice and a library within biking distance—what’s not to love?

Of course, I also love a good crazy-neighbor story. We had several on the block where I grew up, including a squatter who posed as a professional athlete and stole people’s water during the day, and a guy who had a shrine to Hilary Clinton in his house (discovered when he put his house on the market after his divorce).

Now I can proudly boast that our house has a progeny almost as crazy. Our lovely octogenarian neighbor spilled the beans the other day during a chat. We bought the house from the son of an elderly woman who had passed away, and he seemed nice enough (his realtor is a story for another day). But his father was apparently the neighborhood nut.

For starters, the guy used to sit on his roof during Halloween and spray trick-or-treaters with a hose. At least until they got smart and took his ladder away. He tossed logs into our neighbor’s pool, even as he posted signs on his property about being a good neighbor. He cut her telephone wires on several occasions, and spray-painted her car. Twice.

Now, Joe always says there’s two sides to every story and that’s true, but the spray-painting actually ended up in court, with multiple defendants. From the sound of it, the guy was going down the block like a teenage graffiti artist.

Hearing these stories, my eyes just kept getting wider and wider. My neighbor, somehow, holds no grudge against the guy, who she feels was mentally ill. And I guess I can thank him. Even with our power tools and exhibitionist lack of curtains, we still seem like the Brady Bunch by comparison.

What’s your best rotten neighbor story?

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2 responses to “there’s one on every block

  1. Our first home was a repo we purchased from the bank four years ago. Within a month of moving in we heard a steady stream of horror stories from the neighbors about the previous owner. Apparently he was dealing drugs and selling guns out of the garage. (That might explain the grow room we found in the attic). All the neighbors remembered his last day in the house because the DEA had men all over the neighborhood. They surrounded the house, kicked in the front door and hauled him away. (That also explained all the damage to the front door) We will would have bought the house knowing it’s history, but I really wish we could have been there to see the DEA strike team.

  2. The guy directly across the street from us leaves nasty notes on people’s cars when they park in front of his house. He seems to think he OWNS the street… I also watched him back his commercial van as close as he could to the front of my vehicle so that I would have to back up before pulling out. The best part, he had to get something from his van long before I had to leave, so he had to pull his van back up just so he could open the back doors. Hahahaha, nimrod! I guess crazy neighbors are everywhere….

    And the lady that used to live in our house visited recently and asked if we ever felt any vibes in the house. Nate said, “Uh, like vibrations during storms with really strong thunder?” No, she meant bad vibes. She said that the house has a sad history. Our normal neighbors confirmed that she was rather looney…. Oy.

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