June 20, 2005

Would you be my neighbor?

I was talking to one of my minions at work about a problem she is having with her neighbors. This made me think about my neighbors. My neighbors leave me alone. They don’t come over to borrow things; they don’t send their kids over to sell me things. I used to have a neighbor that I would stand at the fence with, talk to, and drink beer with when we saw each other out at the same time. The man was a lawn care fool. He loved mowing his lawn and trimming his bushes. He always had the nicest manicured lawn in the neighborhood. He had a nice wife and two nice kids. Boopie used to play with the kids when he wasn’t in school. They decided to move to a bigger house out of the city about a year ago. I genuinely miss them. Now the only neighbors I have on the block are all scared of me.

The new next-door neighbors that moved in try to avoid making eye contact with me when they are outside. Once I tried to get the wife’s attention and I swear she shielded her eyes with her hand, quickened her step and shooed her children into the house. The husband doesn’t seem to be home too much, but when he is he generally doesn’t acknowledge me either and tries to avoid eye contact. A couple of Saturday’s ago, after dark, my wife thought she heard someone in the backyard. I went out the front door to see if I could figure out who it is. The new neighbor was sitting on his back porch and when he saw me stalking the yard, he asked what was going on. That was the first time he has said more then two words to me in 4 months.

All my other neighbors go out of their way to avoid me. They’ve all seen me swinging swords, cleaning fire arms, sharpening knives, building artillery carriages, hauling in large packages marked “WARNING: EXPLOSIVES! BLACK POWDER FOR SMALL ARMS!” teaching my kid the most appropriate and easy way to kill a person with a toy sword. I received the best reaction when I told Boopie once, “If you hit a person in the femoral artery they will die quickly, however if you make a nice deep belly wound they will die a slow painful death. If you are lucky, any allies or friends they have nearby will try to help save his life. Now you have effectively taken 2-3 people out of the battle. However, you could also kill the people giving aid when their backs are turned.” I didn’t realize one of my other neighbors was outside watering plants with her kids and they had heard it. Shortly after, they moved out as well. Go figure.

There is an upside to being the scary guy in the neighborhood. Nobody messes with my house or property. There was a string of minor burglaries in my neighborhood. My house and the neighbor that I liked were the only houses not hit. I think the entire neighborhood warns anyone new that moves in about me. I do know that they refer to me as “The Scary Guy”. One day I was out in my back yard scrubbing and swabbing out my musket when this family goes walking by on the sidewalk. I hear the little girl ask, “Mommy, look its The Scary Guy, the one Mr. Brown told you about.” The mother and father hurried their daughter along; I just sat back and grinned. In addition, another time one of the neighborhood kids came up and asked me if I was “The Scary guy” I couldn’t help but to assure him that I was with my patented child scowl.

I also don’t have the problems with my neighbors that I hear other people talk of. They don’t complain to me about the stuff I do. No one comes over to borrow anything. They don’t pop in at odd hours. Their kids stay out of my yard and more importantly they don’t use my cooler as a urinal. I’m not asked favors. It’s a symbiotic relationship. I scare the bad elements away and they leave me alone. In general, life is good for me.

Posted by Contagion in General assholery at June 20, 2005 03:55 PM

I came in via a comment you made on Bad Example. I don't think your blog is crappy. ;) And - I think you just described my husband. He's a "scary guy" too, although we haven't scared off any neighbors yet. But - I think the night he stepped out from the side of the yard with his 9 pointed at the stupid ass brat from up the street while said brat was trying to put a fire cracker in our mail box might be the reason we don't see the little smuck anymore - but who knows.

I'll be back -- you're forewarned! Wish I had a neighbor like you :P

Posted by: Jo at June 20, 2005 03:56 PM

You have got to move down by me. I need a scary neighbor. We have some real sh.tarse kids around here. They don't bother me... not sure why. But they have done so much damage to others. Sigh.

Posted by: vw bug at June 20, 2005 04:18 PM

We must be kindred spirits. I'm referred to as the scary lady in my building after I woke up one early morning to the screams of my neighbor being beaten up by her husband. Since my husband wouldn't do anything, and I could have sworn he was killing her, I took one of my baseball bats and began pounding the door with it to either get him away from her or break down the door before he killed her.

When he came out he tried to hit me, BIG MISTAKE, 'cause then I was justified in using self defense. so after using his body for leverage to bounce him around the hallway. I eventually pinned him down on the floor until the cops got there. Shortly thereafter he and 2 of my other nearby neighbors moved out.

Like you, no one to my door, to borrow, sell, preach or ask for candy. Maybe its the sound effect of readying a shot gun that I have on tape that does the trick.

When I was single, I took perverse pleasure in scarying the kids that came to my door during halloween. I would plan my trick for months and spare no expense in the execution. I enjoyed hearing their screams as they ran down the hallway & scampered to get off my floor. They don't knock on my door anymore as the Scary/crazy lady label has stuck.

I'm fine with it since I don't like them much anyway!

Posted by: Michele at June 20, 2005 10:55 PM

I like my neighbors... finally. We've been through a few.

I'll have to make a point if I ever come visit to make sure you come out to greet me out front so I can hug you... because... I know how much you hate being hugged and because then people will think, "Wait? Maybe he's not the scary guy..."

;-) just kidding.

Posted by: Bou at June 21, 2005 01:27 PM

Hmmm. I'm the scary neighbor. My husband is the nice one.

Posted by: Oddybobo at June 21, 2005 02:59 PM

The incontinent whelps that inhabit my neighborhood would pee in your cooler too.

Posted by: Graumagus at June 21, 2005 05:57 PM

Jo - Don't encourage Contagion - he'll only blog more! :-)

Posted by: Harvey at June 21, 2005 07:19 PM

I get the same reaction from the neighbors because I'll be out in the yard wet-sanding a half-scale model air-to-air missile.

Posted by: Ted at June 24, 2005 06:52 AM