I have some of the most annoying neighbors. They live across the street, and daily bring down the value of the homes in our neighborhood. I'm not sure exactly who lives there. There's the Dad. I think the mom now lives in Oregon most of the time, but is often visiting. There are two women my age who appear to be their daughters (whom I affectionately refer to as "Carrot Top" and "Trashy Girl"), and a guy about my age who appears to be their son. They are not always there, but I can't tell if that's because sometimes they're at work or because they just visit all day every day. There are two small infants and a teenage boy ("Gangly Boy"). One of the infants is named "Junior." I know that because I hear "Junior!!!!!!!" shrieked at the top of Carrot Top's lungs several times a day. I wish I were exaggerating. I'm not. Junior runs around in just a diaper on nice days. His mom borrows Gangly Boy's pocket bike (like a tiny motorcycle with a whiny motor) and circles the block for half an hour at a time (never long enough for the police to catch her). She wears no helmet, and best of all, she puts Junior on the handlebars of the bike, with just a diaper and no helmet. Mother of the Year material to be sure.
Who else lives there? 22 cats. At least, that's how many I've been able to count at any given time. There may be more. There are also 3 dogs, one of whom regularly poops on my lawn. The cats are all carbon copies of each other, and are clearly all from the same exact family tree, with no branches (I suspect the neighbors themselves might be inbred as well). I called the Humane Society and they came to get the cats and spay/neuter them, and then returned them. Hopefully, that means there won't be future generations. Gross.
How do they bring down the value of the neighborhood? Let's see. How about the tent (those mosquito tents you put over your picnic table -- see-through gauze protects you from the bugs but lets you see out clearly) on the front lawn with clothing hanging on racks in it? This was up for 2 1/2 months, until last week. How about the furniture on the lawn? A desk, two dressers, a nightstand, a TV and an armoire, all sinking into the mud, because they've been there since the rainy season started -- January. Sometimes they're covered with plastic, sometimes not. I suspect they are actually being used. What else? How about the wrought iron fence in the front yard? "What's wrong with a fence?" you may ask. It's 15 feet long, and not connected to anything. You can walk around it on either side. It doesn't even stretch the length of their yard. I think they only have it there to chain the 5 bicycles to. Not sure who rides the bicycles. I've only seen Gangly Boy on one of them, once. Other things on the lawn: a new front door (finally installed in March, was there when I bought the house in April 2008), boxes, a 10' x 12' piece of plywood (propped up against a tree), and lots and lots of cat poop.
Let's talk cars. There are 5 cars that "belong" to this house in one way or another. One, a red jeep, parks in front of my house all the time. I wouldn't care (I park in my garage, so it's not blocking me), except the Dad is always out there under the hood. I feel like I live in a mechanic shop. Sometimes the Dad sleeps in the jeep. Wish I were joking. The driveway is mostly unpaved. Three of the other cars are usually in the driveway (two never move). When the black car is there (the one that leaves sometimes), there is always someone sitting in it. I'm only exaggerating slightly. There is ALMOST always someone sitting in it, legs hanging out the door. One of the other family members is often leaning in, talking to the owner of the legs.
These people are yellers. I can hear almost all of any conversation they have, because it is at such a volume. Add that to the fact that, except at night, they don't go inside. Seriously. They don't. They threaten Junior with "do you want to go inside???" to make him behave. I can't imagine what is inside that is so frightening.
These people are the epitome of "white trash." I suppose I should at least be grateful that they don't hire a live mariachi band for a yard party every three months like the house two doors down from them.
I'd love to hear your stories of bad neighbors in the comments section. If someone can top these folks, I really want to know about it.
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
8 hours ago