Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Our Worst Neighbors Ever

Sarah and I have lived in many different places over the years, and we've had many different neighbors, some very weird, some very bad. Today I'm going to tell you about our worst neighbors ever.

This couple lived in the house next to our old residence on South Johnson (the apartment had problems too - the bedroom reeked of wolf urine - but that’s a different story), and they were terrible. Why were they so bad? Well, there were numerous reasons. They were deeply paranoid, racist, lazy, and stupid, and they shot our cat in the eye with a b.b. gun, but there was one particular trait that overshadowed all others. They made porn in their living room.

Many of you are immediately thinking, "Eeww!" You don't need much convincing. Some of you, however, are thinking, "Dude! Porno neighbors? That sounds awesome. How could that possibly be bad?" For those of you in the latter category, allow me to disillusion you. Even if porno neighbors might, in theory, be your cup of tea, let me explain that this was not high-grade porn with beautiful people making beautiful love. This was bargain basement porn and the participants were dour, desperate, flabby, pasty, unhealthy people with yellow, nicotine-stained teeth (although I suppose their audience wasn't really paying attention to their teeth). So scrap your fantasy scenario right away (unless, perhaps, this is your fantasy scenario, in which case you’re a very strange person, but I can give you the landlord’s phone number).

And they always left their blinds open (they had hopes of luring us into their glamorous lifestyle – "oh, so nice of you to ask, but I think we’re going to pass on this one"). Our houses were about four feet apart so they were impossible to ignore. We, consequently, made a concerted effort to close our own blinds once the sun went down and porn-o’clock arrived. There were, however, occasional lapses.

My mom was visiting from Virginia. We had picked her up from the airport during the afternoon and grabbed a bite to eat. By the time we arrived at home it was nighttime. Our lights were off. Our blinds were open. We walked in the front door and, boom, there was the lady, feet up on the desk, legs splayed, and on their computer screen was her "bizness" in all of its much-larger-than-life, gynecological glory. "Welcome to our house, Mom! Heh, heh." Eesh!

So how did we finally resolve this problem? The answer is simple. Humiliation (unintentional but effective). We were having a dinner party one evening. As we were all sitting around the table eating and chatting, whup, there go the neighbors getting naked and going at it. I’m not sure if their timing was merely coincidental or if they were putting on a show specifically for our benefit, but if it was intentional the results were certainly not what they had hoped for. After a moment of stunned gawking, everyone at the table simultaneously burst out laughing. Realizing this, the neighbors huffily marched over to their window and lowered the blinds. From that day on, the blinds stayed down.

Who was your worst neighbor?


  1. I lived in a first floor apartment for seven years. The eighth year, some guy moved in above where before had been a single woman.

    About a week after he moved in, right after I got home from work, I heard a rhythmic thumping noise. The noise wasn't coming from a bed, btw. It continued for quite a while, so I went upstairs and knocked on the door. He answered, a little out of breath.

    I asked him to keep it down. He said he'd just purchased a treadmill, whereupon I (very bitchily I'm sure) suggested that he move his damned treadmill into his garage.

    After about a week of me calling the apartment office and complaining, he did.

  2. Anonymous9:27 PM

    This is the story of my worst(and most interesting) neighbors. Years ago when my husband was in grad school, we lived in a university town in the south in an old mill house. Our next door neighbors were Mrs. B. and her son, B. She was addicted to paregoric and he was an alcoholic. She received welfare and he rarely worked. They did not have a car or telephone. We had both. Soon after we moved in Mrs. B. arrived introducing herself and asking to use the telephonel There was no answer. This visit was followed by many from Mrs. B. always asking to use the phone with her soon hanging up declaring no one was home. Then she would stay to talk for a long
    time. Finally after paying attention to what she was doing we realized she never dialed enough numbers to make a call.(this was before touch tone phones when you actually had to dial numbers!!) She obviously just wanted an excuse to come and visit. We never had the heart to call her on it but just didn't always answer the door.

    And then there were the visits when Mrs. B. would arrive and anxiously declare that B. was sick and needed a 6 pack of beer!! Sometimes it was easiest just to go and get it. other times we felt obligated to explain how a 6 pack was not likely to make him better.

    Other visits from Mrs. B. involved her requests to be taked to the drugstore because she needed some medicines. After a while my husband realized he always took her to a different drugstore and that she always bought paregoric. Then it dawned on us that the reason for going to a different store each time was that paregoric was a controlled substance and Mrs. B. had to sign for it so she went to different stores to avoid detection. So that ended the trips to the drugstores.

    And then there were the trips to the pawn shop. By about the third week of each month Mrs. B.'s welfare check would be gone, B. would be sick and need a 6 pack and Mrs. B. would arrive with her radio asking to be taken to the pawn shop to hock it. Off we would go! And then the first of the month would come, the welfare check would arrive and over would come Mrs. B. asking to go to the pawn shop to buy back her radio. There it would be and she would buy it back.

    Another encounter with Mrs. B. involved my husband taking a bath, an open bathroom door to the kitchen and an open back door. Mrs. B. always came to the back door. This day my husband awoke from his bathtub reverie to a "yoohoo" from the kitchen and realized Mrs. B. had just invited herself in and there was not much between him and her. At his urging she beat a hasty retreat.

    And the story can not end without one last interaction with the B's. We were moving and packing up our U-Haul. B., being a good neighbor and kinda sober that day, said he would help. And he did until we saw him heading in the opposite direction of the truck and toward his house with a couple of lamps in his hands. And then Mrs. B. came over. apologized and cried. And that ends the story of my worst(and most interesting) neighbors.

  3. Not my story (but from what I hear, perfectly within the proper blogging guidelines)...

    My dad (who lives on a farm in Idaho, and by the way...does NOT blog) had a next door (relative term - down the road more descriptive) neighbor who came after him with a pitchfork, and put it through the window of his pickup - when he was in it.

    Not sure how to catagorize that one.

  4. Mine was probably the guy who toted a bible around and talked about Jesus. He also borrowed twenty dollars for "kidney stone medicine" ("David, when that stone passes through your penis, oh Lord, you can't imagine the pain..."). He also smoked crack on a regular basis, and when he was finally evicted, I looked in his place and noticed the floor was littered with razor blades and there was an inch of grease in the stove burner wells.

    I can probably come up with other bad neighbors but he does stand out.

  5. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Worst neighbors ever!! at 29 Sydney Street, Brassall Australia. In plain view they urinate anywhere in the yard, adults!! not kids, they have friends visit and compare penis lengths in clear view of anyone walking by, they have wanking competitions, chant at girls to show their tits for money. And the noise is unbelievable. It's like living near a public toilet, pub, disco, drunk house, you name it they're it. TRAILER TRASH!