the last word (tm)

Vol. 17/No. 3 - 448th issue - June 26, 2008 - - Bellevue, Kentucky
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To quote Mister Rogers: Won't you please, won't you please, please won't you be my neighbor?

Odds are, you'd be a better neighbor than the rocket surgeons who just vacated the apartment next door.

I've been out on my own for 15 years, and until this bunch came along, not once did I ever have neighbors who came close to the level of naked fartpipery that they exhibited. Out of maybe 25 different households that have shared the same building as me, the laws of probability dictate that maybe 2 or 3 are going to do something that's totally fucking stupid. But until now the worst I had was a despicable oaf back in the late '90s who wore a constant scowl (who I didn't have to suffer for more than a few months).

I almost never bring up neighbor issues in the now-declining Last Word or on my websites, because for all I know, the neighbors could be reading. But the acts of the morons who just left bring a whole new meaning to outrageous.

They got that apartment 3 years ago, and the trouble began almost instantly. The bike vandalism, the stolen mail, the gratuitous noise. Almost every problem you can think of from a neighbor, they did it.

My first impression of the family came the day they moved in when I heard the woman cussing out her kids. Not long after that, I suffered more aggravation when they repeatedly slammed their own door as loudly as possible. They began doing this not just in the daytime but in the middle of the night as well.

They were out of control enough that I quickly began keeping a log (hey Beavis, you said log!) of their shenanigans:

November-December '05:
• Mail
• Idiots threw my good lawn chair into side yard 2 days in a row.
• They activated the lights on my bike (which was parked in the hallway) 2 days in a row (which wore out the batteries). On the second occasion, one of the lights was damaged. (I think this was after they cut the brakes.)
• Garbage was dumped in the wire basket on the bike repeatedly.

12/15/05: Garbage again found in bike basket.

12/16/05: Bike found flipped upright so it was standing up on one wheel and propped against the wall. More rubbish was found in the basket. A spare inner tube had been stolen out of the basket.

12/23/05: Lawn chair found in side yard again. This resulted in me chaining the chair to the porch railing.

12/24/05: More garbage in bike basket. They're a garbagey crowd, ain't they?

1/2/06: More damage to lawn chair found.

1/28/06: More garbage in the Peace Bike's basket.

2/3/06: You guessed it! Garbage galore! In addition to the trash in the basket, garbage was found shoved between the spokes of the wheels.

2/9/06: Garbage in bike basket.

3/4/06: Garbage in bike basket.

4/4/06: Found bike tire slashed.

5/2/06: Discovered garbage dumped in front of door to my apartment.

June '06: Mail stolen. I later found the missing mail mixed in with a pile of garbage that was dumped in front of my door.

6/14/06: Found lawn chair flipped over porch railing, dangling by the chain.

6/29/06: Found lawn chair flipped over railing again. Because of this, I chained it to the railing at 2 different places.

7/4/06: I noticed that the other neighbors' patio chair had been tossed into the side yard. So it wasn't just me who was being harassed.

I figured there was no point in continuing to jot down these hijinks, because I couldn't keep up. What the fuck was I supposed to do about them anyway? Sometime later, the troublesome neighbors smashed my lawn chair completely. At the same time, they tore the wheels off a chair belonging to the other neighbors and threw the wheels in the street. And, after they jabbed a sharp tack into my bike tire, I began storing the bicycle inside my apartment - which forced me to carry it down a steep flight of stairs every time I needed to use it.

Around Labor Day 2006, they destroyed the porch railing - reportedly in a drunken rage.

On approximately 5 different occasions, they smashed the window in the front door to this half of the building. At least once, one of their crew drunkenly tumbled down the steps and shattered the side window. They even smashed their own glass table on the porch (probably in one of their many domestic disputes), which covered the porch with perilous glass shards.

Winters were bad, because the woman blamed me when I failed to shovel snow off the street (which is the city's responsibility). She never assailed me right to my face, preferring instead to launch a tirade about it in the stairway while I was standing there. She pretended as if I wasn't standing just 5 feet away, referring to me in the third person and yelling, "That damn asshole next door won't clear the fuckin' street!" (In fact, I had put salt on the sidewalk and porch to melt ice.) A similar display occurred at least once when I had the nerve to shut the front door to the building during cold weather. (She liked to leave it wide open and let the cold air get in.)

Generally she ignored me throughout the 3 years she lived here - which suits me fine. She never once said a word to me. When she launched her harangues about me, it was always in the third person, even though I was standing right there.

I also got to hear her complaints against others, because she yelled at the top of her lungs while in her apartment. One of the most entertaining was her threat to smear dog shit on the neighbors' door.

Recently when this gang moved out, they apparently left the water in their apartment running all night. So I'm guessing they were probably evicted. Why would she run up the building owner's water bill if she had left voluntarily?

What it boils down to is that she was a big baby. My entire impression of this neighbor is that she was spoiled, vindictive, cowardly, right-wing, and self-centered. And I think she treats everyone this way, because she ruined the other neighbors' belongings too and because I didn't even do anything to provoke her infantile conduct. I guess it's also possible though that she had close friends that she wanted to move into my apartment, so she was trying to force me out.

When Mad Dog Bush pardoned several traitors who were involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, it sent a message to people both young and old that crime pays. I think my neighbor who just moved out is yet another example of a person being taught by the Mad Dog regime that they can get away with anything. To them, reasonable behavior is to be exhibited only by suckers like me who have never had anything handed to them in life. Spoiled babies can do whatever they want. (This is also why school harassment has become pervasive in communities where it was once taboo.)

Not long before this family moved out, one of their bunch pounded on my door in the middle of the night and woke me up. I decided then that I wasn't going to put up with much more.

I wasn't ever going to write about the situation. But I changed my mind this week when I discovered the real clincher.

A couple weeks ago, my refrigerator met its maker after an estimated 30 years of faithful service. So the building owner replaced it with the refrigerator from the apartment that the intolerable neighbors had just vacated.

This fridge works quite swell. Except for one little problem. This week, I noticed water seeping out the bottom of it, forming a gargantuan puddle on the floor of my home office. Investigating the situation, I found that the drain in the refrigerator was clogged by someone jamming rotting food down inside it.

Yep, the now-departed neighbors had struck again! They had to get one final attack in, didn't they? This act of sabotage must have been intended for the next occupant of their apartment to deal with, because I don't think they even knew I'd end up with this appliance.

When I discovered that they had stuffed spoiled food into the refrigerator drain, I was so angry I just about bipped.

There's things I'd much rather be doing than prying rotten food out of drains with bent paper clips. I could be doing something more productive like chewing bubble gum or using a Secret Decoder Window from a Trix box to look at my road atlas so I can watch all the red roads disappear. But instead I've had to waste my time cleaning up the idiots' mess. The food that was shoved in the drain stinks to high hell - so much so that when you're cleaning the drain you almost have to wear a gas mask or lift your shirt over your face (which used to make the guards at CPH mad, like so many other things). It stinks so mightily that I almost suspect that the food in the drain is actually something they vomited.

But with those imbeciles gone, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood once again!

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(Copywrong 2008)
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