|House for Sale...as is! Very quiet and isolated! (Gary Langley Photo, 2013)
It all started I think, when the neighbors visited until all hours of the night on the porch in the summer.
Then Halloween came and the theatre company opened their haunted house. Evidently the actors were very good at their jobs because the screaming began as soon as the doors opened and continues until the haunted house closed. That was bad enough but at least they were only open in October. He could stand that...then this year they decided that, since they were such a huge success, they would extend the haunted house season and open in September.
The poor man was beside himself. Can't you just imagine? But I suppose we could all tell similar stories.
I lived next door to a man once that I swear had to be a hit man for the mafia. He scared me to death. My children weren't perfect and he and his little moll wife were threatening to say the least.
Another time we lived next door to a couple that we had known in a previous life. We were there first but it doesn't really matter. He was a wife beater and she was a screamer. We knew what was coming and come it did. Thankfully they didn't stay for long or we may have moved...I don't remember.
When I was a child, our neighbors were equally as unusual. The guy three houses down not only beat his children but he was known to chase his wife with a butcher knife. He never did kill anyone but it was touch and go there for a while. Oh, I might add that our town policeman did not drive and weighed about 135 soaking wet. If anyone was in trouble they just took care of it themselves! I think we kept our doors locked...a lot!
When we moved into that house...my parents dream house, the one they had saved for all of their married lives...the man next door was raising pigs and got all his good stuff from the city dump. I suppose there wasn't much of a choice in houses to buy or surely my parents would not have purchased that house. My mother was new in town so she was the person designated to visit the City Council and get the pigs removed. My parents planted a very high hedge of lilacs so they couldn't see the backyard city dump pickings.
I can tell you right now that when we buy a house these days, we check all the angles and give it some thought. HOA restriction have saved us a lot of trouble because you know that the people next door can't set up a car repair business in the driveway or the street in front of your house. Honestly, I am a very forgiving person but I don't want the neighbors painting their house sky-blue-purple-yellow. I want them to keep their yard cleaned up and hold the noise down late at night. The longer I live, the more I like some enforceable rules. And I don't want the neighbors turning me into a mean cranky old woman.
So the man that bought the house at the shore has decided to join them since he can't beat them. He acts in the theatre company now and maybe stays up late and talks loud. He says he is doing what Emily Post recommends...do what everyone else is doing! He truly has my sympathy.
Incidentally, the story was in the NYTs and it was called Face to Face with my Mean Inner Old Man.
Have a wonderful day.