September 15, 2013

Do Something About the Neighbors, Floyd!

This is not the actual car, but you get the point.

We have a neighbor problem or I should say, I do.

The reason for the title?  I can just see a cranky elderly woman sending her husband out to deal with "those" troublesome neighbors next door. "Deal with it, Floyd. Just deal with it." Alas, I am not a cranky elderly woman (I'm too nice for my own good) and I do not have any Floyd to go over and cause a ruckus.

You see, we live in a rural city, downtown in a suburban middle class neighborhood. But next door to us, as if it doesn't belong, we have an apartment building. The absentee owner has always been pretty nice when we've called him, which I appreciate. Most of the tenants from about 8 apartments seem like hard working easy-going people. But then there are "the ones", people who are now starting to drive me crazy.

The first tenant I had an issue with, we'll call her Natasha (I have no idea what her name was), is a 90 some year-old elderly Russian woman who couldn't hear, at all! During the afternoons, every time I went outside to read, suddenly The Price is Right or The Wheel of Fortune would blare out of her apartment window. I dealt with it. But then the cop television shows at 2 A.M. started to happen. Our bedroom window would be open and I would hear shooting, yelling, sirens - whatever a cop show entails and I would not be able to sleep. My husband, oblivious and dead asleep did not hear these old cop shows. I had enough! So I told my husband to call the owner. (I know, I'm a chicken.)

My husband comes back that night telling me he had a long conversation with the owner. Apparently, the woman was an elderly Russian woman who has the TV full volume all the time, has the air conditioner on in the winter, has issues with the neighbors, thinks her case worker and the manager of the building are having sex, is disagreeable with the neighbors, called the cops to talk to them, was tired and just put down the phone (the cops came and broke down her door and found her asleep) and is extremely hard to get to change. "Oh brother," I told my husband. And then he told me he had mentioned to the owner I had been a social worker/case manager for seniors. My husband said the owner thought maybe I, yes I!!!, could go talk to her and get her to change. "What!" I said. No way, no how was I going to enter into that situation.

Well, the good news. It stopped. Where she went, I have no idea. But now, a new problem has ensued . . .

The rapper, base playing, no job, 20 something, Pimp My Ride boy. I have no idea when he moved in or even if he has an apartment because he spends his entire day in his car parked in the apartment driveway right next to our sunroom. First, he was outside fixing the old car. He jacked up the tires, cleaned every inch of it, bought some base playing contraption to go into it, and sits out in it the whole entire day. Right now, as I write this, he has played his base music which has the same beat, over and over, for three hours straight!! Finally, after telling myself, I need to say something or I'm literally going to kill the guy, I asked kindly to turn it down. (I had expletives in my mind but chose not to say them.) I'm not sure what I'm going to do. He and his friends hang out there and so far, they haven't caused us any problems, they haven't been rude and haven't done anything to us. I try to remember he is young and this is what he thinks is cool. But I think he and I are going to butt heads real soon.

Yes, there have been real doozies in the apartment building. One woman moved in who went around the neighborhood asking for money. She knocked on our door, the neighbors across the street, the neighbors in the apartment building always saying, "I need to feed my kids." Meanwhile, she was walking around with an expensive registered Akita puppy and smoking cigarettes. The finality came when she came to our house at night, trying to sell, YES sell her puppy to us for money and asking if she could stay with us for the night because her boyfriend kicked her out of the apartment. My husband was like, "Hell no" but told her she needed to call the police and they could bring her to a shelter. We called the apartment owner and he told us she didn't pay rent, she was told there were no dogs allowed and we were to call the cops if she came back. Eventually, she was evicted and now she is gone. Another bites the dust, right.

I remember when we bought this house. When my mother asked about the apartment building next door, the previous owner said, "We've never had any problems." Well, the owner also told us the basement didn't leak. I had asked his wife why the basement didn't have any carpet (thinking it strange) and she made some story about the cat and the carpet which didn't make ANY sense.
A week after we moved in, our house was broken into and our basement had an inch of water. By the way, this previous owner who sold us the house was an Illinois Representative, which goes to show you politicians can't be trusted. (Like I'm telling you anything new, right?)

And so it goes. Things will work out, eventually. And then some other crazy person is going to move in next door. I'm glad I have conflict resolution skills.

UPDATE: Two things. As for the Russian elderly woman, the owner told me later they screwed her windows shut. She int turn, took the screws back out. The owner then bought screws which were permanent and this is why I never hear cop shows in the middle of the night anymore. I guess that woman was very strong willed!

Second, as for the Pimp My Ride guy who had the base thumping contraption in his car and which every so often, I looked over and his white car was literally jumping up and down like a bunny rabbit. (He has some kind of mechanism which makes his car go up and down like a gangster.) Well, I finally got the nerve and walked over there with my dog, Emmy, while he was polishing his car with about five friends around him and asked (drum roll please), "Are you selling drugs?"  I mean really, there are guys huddled around his car all the time! Then I said kindly as a nice gesture, "I thought I would come over and introduce myself. By the way, are those guys who hang around you on the up and up? I have two small kids." He said, "No, I try and keep the peace." It was so awkward and silent I could hear a pin drop. So I started petting my dog and out from my mouth came, "So do you like dogs?" He said, "I'm allergic." "Oh," I said, "she's 13 years-old." Silence again. "Well, I better go. Have a nice day." And then I walked away. I was so proud of myself yet, what kind of crazy person am I?

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