Some Neighbors Like To Drone On

, , , , | Friendly | October 24, 2018

(I wake up one morning to hear shouting outside, and I lean out of my window just in time to hear this gem from my neighbor.)

Neighbor: “Yeah, I just waved my hand and grew a tree, just to spite you.”

(When I talked to him later, it turns out that some idiot was buzzing around over people’s backyards with a drone, and had ended up crashing his drone into my neighbor’s tree. He then tried to get my neighbor to pay for replacing the drone, claiming that he’d “deliberately placed” the tree to block people from freely flying their drones around.)

Finding Fraudulent Uses For Their 3-Iron

, , , , , | Legal | October 9, 2018

(Our town is hit by a tornado, along with two other towns. This incident takes place the day after. My husband and I are walking through the streets with a chainsaw helping to cut and move fallen trees where needed, to clear roads for emergency crews and traffic, and to clear driveways so people who still have undamaged cars can get them out. It’s been a long, slow process and we’ve been at it for several hours, starting about eight am. We stop so we can grab some water from our backpacks, and we witness two people up the block hitting the side of their car with a golf club. There does not appear to be any other damage on the car apart from what they are doing.)

Husband: *sounding confused* “What is she doing?”

Me: “Probably going to try to scam her insurance for a new car.”

Husband: “Think she has actually looked at some of the other storm damaged cars?”

Me: “Probably not, or she wouldn’t be hitting the side of the car that is currently facing her perfectly undamaged house. Sadly, even though the damage is going to obviously look like it’s intentional, by the time her claims adjuster gets to her, they are probably just going to give in and not argue with her so they can get things done and move on to others.”

(The people looked around at this time and saw us standing there watching them. They immediately put the golf club in the garage and went back in the house. While there were thankfully no fatalities and only minor injuries from the storm, these frauds made me sick. I thought about the people displaced until they could get their houses tested for soundness so they could start repairs, and the handful of people who lost their houses entirely, along with the people with totaled cars. We do have relief efforts out here, along with every conceivable insurance company, but it’s going to be a long road, and we have just barely begun. I hope those people got what they deserve.)

Talking Complete (Pit) Bull

, , , , , | Legal | September 30, 2018

(My dog is a pretty large rescue pit-bull who would never hurt a person, but we believe that he was an escapee from a dog-fighting ring. We found him lost and wandering, and the vet said his injuries were indicative of fighting. He is very aggressive toward any other animal he’s near. We counteract this by only ever letting him run in our fenced backyard, and keep him harnessed when we walk him. He’s only ever gotten loose once or twice, never with serious consequences. Other people in my neighborhood take no such precautions, usually letting their dogs run loose in their front yards, but generally their dogs will stay in the yards, and if I cross the street, I’m fine. However, one night, a loose dog runs up across the street to me.)

Me: “Hey, excuse me, hey! Please come get your dog!”

Neighbor: *sitting on her porch, not getting up* “Oh, it’s okay; he’s friendly!”

Me: *straining to keep my growling dog from jumping on the smaller one, trying to walk away* “Mine isn’t! My dog is very aggressive. Please come get your dog!”

Neighbor: “Oh, it’s fine; he’s very friendly!”

Me: “MINE ISN’T! COME GET YOUR DOG!”

Neighbor: “Gosh, all right.”

(She slowly stands up and starts making her way down the porch steps. At this point, my dog is barking like crazy, snapping, and generally doing everything he can to get at this other dog, who’s still coming towards him. I put myself in between them to keep them apart, and am yelling at my dog to stop. My dog is still trying to snap at the other dog, and the other dog is trying to get around me, nipping at my ankles as he does so, hurting me. The neighbor is standing in her yard, watching.)

Me: “HURRY UP AND GET YOUR F****** DOG!”

Neighbor: “They’re so close; I don’t want to get in the middle of it!”

Me: “GET YOUR DOG RIGHT NOW!”

(My dog lunges, and I use my shin to push the other dog out of his reach, figuring it’s better if he gets shoved a little than if he needs stitches later on.)

Neighbor: “Did you just kick my dog?!”

Me: “YOU NEED TO COME AND GET YOUR DOG, OR MINE IS GOING TO BITE HIM!”

(She finally walks across the street and grabs her dog’s collar. The dog is squirming away from her, still trying to get at my dog. I’m still trying to keep distance between the two, feeling pretty angry and upset at this point, when she drops this gem.)

Neighbor: “It’s just taking a minute, since I don’t have his leash.”

Me: “WELL, WHY IS YOUR DOG OUTSIDE WITHOUT HIS LEASH?!”

Neighbor: “He’s so well-behaved, he doesn’t need one!”

(The dogs are finally separated, so at this point, I turn to her and actually manage to speak rationally.)

Me: “Running up to strange dogs is not well-behaved. I’m not the only person in this neighborhood with an aggressive dog, and you’re going to get yours killed if you don’t keep him restrained. You need to keep him on a leash, and when you hear someone say, ‘My dog is aggressive; come get yours,’ you need to understand that it doesn’t matter how friendly yours is. You need to keep him under control.”

Neighbor: “Well, maybe you need to keep yours under better control!”

Me: “I did. I kept him on a leash and away from your yard when I saw your dog was loose. Your dog ran up to us, your dog attacked us, and your dog bit me.” *holds up my leg so that she can see the blood on my ankles from her dog’s bite* “I could call animal control and have them take him away right now, and you would be entirely at fault, but I’m not going to do that. What we’re going to do, is you’re going to put your dog inside, I’m going to take mine home, and then you’re going to give me a copy of your dog’s shot records so I know whether or not I need a rabies vaccine. And then you are never going to let your dog run loose in your front yard again, all right?”

Neighbor: “That’s not fair! My dog isn’t sick, and he would never bite you! I think your dog bit you; he’s so aggressive.”

Me: “Mine doesn’t bite humans. And he was in front of me the whole time. These bites are on the backs of my legs, and they came from your dog. So, if I do need a vaccine, you’re paying for it.”

Neighbor: “This isn’t my fault!”

Me: “YES, IT IS! You let your dog run wild, you didn’t come down to get him the second he left your yard — and by the way, him running off-leash in an open yard is illegal, too — and you are responsible for what he’s done!”

Neighbor: “Your dog was the one who started it, though! If he had just been friendlier–“

Me: “THAT DOESN’T MATTER! My dog is on a leash! The law says I did my part to properly restrain my dog, and you didn’t do yours! Now, go put your dog inside and get me a copy of those records! I’ll be back in ten minutes for them!”

(When I come back without my dog, the woman has locked herself in her house and won’t open the door for me. Ultimately, she calls the police on me for trespassing. Here’s how that conversation goes.)

Officer #1: “Ma’am, please step away from the door.”

Me: *doing as instructed* “Is everything all right, sir?”

Officer #1: “We’ve received a call that you’re trespassing and harassing the owner of this house.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not trying to harass her. Her dog bit me, and I’ve just been asking her if I can get a copy of the shots records so I know whether or not I need any treatment.”

Officer #1: “I don’t see a dog out here.”

Me: “It was about half an hour ago. I was walking my dog, and hers ran up and attacked us. The dogs weren’t injured, but her dog nipped at my ankle and broke skin.”

(I hold out my ankle again, but I cleaned and bandaged the bite, so it’s not readily visible. The officer’s partner goes up and asks the woman to step outside. She does and points at me.)

Neighbor: “That’s her! She’s been ringing my doorbell for hours!”

Officer #2: “Ma’am, she says that your dogs had an altercation?”

Neighbor: “Yes! Her dog got so aggressive, barking and snapping at mine! He’s dangerous.”

Me: “My dog was on a leash; hers was loose!”

Officer #1: “We’ll take your statements separately, all right?”

([Officer #1] takes me down to the curb, while [Officer #2] stays with her on her porch. As I’m giving my statement, the neighbors from across the street, the ones whose house I was in front of when the dog followed us up, come over.)

Neighbor #2: “Is this about what happened with the dogs earlier?”

Officer #1: “Did you see what happened?”

Neighbor #2: “Yes, and so did my husband. We were sitting in the front room, and we saw the whole thing.”

(She pointed to the house, gesturing to her big, bay windows that would have given her and her husband a perfect view. The officer asked me to stand aside while he took their statements, as well, which corroborated mine. Then he asked me to take off the bandage so that they could take a picture of the dog bite, and asked if I want to press charges. I told them that if the neighbor would just give me the shots records and promise to keep her dog restrained I wouldn’t. He relayed the message, and the neighbor still refused to hand over the records, so instead, the officers charged her, took the dog, and got a subpoena for the dog’s shots records, which were several months out of date. The dog was quarantined and ultimately found to not be rabid, and since I was up to date on my tetanus shot, I didn’t need further treatment, but the neighbor was charged with several misdemeanors and had to give the dog up. I felt bad about that; it wasn’t the dog’s fault its owner was an idiot, and I made sure to go to the hearing and testify that I didn’t think that the dog was actually dangerous. The court decided not to put it down, but instead to put it up for adoption. The whole time, the owner was yelling that this wasn’t her fault, so much so that she was removed from the hearing. The worst part is, when she was testifying as to what happened, she told the story exactly how it happened, and still didn’t seem to understand that it was her fault that her dog was running loose and unrestrained, and that keeping him on a leash was her responsibility.)

Not What They Mean When They Say To Hand Out Your Resumé

, , , , | Legal | September 1, 2018

Sadly, this is a story about my son. A few years ago he broke into a home, and loaded items into his backpack and left. Sadly for him, luckily for the police, when putting items in the backpack, he removed some papers to make room.

The papers?

Copies of his resumé with full name and contact information.

Wronged By Squatter’s Rights

, , , , , | Legal | August 22, 2018

(I live in a dense and popular neighbourhood where a lot of gentrification has been going on — old houses coming down and flashier new ones going up. I live next to a house which has been gutted in preparation for tearing it down. It is locked, since it is really old and the floors are collapsing, so it is very unsafe to go inside. I have detailed knowledge of the house structure and condition, since one of my cats constantly climbs up on the roof. We have to get a climbing crew in to get him down, since he only has one eye and no depth-perception, so he gets scared to come down. We do this about once a week. One day, I look out of my window and see a man forcing the way in with a crowbar. That door is about three metres from my window, so I see it very clearly. I call the police:)

Me: “I am calling to report someone breaking in into my neighbour’s house.”

Police Officer: “And how do you know he us breaking in and not just going in regularly?”

Me: “Well, you know when you watch someone breaking into a house in a movie? They do not have to caption what is happening for you to know.”

Police Officer: “Well, I would not like to come over and then have that be a good friend of the owner.”

Me: “He is opening the door with a crowbar.”

Police Officer: “Maybe he has the permission of the owner?”

(I do not recall what I said, but I managed to convince them to come out. They did come out, but by that time the wannabe squatter was inside and had closed the door behind him. The police stood around idly for a few minutes and decided all was good. I did not want to come out because I was scared the squatter might be aggressive, so I just seethed from my window. Apparently, somebody else called them again and they came out and so did the owner. They went in and took the squatter outside, and I could hear the discussion. The squatter saying it was open, and the policemen kept saying they had no clue who the real owner was, the squatter or the owner, and “they were not the court to decide that.” Having had enough, I went outside and told them that I saw him open the door with the crowbar and that I knew for certain that the door was locked because otherwise I would go and take my cat down on foot and not call climber crews every week. The police, however, just shrugged and moved on. The owner gave the squatter a look and told him that the house would be coming down in a few days, with or without him in it. After that, I always tell people not to be afraid someone will rob their home, but rather that someone would just come in and not leave.)

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