Coming To A Horrible Realization

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 25, 2017

(My wife and I live in an apartment complex. Our greasy upstairs neighbor listens to his music and movies so loud we can’t hear our own TV, and talking to him about it is always met with, “Yeah, yeah, sorry! Of course!” and then him never actually turning anything down. I wake up in the middle of the night to an odd noise that takes me a moment to identify. It is a rhythmic thumping and squeaking, directly above us. I realize this must be the neighbor’s bedroom, as the apartment layouts are identical. The moment I wonder if my wife is still asleep, she speaks.)

Wife: “Um…”

Me: “Yeah. I hear it, too.”

Wife: “What… what is it?”

Me: “What do you think it is, honey?”

Wife: *wearily* “Oh, no.”

(Right then, the noise stops. Then we hear footsteps across the room towards the bathroom. Then a door shutting. Then silence. Then a flush.)

Wife: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

I Say Potato, You Say Fat

, , , , | Friendly | September 15, 2017

(My grandfather has relayed this story a few times from when he was a kid in the early 1950’s, and says it has always bothered him. In the story, my great uncle walks into the room first. He is a large and stocky person.)

Neighbor: “Looks like you’ve been eating your potatoes.”

(My grandpa walks in. He is very skinny and lanky.)

Neighbor: *looking back at great uncle* “Looks like you’ve been eating his potatoes, too!”

Neighboring On A Bargain

, , , , | Friendly | July 26, 2017

My mom gets remarried. She lives and works in [City #1] and he lives and works in [City #2], about 40 minutes away. She moves in with him but he’s able to transfer to a position in [City #1] and they start to look for a place to buy together.

While they look for a place to buy, they rent a place for a year in a not-very-affluent part of town. As I’m visiting them, Mom’s husband tell me the story about how he loaned their neighbor $40.

Now, every time he comes out of the house, said neighbor quickly scrambles back inside. He won’t talk to or make eye contact with Mom’s husband. He calls it the best $40 he ever spent.

The Great Zucchini Heist

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 3, 2017

My grandfather is a landscaper and gardener, so my grandparents have a massive vegetable garden in their backyard. It produces way more food than they actually need. My grandmother has a deal with one of her neighbors, who is an amazing cook and baker as well as a good friend to my grandmother, where she can come over at anytime and take as many vegetables as she wants and she’ll bake my grandparents several loaves of chocolate zucchini bread in return. She is the only person they have this deal with, though my grandmother will sometimes give free vegetables to neighbors who ask for them.

One day her friend comes over for some zucchini because she is having a get together and decides to make some bread for the dessert table, only to discover that the plants are completely barren of fruit. There aren’t even any unripened, not quite ready to pick zucchinis on the plant despite the fact that it’s peak season for them. She asks my grandparents about this, wondering if they’re having a bad year with their plants, but my grandmother shows her a zucchini she just picked the previous day and claims there were dozens more at least.

A week later, someone takes most of the tomatoes and digs up almost all of the carrots, which is discovered because the neighbor came over for a couple of onions for a soup she’s making for a dinner party she’s hosting. After the theft is discovered, her husband, who is a retired, disabled Vietnam vet who doesn’t really do much other than stay at home and entertain friends because his disabilities make it difficult for him to walk or travel, sits outside for two days, watching the garden while my grandparents aren’t home, until he catches the thief.

It turns out another one of the neighbors saw that my grandmother’s friend was going in and out of their garden and just taking vegetables whenever she wanted and decided that meant it was open for anyone to just take whatever they wanted. He was stealing the vegetables and selling them at a local farmer’s market.

When my grandfather confronts him, the guy tells my grandfather that it was his own fault for not telling him that he couldn’t just take all of them for profit. He never asked if it was okay or even indicated that he was doing it in the first place…

He later got arrested after security footage revealed he was the one who was stealing another neighbor’s prized, show-quality lop rabbits from an outdoor hutch and it turned out he was butchering and eating them. He had even cut a lock they had installed to try to prevent the theft. I guess she never told him that he couldn’t just take and eat her pets, either.

Weeding Out The Bad Neighbors

, , | Friendly | June 19, 2017

(It is during summer and I am about nine years old. A few months prior, the city had decided to fix some nonexistent cracks in the sidewalks and make the residents pay about $500 each for it. Obviously, people complained, but the city informed them that the sidewalks were city property and that the residents had no right to decide whether the repairs were necessary. The residents tried to fight the cost being forced on them, but they lost. One of my neighbors is a bit of a grump who likes to turn tiny problems into huge issues. He also has a large garden, which he tends to obsessively. When I’m walking past his house on the way to a friend’s place, I see a tiny flower (clearly a weed) growing between the cracks of the sidewalk. I pick it and tuck it behind my ear before continuing on my way. My friend isn’t home, though, so I go back to my house. I find my mom and the grumpy neighbor arguing on the front porch.)

Neighbor: *pointing at me* “There! There it is! See? In her hair! That’s the flower she stole!”

Mom: “That little thing? The way you were going on, I thought you meant an expensive flower, like an orchid or something.”

Neighbor: “It doesn’t matter! She’s a dirty thief!”

Me: *thinking I’m about to get in a lot of trouble* “But it was just a weed! It was growing between the sidewalk cracks.”

Neighbor: “I don’t care where it was growing! You stole it from me.”

Mom: “What exactly is it that you want me to do? She can’t put the flower back.”

Neighbor: “I know she can’t put the flower back. Do you think I’m stupid? She destroyed it, and I want her punished! If you refuse to address this matter, I’ll have to involve the police.”

Mom: *pulling me behind her* “Go right ahead.”

Neighbor: *shocked* “What?”

Mom: *trying not to smirk* “As you well know after those repairs, the sidewalks are the property of the city, not you. The city has no laws forbidding children from picking flowers. Now, if that will be all, I think it’s time for you to leave.”

Neighbor: *sputtering* “But… but… she stole from me!”

Mom: “No, she clearly didn’t. But you’re on private property, and I’ve already asked to leave once. If you stay here, you’ll be trespassing, and I’ll have to involve the police.”

Neighbor: *leaves, looking like he just swallowed a lemon*

Me: *staring in shock at my mom, who’s normally very soft-spoken and non-confrontational*

Mom: “Never give in to people like that, honey. If you do, they’ll walk all over you forever.”

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