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We Sort Of Hope That Lady Gets Haunted

, , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2021

I grew up in the southern United States, where you are still likely to see the remains of family graveyards. It used to be very common for families to bury deceased loved ones on their own property. No matter where you are, though, tampering with any gravesite without appropriate approval or permission by the family or landowner is a felony. That means it’s punishable by jail time and/or a large fine, depending on your state’s laws.

One of these family graveyards was in the lot next to my childhood home. It was so old we couldn’t read the headstones anymore, but it still had the original iron fence around it. When the neighborhood was developed, the realtor who plotted out the lots bought that one, since it couldn’t be built on anyway. He was also our neighbor down the street. 

I also grew up in one of those small southern towns that frowns upon anyone going outside of what is considered “normal” behavior. We saw it firsthand when my parents got divorced in the early 1990s. On top of the gossip about getting divorced, my mom also chose to live alone and never date or remarry again, which was “unusual”. Both my parents were much happier being divorced, which in turn made me happier, so I never saw anything wrong with it.

Now, I am a freshman in college, living a few hours away. I get a call from my mom and she’s laughing her a** off. 

There is this woman who lives on the other end of my mom’s neighborhood. No one likes her because she goes out of her way to be mean; she’s just a miserable person. Her own husband once said to my dad that it was “easier to put up with her than to try to divorce her.” She’s THAT kind of person.

My mom was looking out her window and saw a guy in his twenties walking around the old graveyard with a set of post-hole diggers and bolt cutters. She called the neighbor who owned the lot and he asked her to drive over and see if the guy worked for the city or something until he got there. Turns out, the guy was doing yard work for extra money, and he said [Miserable Lady] had given him “permission” to DIG UP part of the fence and bring it to her. She wanted it for her TOMATO PLANTS. When my mom told him it was a felony to tamper with a graveyard, no matter how old, the kid started to panic. 

Luckily, the owner arrived and started handling the situation. But I guess someone else had tipped off [Miserable Lady] because here she came in her own car. She screeched to a stop next to my mom’s car and started screaming out the window at her. After letting her go for a few minutes, my mom rolled down the window and calmly told her that she had no legal right to mess with the graveyard.

Miserable Lady: “Why don’t you mind your own business, b****? You know, I always heard you were crazy! Now I know it’s true!”

And my mom — my sweet, little, kill-them-with-kindness mom — smiled at her.

Mom: “That’s funny, I’ve heard the same thing about you.”

Lounging About In Your Underwear Is The Cat’s Pajamas!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 29, 2021

We used to live in an apartment with a balcony facing the street. There was a unit next to us, so their balcony was a few feet down from us along the side of the building, facing the same direction. It was a busy street and that was our only “outside area,” so my boyfriend and I liked to spend time out there, and we noticed that our neighbor had some odd habits.

He would put up tall pieces of plywood on the side of his balcony when he was out there, facing toward our balcony only, not toward the street. Despite this, it was easy to see that he would sit outdoors, shirtless and only wearing tighty-whity style underwear, and rub his bald head while watching the foot traffic and cars below.

It seemed harmless enough — we could always see his hands, at least — so what did we care? 

Our big ginger cat loved going out on the balcony and would sit for hours on the railing and watch the birds. One day, I had the sliding door open to let the cat in and out as he pleased and not play butler every five minutes. I saw that the cat was sitting on my boyfriend’s grill. It was closed, but it still was probably not the most hygienic place for a giant cat. 

I poked my head through the open screen door and told him sternly, “Get your butt off of there!”

I had barely noticed that the next-door side partition was up and our neighbor must have been enjoying a head rubbing session because, the next thing I knew, there was a half-naked-and-tighty-whity blur visible in the gap between the door and the makeshift partition, diving headfirst into his apartment at my remark!

Thankfully, his apartment’s access was on the opposite side of the building and we never ran into him other than on the balcony, but we’d glimpse him in the parking lot occasionally, always in a very straight-laced banker-type suit!

We Won’t Be Pooling Our Efforts

, , , , | Friendly | September 17, 2021

We buy an unfinished project house. The bare bones are all there; it just needs a kitchen and decoration. In the back are the makings of an in-ground pool. Going through all the work to build a pool put many buyers off. We have no desire to have a pool — certainly not one that takes up the whole garden! We plan to make it safe and fill it in. It’s far less work and suits us fine.

The day after the moving vans leave, the neighbour’s kids are craning to see. One of them comes up to me.

Kid: “When’s the pool going to be finished?”

Me: “Huh?”

Kid: “The pool in the garden.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. I don’t know about that.”

Kid: “Oh.”

He wanders off. I think it’s a bit bold, but kids say what they’re thinking. Then, the neighbour comes over.

Neighbour: “Hi. I’m [Neighbour] from next door. Got yourself quite a project.”

Me: “Hi, good to meet you. I think we can get it done pretty quickly.”

Neighbour: “Oh, I’m a plumber. Might be able to help with the pool if you need it.”

Me: “Thanks, but I think we will fill it in. We’re not much for swimming.”

Neighbour: “What, all that work and you’re going to just fill it in?”

Me: “Yeah, pretty much.”

Neighbour: “We had an agreement with the last guy. He took all the supplies through our garden and the understanding was that the kids got use of the pool.”

Me: “He certainly didn’t mention anything like that to me, sorry.”

Neighbour: “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

Me: “Nothing? I’m not building your kids a pool. Tell you what. Any pool stuff laying around, you can use. Help yourself.”

Neighbour: “We don’t want a pool; we need the space for the kids.”

Me: “You and me both, buddy.”

The very next day, the low fence was boarded up to full height. Not the best first impression, but I still don’t understand what he expected.

Jumping Through Hoops To Protect Her Kids

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 16, 2021

I’ve been suspicious for a while but a neighbour finally clued me in; some of the other neighbours’ kids have been using my back garden for the basketball hoop I set up.

I have mixed feelings; I don’t mind them using it, but every now and then something little gets broken or knocked over and hidden, or at least nothing said or apology given.

I decide to do the right thing and let their parents know, and let them know that it’s okay but that anything broken will have to be paid for.

I explain my thoughts to the kids’ mother.

Woman: “My kids wouldn’t do that.”

Me: “Look, it’s been happening for a while; other people have seen them. I’m not mad, but the breakages have to stop.”

Woman: “And I’m telling you it’s not my kids.”

Me: “Really? Okay, fine. If it’s these stranger kids — by the way, there are no other boys in the neighbourhood — who are using my garden, I will lock it, then.”

Woman: “Fine.”

Me: “Fine.”

I lock the gate and let the other neighbour know the kids shouldn’t be there.

Me: “Please let me know if you see them in my garden.”

Neighbour: “I’ll have camera footage if they do.”

Me: “I don’t think that will be necessary.”

Not a week later, I find another broken knickknack, and my neighbour lets me know the kids have been round and shows me a picture. Yep, it’s them. I take the picture round to their house.

Woman: “Oh, it’s him again. Here to make more accusations?”

Me: “No, same ones as last time.”

I hand her the picture.

Woman: “Well, that could be anyone.”

Me: “It’s not and you know it.”

Son: “Who’s that, Mum?”

Woman: “Some tosser from over the road.”

Me: “I was telling your mum that I don’t mind you using the basketball hoop, but you need to pay for the breakages.”

Son: “Oh, I, err—”

Woman: “I told him! I told him it couldn’t be you.”

Me: “And I’ve just given her a photo of you climbing my gate.”

Son: “Listen, Mum, I—”

The woman just rants and raves.

Me: “You know where I live.”

To their credit, the lads came round, apologised, and offered to pay for what they broke, as long as I didn’t tell their mum. I offered for them to come back and use the hoop, but only when I left the gate unlocked.

Sounds Like He Wasn’t Ready To Play Ball

, , , , , | Friendly | September 12, 2021

I know when my neighbour has his grandchildren round because there is always a football in my garden. They are good kids, just playful boys around nine years old. I throw the ball back every time; it really isn’t an issue.

One day, I find a ball and throw it over. I notice a lot more noise than normal, screaming and shouting, which is odd because they are normally so quiet. I think nothing of it and go about the gardening.

The ball comes over the fence again. I throw it back. It immediately comes back over. I throw it back. The next thing I feel is the ball hitting me with some force, like someone has deliberately thrown it over the fence. I walk to the shallow bit of the fence.

Me: “Be careful, lads; that hit me.”

Boy #1: “Shut up!”

Me: “Hang on, who are you? You’re not one of [Neighbour]’s usual grandkids.”

Boy #2: “Sorry, it’s my cousin. We don’t hang around much.”

Boy #1: “Shut up, [Boy #2]! Give me my ball back, old man!”

Me: “Here. Just be more careful, please.”

I drop the ball over the fence, only for it to sail past my head, barely missing me.

Me: “Is this your ball, [Boy #2]?”

Boy #2: “No, it’s his.”

Me: “Great!”

I stab the ball with my shears.

Me: “Send your granddad round if you like. I would love to chat with him.”

[Neighbour] comes round, understandably angry, but he quickly understands why I did what I did. Turns out the other boy has always been a bit wild, but [Neighbour] didn’t think he was that bad. We talk it over and he promises to talk with him. I tell him I have several footballs and he can have one if he apologises.

I never get the apology, and the lad turns aggressive, so he gets picked up shortly after.

I peek over the fence.

Me: “Hey, [Boy #2].”

Boy #2: “Yes?”

Me: “These were my grandkids’ toys; they’ve grown out of them. Sorry for ruining your fun earlier.”

Boy #2: “Thanks! And I didn’t mind. He wasn’t letting me play with the ball, anyway. I’m glad he’s gone now.”

[Boy #2] came back several times for visits. I have to admit I was glad when the other boy didn’t show up again.