It’s Immoral To Be Different From Me!

, , , , , , | Legal | October 24, 2018

(I work nights, Sunday night to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday nights off. I leave for work around nine pm due to the length of my commute. About four pm one Sunday afternoon, I’m roused from a rather peaceful sleep by a series of knocking on the door… rather loud, insistent knocking. Dragging myself to the door, I open it to find a police officer and one of my neighbors standing on my porch.)

Me: *bleary-eyed and yawning* “Whasthisbout?”

Officer: “There have been some calls about your activities, and we felt the need to check on you.”

Me: “Activities? What do you mean, ‘activities’?”

Officer: “Do you mind stepping outside?”

Me: “Considering you just woke me up from a deep sleep? Yeah. What’s this all about?”

Neighbor: “I’ll tell you what it’s about, mister! No one ever sees you during the day, and we all see you wandering off to God-knows-where late at night, only to return in the early morning! That’s not right. We know you’re up to something, and we’re not putting up with your immoral lifestyle any longer!”

Me: “Immoral lifestyle?”

Neighbor: *to the officer* “It’s just not right. He’s probably selling drugs or something. I don’t feel safe with him around here!”

Officer: *to her* “I’ll handle it, ma’am. Sir, we’ve had several calls, and it’s starting to become a problem. Drugs are an issue in this area, so it’d be easier on everyone if you just cooperated and told us what you are doing. Mind stepping out here so we can talk?”

Me: “I’m heading to work.”

Neighbor: “See?! He admits it!”

Officer: “And where do you work, sir? Do you have a number we can confirm that with?”

Me: “I do.” *rattles off work phone number*

Officer: *not really paying attention as he writes* “And what do you do there, sir?”

Me: “I’m the night duty watch sergeant.”

Officer: *still not paying attention* “Uh-huh. And where is this?”

Me: “[Local Prison].”

(At this point the officer blinks and then looks up. He looks back to the notes and then says slowly.)

Officer: “You work at [Prison]?”

Me: “Yep. I’m the night watch sergeant over B block.”

(The neighbor’s smug face has started to sour at this point as she looks to the officer. He, however, turns on her.)

Officer: “So, let me get this straight. You see him leaving late at night, and then coming back early in the morning… and it never dawned on you that maybe he works nights?”

Neighbor: “But… it’s immoral! He should be at home at night, and he never shows up to church; we’ve not seen him there once! This is America. It’s a law; he has to go to church on Sunday!”

Officer: “No, lady, it’s not a law. There’s no such law.”

(Turning back to me, he nodded, apologized for waking me up, and then told the lady that he was done. As I was closing my door, I heard her shrill voice screaming, “But it’s the LAW! This is a Christian nation; he HAS to go to church!” The next day, after I got off work, I stopped by the local church and had a word with the pastor there. He’s something of an old family friend. I related what the lady had said, and that she’d called the police on me. He said that he wasn’t at all surprised, and noted that she’d come to him with it first, only to leave in a huff when he explained that he wasn’t going to do anything about it and advised her that it was best left alone. I lived there another six months with the biddy glowering at me every day as I came home from work, before I rented another house closer to work.)

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.)

Changing The World, One Change Tin At A Time

, , , , | Hopeless | October 20, 2018

I locked myself out of the house before work one evening, so the next morning I had to call the letting agency to get the spare keys to let myself in. They said I could have the spares, but I’d have to collect them from the office myself, and bring them back the same day.

It was 9:30 in the morning. I’d been out of the house since 5:00 pm, and in that time I’d walked two miles to the train station to catch the train to work, worked an 11-hour shift in a supermarket, and then done the same journey in reverse. The letting agency is a 2.5-mile walk from my house, and I’d have to make the journey four times in total. It was just a few days before payday, and I didn’t have enough in my bank to be able to withdraw any cash for bus fare. I’d had to get my office to buy my train tickets for me just to get to work, and borrowed money from my mum to feed myself.

My neighbour came into her garden while I was on the phone, to see why her dogs were going frantic at the back door. She was sympathetic, having managed to lock herself out of her house before, and didn’t like the idea of me having to do all that walking when I was already so tired. She told me to wait a few seconds before heading off, and went back inside. She came out with the contents of her change tin, which was more than enough to get an all-day bus ticket. She also offered to keep a hold of my backpack, containing a heavy pair of work boots among other things, until I got back.

Thanks to my neighbour, I managed to get to and from the letting agency safely. When I tried to give her the leftover change back, she refused it and told me to use it to start refilling my own change tin.

Trespassing On The Law

, , , , | Legal | October 3, 2018

(My family has a hunting cabin in a very rural area. Our land borders part of a national forest, and there is another piece of private property on the other side of the national forest land. Nobody in my family has ever met the person or people who own this other property. Because the property lines are difficult to follow when you’re walking through the forest, my dad has mapped all of the boundaries with his GPS unit so we know exactly where the boundaries are. One day during deer hunting season, I’m in my deer stand on national forest land when a man rides directly under my stand with his ATV.)

Man: “Hey! Get off of my property or I’ll call the cops!”

Me: *realizing he must be the owner of the neighboring property* “Sir, I’m on national forest land.”

Man: “Like h*** you are! That’s it. I’m calling the Department of Natural Resources. Stay here and we’ll get an officer out to settle this.”

(The man rides away. I assume he’s going to his cabin to make his call, and knowing that I have done nothing wrong, I stay in my stand. About an hour later, the man returns with a DNR officer.)

Man: “Here we are. As you can see, this man here has been on my property all day.”

Officer: “Well, let’s look at the GPS.” *he checks his GPS unit* “Sir, according to my GPS, this stand is actually on national forest land.”

Man: “Like h*** it is! I mapped the boundary line out last year, and put up No Trespassing signs all along the line. Come on over and I’ll show you the closest sign.”

(We all walk over to the man’s “No Trespassing” sign, and the officer checks his GPS again.)

Officer: “Actually, this sign is also on national forest land, and since it’s illegal to put private No Trespassing signs on national forest land, I’m going to have to write you a citation for that.”

(I thanked the officer and walked back to my cabin, fighting to contain my laughter until I was well out of hearing range. I’ve continued hunting in that same spot for several years since that story took place, and have never seen any sign of the man since.)

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.)

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