Monday, October 23, 2006

Rant: On the Neighbors from HELL!

Hate is a strong word. It’s a word I don’t like to use with regards to people, but I have to say it: I hate my neighbors. Hate them. Hate them. HATE THEM!

A little background is in order. I live in a nice, quiet town. In fact, sometimes I think this place is too sleepy. When I moved to the top floor of this old house, it was a nice, quiet house. There was no one on the second floor, and a quiet (if a little rough around the edges) family living on the first floor. My landlord promised me that when the second floor apartment was renovated that he would rent to a single person or a professional couple, as he wanted to keep the building nice and quiet. That apartment is fairly small—really more like a one bedroom with an office and no common space to speak of—so I thought that I was all set.

Well, I wasn’t. For the last two years, I have lived above the family from the bad place. It started with cat shit in the hallway and loud, drunken domestic disputes, and it hasn’t let up since. Here’s a little litany:

  • Last Christmas, the husband broke into my apartment and stole my liquor (something he denies, and I can’t officially accuse him of, as I have no hard evidence other than that the nice people who used to live below me [before second floor demons got to them enough that they moved] said that they saw a bottle that matched my description by the guy’s truck).
  • When I was getting my cable internet connection fixed a few months ago (necessitated by the fact that they were stealing my cable), the wife screamed her bloody head off at me and the workmen before slamming the door so hard that it left a crack.
  • The cops have been here several times for domestic disputes.
  • The wife didn’t like the woman who moved in on the first floor after the nice people left, so she called social services on her, saying that she was an abusive parent. Of course, they lost their own kids for a few months after a lovely little drunken dispute.
  • When they had a problem with the way I disposed of the occasional pizza box (next to the dumpster, as everyone has done, because they don’t fit into the garbage bags), they shoved it under my car instead of using their fucking words to say that they’d like a change.
  • The hallway now sports the tackiest “décor” of all time. I’m embarrassed to bring people home.
  • The apartment comes with one parking spot. They have two regular vehicles, a super-sized truck that hasn’t run for months, and, up until two months ago, the world’s biggest station wagon. They also have ATVs for the kids and motorcycles. At least the station wagon shat the bed and their second car is now a compact car. Of course, the woman also brings home the work truck sometimes as well.
  • Their kids use the driveway like it’s their own personal playground, leaving bikes and jumps all over the place. Not to mention that they play kickball and such next to my car (which has a few dings in it that no one has ever fessed up to). Sometimes I come home to an ATV fest.

          All of this, however unpleasant it was, I could take. I can’t take their fucking stereo system a moment longer. The guy got new speakers, speakers with kickass bass. Speakers that make my apartment shake (remember the bit about this being an old house?). Speakers that I have asked them to turn down countless times, including just two days ago, after my coffee cup nearly fell off the table. Speakers that woke me up at 6:30 this morning.

          Unlike the way they deal with their problems, I actually use my words. I went down there this morning and knocked on their door. They didn’t answer. I knocked harder, informing them that they had woken me up and to PLEASE stop it. They acted as though I’d crossed the line. I was asking too much not to have my bed shake like the bloody Exorcist, apparently. This afternoon I came home to a note telling me that I had no right to ask them to turn down their stereo, as their day begins at 6:00. They have a right to live, they told me.

          I just called my powerless landlord who hates them too (they haven’t exactly been all that great with the rent payments). Honestly, I’m a little bit worried about my safety. Part of the reason why I’m writing this little rant is because if anything happens to me in the next couple of days, I want someone to know that I was concerned.

          I have to get out of here. I love this apartment (charming does not begin to cover it). This is my home, the first place that has been all mine in my adult life. But I just can’t take it anymore.

          Fucking skankball neighbors from hell. I hate them.


          Anonymous said...

          The line about the bed from the Exorcist is excellent! Isn't it a shame? I wish I had advise for you--using your words doesn't always work. Moving may be the only answer, but you shouldn't have to, should you.

          Keep us updated so we know you're OK and not stuffed in the dumpster beside the pizza box.

          Anonymous said...

          Oh poor Sassy. Kick your stupid landlord's butt to get them out.

          Don't you have anything in the States like out "environmental health officers"?
          They come out and put decibel monitors in your rooms and if the neighbours are too loud after receiving a warning, they take the buggers to court and even evict them.

          My spare bedroom's nice and quiet. I'd send it to you only it's a bit big to wrap.

          Sassy Sundry said...

          UPDATE: This morning, they waited for me to flush the toilet before cranking the bass at 7:35 this morning. I've called my landlord again and told him that I'd really rather that he handle this than the police. He hates her, and he's going to stop by her place this afternoon. The guy's always been very kind to me, but I've heard that he can be a real bastard when he wants to be.

          The decibel meters sound great. Perhaps I should get one.

          Anonymous said...

          Never mind decibel meters, I've always found biker gangs helpful in such situations (Norfolk's Outcast Hells Angels chapter used to roady for/look after my band until they defected to sissy Marillion. We never had a hint of trouble).

          And whatever your landlord says, make sure the local police are aware of how threatened you feel, so you get a quick response should you need it. They obviously know about the family already.

          It's been a while since I've sat up all night, worrying about a woman, but I for one will be really glad to see you post tomorrow …
          Good luck.

          Sassy Sundry said...

          I could enlist a biker gang. Unfortuantely, I think that the husband might be a former member of one.

          My landlord was insane to rent to them.

          Super C said...

          Wow. Those are some colorful words....why don't you tell us how you really feel about them. ;-)

          Sassy Sundry said...

          You know me, Super C. Never one to hold back.

          Anonymous said...

          Welcome to America!!! This is all too typical these days.

          I have a neighbor who is renting the house next to mine and the first night he moved in he cranked up his chain saw at 10 PM and starts cutting wood in the dark.. that was nice!!

          adair said...

          sassy -- you are being too sweet. using your words is fine and dandy, but now it is clearly time (for a short time, at least) to fight.

          get a set of kickass speakers and direct them into the floor. THEN select ONE (and only one) song to play continuously for at least a full weekend. (you might want to get a pair of noise-blocking headphones, but I promise you'll tune it out eventually). when they try to complain, post a sign on your door that says:

          exercising my right to live my life!

          it'll be the same method exterminators use to flush cockroaches out. :)

          Sassy Sundry said...

          Confession time: I did do that---once. About a month ago, they were doing this in the middle of the day, and so I cranked "Eric's Trip," by Sonic Youth (in my opinion, one of the louder songs recorded). I jumped around my living room without using my dancer's grace (tucked knees and landed as hard as I could). I then turned it off and enjoyed the sound of silence. The problem is, they persisted after that, and I just couldn't keep doing that. I love Sonic Youth, but I don't want to hear them in the wee hours of the morning. I decided to take the high road.

          adair said...

          ahhh, you took the high road and I'm here plotting which song would inflict the most audible discomfort to them.

          whenever our church takes the jr. or sr. high on a road trip, one adult is chosen to make a cd for the bus. the kids all assume it is a mixed tape, but alas -- it is simply the same song about 20 times. the cd is set to repeat. every now and then we'll give them a reprieve, but usually the music is blaring the entire time. ha ha.

          selections used in the past:
          Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles
          Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
          Wake Up Sleep Jean -- The Monkeys

          Sassy Sundry said...

          At the prom I went to (my boyfriend's---my parents sent me to a school that didn't believe in holding dances---I'm still in therapy), we sang "Walk Like a Chicken" to that little ditty. You are a better woman than I. I think I would have pulled over and gone a little batty with the little ones.

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