In which I do not bake cookies for crazy neighbor

I have a neighbor I hate. He’s so annoying. I’m trying — not as part of any project, just in general — to feel neutral toward him, because it’s a waste of emotion to hate, but really I just can’t stand him.

He’s also a total wackadoo, as the kids are calling it these days. Here’s why:

1. The “hidden” cameras. Crazy neighbor has two: one in his front window, the other in his above-garage window. I can only assume it’s to track the comings and goings of everyone in our neighborhood.

2. The incident with a former neighbor. He pulled a gun on a former neighbor during an argument. This was before my time on the street, and the former neighbor moved away — actually lost his home in a foreclosure — but the police were called and crazy neighbor was arrested.

3. The wife nobody sees. Really. I’ve lived here for two years and have seen her once, in her car. I waved. She gave me a dirty look. A nice neighbor once saw her in the cafeteria at her (nice neighbor’s) work — she (crazy neighbor’s wife) was temping at nice neighbor’s office. Nice neighbor waved. Crazy neighbor’s wife dumped her food tray and left.

4. The dogs who aren’t allowed on the grass. Crazy neighbor takes great pride in his grass. He has two dogs. They are not allowed on the grass. Naturally, whenever my former dogs would escape, they ran straight for his grass.

5. The Animal Control on speed-dial. Yes, my neighbor calls Animal Control every time my dog barks more than twice in a row. Unfortunately for me, my dog is a herding breed who uses her voice to move the (imaginary) sheep all over our backyard.

When Animal Control is called for a “noise nuisance” they sit in front of the house that has been complained about, and listen for 15 minutes. The first… three?… times this happened, I freaked out. However, each time the Animal Control officer has knocked on my door and said that he didn’t actually hear anything — because, I don’t leave my dog outside to bark! — but by law he has to give me a copy of the law — which states that 15 minutes in a row or more of continuous barking is considered a nuisance. Sigh.

The good news is that crazy neighbor has actually helped me bond with less-than crazy neighbors; he calls Animal Control on his adjacent neighbors practically daily, and once when Maizey escaped during a torrential downpour, they grabbed her and brought her back to me. They are actually suing crazy neighbor for harassment.

What have I learned from this? Well, prior to this move, I’ve always enjoyed living in a neighborhood. You know, the kind with HOA and lots of neighbors and a pool. I’ve never longed for some huge piece of land that Dustin would spend all weekend mowing. Until now.

Since we average living someplace for 2-3 years, I sometimes think about our next stop. And I hope it will not be in a confined neighborhood; if it is, I want a lot of distance between houses. I bemoan the lack of a community pool — that was the best thing about living in Arizona, we had a pool in our backyard! — but I can deal if we join a Y or a Carowinds-type place or something.

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