Like a Good Neighbor

May I borrow a cup of sugar and a few sutures?…

What’s the best you hope for in new neighbors? Do you wish for someone with a snow plow and a helpful nature? Maybe you prefer a quiet soul or people who hand out good treats at Halloween?

            We are always anxious about new neighbors. One of the neighborhood rental houses is settled among a few trees and perched on a hill. It has an air of seclusion. In reality, the house is a four year old’s ball toss away from the surrounding homes.

            When van after van dropped off possessions at the house, I wondered would I have as much crap if I would move?  People began arriving, many people. It wasn’t clear whether the renters were a family unit or multiple families, plus friends and possibly acquaintances. Then dog pens were erected and supplied with several adult dogs and two litters of puppies. Next, assorted campers and trailers crammed the property.

            I speculated on a commune. The closest neighbors cringed.

            Visitors stopped by constantly especially after dark. Conversations with the new neighbors about the noise were semi-satisfactory. Though the parties continued on weeknights, the Fourth of July explosions were now weekends only.

            The commune’s activities caused most of the neighborhood to ask, ‘What in the hell is going on up there? Puppy mill? Meth lab? Are we the only folks who have to get up early for work?’

            What the community did know of our new neighbors was that crap rolls downhill in a literal sense of the smell. If you keep a herd of pit bulls outside, the critters also make a lot of noise. When you run a quad up and down the driveway 1,952 times for three hours every day, the dogs bark more.

            When yet another moving company delivered six mattresses, I thought I had the neighbors figured and group chatted.

            Me: It’s not dogs and drugs. It’s pit bulls and prostitutes. The campers are mini brothels.   Seeking pleasure in a secluded place? Be intimate with nature and Violet.

            Kerry: I thought of that. You should write their ad.

            Mar: Please, I have enough to worry about. Wonder how much it pays? LOL.

            Me: Probably better than a job at the library. I’d definitely say better than my job, and you don’t have to be on your feet all day.

            Wanda: Just on your back.

            Mar: You can dress as the dirty librarian. Wear your glasses down on your nose.

            Me: Already there. Keeps them from fogging due to the mask. Can I come across as a dominatrix and charge extra while preventing the spread of Covid?

            It was all fun and games and live and let live until the outdoor pets learned how to escape, attacked Wanda’s husband, and almost killed their dog. We went from living in the suburbs with an occasional glimpse of deer to living in the outback with wild dingoes going for your jugular.

             The way to endear yourself to a community is definitely not being forced to pick up the tab for rabies shots because your unvaccinated, uncontrollable money making ventures bite. No one was willing to chance a welcome plate of cookies after the attack.

            Taking a pet out to potty in the neighborhood isn’t as simple as having a leash and poop bags. One must be armed and provide secret service protection for pets. Knowing the fault lies with irresponsible owners, my weapons of choice are a broom and mace instead of a baseball bat. If attacked, at best, I can hope to land a well placed corn splinter and to be on the right side of the wind with the mace.

            The new neighbors, friends, and possible acquaintances, needed a compound in the far reaches of Ontario (sorry Canada). New neighbors take heed. If you don’t want to piss off an entire community, don’t try to raise what is basically a herd of cows on a front porch. If you’re going to party, invite us or keep the noise down. Buy a bike and not a quad if your driveway isn’t an actual road. And for pity’s sake, don’t let your pets eat the people across the street.

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