Mow lawn, fill out police statement...sigh

I did the first lawn-mowing of the season today, and it resulted in my neighbor calling th police on me.

There’s a history behind her antagonism, of course, and I’ve talked about her in other threads. She’s got her house on the market (again…hallelujah!) and she no longer lives there, which has been so pleasant. But today, she and her boss/boyfriend were over, putting up a new “fence” made out of black landscape fabric between her yard and mine (I took these pictures) and doing yardwork…so you see the day didn’t start out well…

So because it’s the first mow of the season,and the grass is really long, I’m bagging and dumping in the compost pile. But there is a section, a strip of grass between the grape arbor behind the garage and her fence, that is hard to mow…it’s too narrow to get through with the mower, but you can get part way down. When she moved to the front yard to work, I took the opportunity to work on that section…I really don’t want to be working close to where she is, so I’ve been mowing in weird patterns to avoid her when she was working in the back. I get partway down, and the bag gets stuck on her fence. It’s a heavy mower, and awkward to maneuver in tight spaces, and I have the jumbo bag on…so it’s just easier to remove the bag and mow my way out of there.

But when you take the bag off, clippings fly out the chute…and I guess some got on her car. Her Jaguar (I think…she has several). Her convertible…that is sitting three feet away in her driveway, with the top down, on the other side of the chainlink fence. I continue on mowing, but since I try to avoid working close to her, I see her heading for her car to leave for the day. Then she stops, stands there, and pulls out her phone. I don’t think much about this…except I really want her to leave so I can do the front half of the strip between our yards. So I’m watching her. And she’s still standing there. And then the boyfriend’s car puls in, and they are both standing there, looking at her car. As I head around the house to get to the front yard, I stop in the shed to get more bags, and I peek through the window at them…and see a few clippings on the trunk of her car, so I figure that’s what the problem is.

But then they are both just standing in the drive, staring down the street, and I get the feeling that they have called the police…and lo and behold, in pulls a cruiser. By this time my son has come out to finish the mowing for me, and I warned him that I think the cops are coming…he’s getting a bit angry, but keeps mowing. The officer comes over to talk to me…climbing over her plastic fence…and tells me that my neighbor claims I deliberately took the bag off to get her car dirty. Right then my son starts mowing the front portion of that strip of grass, and as the officer watches…and the neighbors glare at him from their drive…the bag gets stuck on the fence. So the cop can see the problems. I explain what happened, he asks me to get my ID, and a second cruiser pulls in! Such a response.

In the end, he gives me a statement form to fill out and bring in to the police station, shakes my hand, climbs back over her fence and leaves. I can’t stop laughing…but it’s really quite sad, when you think about it. I can’t wait for her house to sell…she pulled it off the market for a few months, just relisted it at the same price as before, and I don’t think anyone came to the open house, so I’m not going to hold my breath. But the plastic sheeting fence should make a buyer snap it right up!

You should have laid some manure on the strip and gone back for a second pass. Or bat guano. Or fish emulsion. :smiley:

If it was me, I’d just get in there with a weedwhacker, don’t even try to get a mower in there.

Or of course you could install a sheep.
Or a goat. A goat would be good.

Give her something real to file complaints about.

And add some chickens, too, while you’re at it.
Noisy ones.

Sometimes, the police should be able to cite people for being idiots. This sounds like one of those times.

What next? “Officer! Officer! She’s looking at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”

What a sad, sad woman. If you can, pity her (and then be glad you’re NOT her).

Just think, if you had NOT mowed your lawn, she probably would have called the city to complain that you were negligent and were driving her property values down!

You can’t win with people like this. They thrive on finding things to be angry with. It isn’t about Reason, Logic or Truth. It’s about them finding external reasons for their internal pain.

I want to live in Cleveland where crime is so low that so many cops have time to respond that quickly for something so dumb.

I had a neighbor (HAD, thank god) who wanted so desperately to claim her territory that she built a “fence” of 6" plastic stakes and string between her property and mine. It was hilarious (like, who are you trying to keep out, lady?) and I didn’t actually care that it was there but she was a bitch so I ripped out all her stakes and wound the string around them. I left the whole mess on her doorstep with a note that explained that her fence was both a potential hazard and an eyesore. It was the most perfectly snarky yet deliciously sweet note ever and I wish now that I could remember what it said. Ah, memories…

She used to call the cops on me all the time for having the security light on after dark. :dubious: The cops refused to do anything about it ever so she put some kind of reflective… something in her window hoping to, I dunno, bounce the light back and annoy me somehow? I guess she’d never heard of drapes…

She HAS called the city in the past to complain. We had been a little lax in keeping up with the weeding and mowing (my mom had just had cancer surgery and the weeding had always been her favorite thing to do. She hadn’t felt up to it, and I was busy working. And it had rained a couple times on my day off and the backyard had gotten a bit long…nothing horrendous) and the city wrote us up, inspected a week later (the inspector barely glanced into the backyard…it was a joke of an inspection) and cleared us. We got the impression from what little the inspector said that they had no great affection for the neighbor, either.

And before today, the fence for the past few years has consisted of stakes and string. Which the deer trip over and rip out. And the birds peck at and break so they can use the string in their nests (I could show you the nest). Part of the problem I have with her is that she accuses my son of breaking the string, and has called him names. Every other OCD thing she does…using a leaf blower at ten pm to blow the leaves that have fallen from my tree onto her precious lawn back into my yard, for example, I can ignore. But the only time we have had words was after she called my son names…and that discussion resulted in the above call to the city inspector. The last time she put up this plastic sheeting fence, the wind blew it down in a few days because it is basically a sail. There is supposed to be a good storm moving through in a few days…we’ll see how it holds up.

And I do feel sorry for her. It must be agony to live with such animosity towards others over petty things. Some workmen she had doing some renovations felt the sharp edge of her tongue one day, and she fired her dogsitter for talking to my mom. The subsequent dogsitters were apparently warned, because if we would be out in the driveway at the same time and I said hi, they would scurry away and avoid looking at me. The whole antipathy towards us started when she replaced her lawn, and her half of the strip of grass between our driveways. She asked my mom if she could, at her expense, replace our half of the grass too, and take over the mowing of it, so that it would “look nicer”. Now my mother is very old school, frugal, and dislikes people doing things just for appearances. And she has heard horror stories about losing part of your property through easement disputes, so she said no, thank you, but that wouldn’t be necessary. And from then on, the neighbor, who had been very friendly, completely snubbed my mom and began her nastiness campaign.

And for the record…it probably took the police a good twenty to thirty minutes to show up, and we live not in Cleveland proper, but in a well-to-do suburb (but not in the fancy areas…we’re in the older section, on a main road). When the cop gave me the option of filling out the statement on my own time instead of doing it while he stood there, I took it, and told him I didn’t want to waste any more of his time. he said I wasn’t…he works an eight-hour shift no matter whether he leaves the station or not, and it had been a slow day up to that point…and then they got four calls all at once…hence the really slow response time!

I think I’m going to go bake some cookies for my neighbors. It’s so awesome to have great neighbors, knowing that Neighborzillas like this lady exist!

And the thing is, in every other way, she is a perfect neighbor…keeps her yard meticulously, never has loud parties, keeps regular hours, never even has guests except the boyfriend and her mom ( why, yes, her son doesn’t visit her, why do you ask?), picks up after her dogs (whom she never allows off the leash, even in her fenced in backyard…they do NOT get to romp), never has loud music playing…or any music, ever…

It must be very sad to be her.

You should tell her this. /evil grin smiley/

Please tell me she has one of those nifty little boxes with flyers about the property.

Imagine the possibilities…

Scan and modify to :

Double the price

Add haunted to the list of amenities

Add <insert string of racist, religiously discriminatory, and homophobic epithets> need not inquire.

change contact phone number preferably by 1 adjacent digit like it was a typo.

Drach - neighborhood terrorist

Dang, you’re evil! But no, no box of flyers. But if I see the real estate agent, I’m going to ask her if she approved the fence…out of curiosity.

Evil, but counter-productive. She *wants *the neighbor to be able to sell her house so she can be rid of her.

That “fence” looks like it was erected by a blind person.

There is a rule that the “pretty” side of a fence needs to face out…wonder if that counts with wooden stakes and plastic sheeting? Seriously though, I have no idea what she is trying to accomplish with this, other than perhaps trying to keep the dandelions from spreading…or…she did put out the sprinkler hose yesterday…I bet the sheeting is there to deflect all the water back on to her grass, so that not one tiny drop should spray over the border and benefit my grass!

How did she manage to get the police to arrive so quickly - surely it wasn’t an emergency call, was it?

Often the cops are cruising anyway, and welcome the distraction. It sounds like this lady has a history, and if the Cleveland 911 operators have a decent database, they can probably find a record of calls. There is probably a oorrelation between constant calls leading to neighborly violence, so the cops will come out to slow things down (or pick up the bodies).

Is “her” fence on “her” property? Or is it down the property line? Was the fence properly laid out according to the plot lines? Does your town require a permit to erect a fence? Are their restrictions as to its height and composition?

It would really be too bad if your neighbor didn’t follow the law with respect to her fence, let alone have it constructed right on the property line, or worse, onto your property, without your permission. Of course, that’s up to you to pursue.

Really? It doesn’t look all that retractable to me.