Tell me your tales of awful neighbors

and the things they have done that impacted your life. And whatever you may have done in retaliation. :wink:
On any level, from never cutting their grass to burning down your house.

Full disclosure: I am doing NaNoWriMo this year with a tale about neighborhood feuds that get out of hand. I hope to steal, er, use your real life tales for inspiration. :smiley:

Well, this wasn’t a next door neighbor, but three houses up. While in high school I had to walk by their place and they had a nasty mutt that was never leashed. It would run out from their garage and “threaten” me but if I growled back it was a wuss and would scamper back.

One day I guess the mutt grew a backbone because it nipped me on the knee. I was wearing long pants and it didn’t tear the cloth, but when I got home and changed my clothes I could see where the skin had been broken. So my dad and I went back to ask about whether or not the mutt had shots.

They wouldn’t believe their dog was responsible. “Are you sure it was our dog? Our dog never bites!” But they did get out it’s shot records when my dad said he’d call Animal Control. Thankfully it had a current rabies vaccination.

They had to have been lying, because later I talked to another kid in the neighborhood and the dog had got her too.

In the late 60’s I was living in a public housing project in Seattle. There were ten apartments in three buildings with a courtyard in the center. It was impossible not to become involved with your neighbors. There was no hiding out, no pretending you weren’t home.

One neighbor used to come in (without knocking) and drop off her two kids for me to watch because she wanted to take a bath. Another neighbor could smell whenever I was cooking – one day she ate half of a fresh-baked banana cream pie before it even cooled. One neighbor masturbated her German Shepherd dogs. Another one held seances. The craziest one drank vanilla extract when she was out of wine. One day when she was drunker than usual, she poured a can of paint on a kid’s head because he was sitting on her porch. I thought people were going to die that day.

There’s nothing you can make up about people that would be unbelievable to me.

Another neighbor and dog story:

The last place we lived in Florida, we had a bit of a psycho living next door. She was divorced, non-custodial parent who couldn’t seem to keep a roommate. A real charmer. She was too cheap to pay the $30 quarterly trash pick up fee (that’s $10/month) so she’d drag her garbage to our driveway on trash day. When we caught her, my husband went over and told her to quit doing it. Funny, she could afford her chain-smoking habit, but couldn’t swing that $10…

She had a little rat dog that used to come over and crap in our yard. No, we never saw it but it was the only dog in the neighborhood that was turned loose and the only one small enough to drop those little turds. Somewhere along the line, she acquired a rabbit which she kept in a hutch behind her house - no fenced yard (which was another issue, since she had an in-ground pool.)

One morning, we opened our door to find a deputy there. Apparently, something had killed her rabbit, and she was convinced it was our dog. I will say right here that our Dalmatian was an escape artist and despite our best efforts, she occasionally got out. However, we knew she hadn’t killed the rabbit and we were able to prove it. Our dog had a huge bandage on her hind leg - she’d had surgery 2 days before. So there was no way she could have scaled our fence and torn into the chicken-wire hutch. The deputy pretty much rolled his eyes, all but apologized, and left.

I was rather gleeful when I found out she had to sell that place because she couldn’t afford to stay there. I hope she found herself a nice refrigerator box somewhere. Is it evil of me to say that??

People are naturally sweet and kind to each other. It’s just external pressures that make them mean or cruel.

<d&r>

We used to live next door to a real misanthropic wacko (who also happened to be a sociology professor. Go figure.) His wife was similarly wacko, as one might expect from someone who had lived for so many years with a nut job.

Soon after we moved in, we were outside working in the yard – taking out maple saplings that had taken root in several spots near the foundation and just cleaning up in general. The wife, whom I had not met, charged across the driveway, and her first words to me were, “What the fuck are you doing!? Trying to make the rest of us look bad?”

The man had apoplectic fits when grass clippings from our lawn mowing got on his driveway, so I practically had to follow my husband with a broom when he mowed on that side of the house. However fast I got them up was never fast enough, and he usually was out there too, muttering and cursing, with his leaf blower.

For whatever reason, he absolutely refused to shut his garage doors, but he went ballistic if he found kitty footprints on his vehicles. His solution was to put out dishes of poisoned cat food. (That’s when we decided the cats would be indoor-only.)

Early one Sunday morning in April, when he determined he could put his snow thrower away for the winter, he wheeled it into his driveway, revved it up and let it run for about three straight hours (or so it seemed!) until it ran out of gas.

Our first Christmas in the house, we put up those little electric window candles that have a single low-wattage bulb. I guess the one in the dining room, which faced his house, drove him nuts, because we looked out one night to see that he had rigged up a kind of flood light in one of his windows and had it pointed directly at our dining room window.

One New Year’s Eve, we heard some noises at midnight that definitely didn’t sound like firecrackers. We looked out, and the man was standing on his front porch, firing a 12-gauge shotgun into the air.

He referred to his neighbor on the other side of his house, an econ. professor from Istanbul, as “the Turkish Hillbilly” because he did not mow his lawn as often as Mr. Wacko Man thought he should.

A couple of years after we’d moved away, we found out he’d stroked out and died. No surprise there.

They tried this 4th of July. They threw a sparkler bomb onto my shed roof at 3 in the morning. Luckily, I was up and was able to put out the fire before things got really ugly.

Found another one right behind my husbands truck the next morning too.

They have thankfully moved.

Oh, lordy.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=374251&highlight=fence
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=425606&highlight=fence

My neighbor saga.

Our neighbours ran over our water meter.

Which is more impressive when you consider they had to drive across our friggin’ lawn to do so.

And when our real estate agent sent them a letter for the cost of replacement, they said we must have done it ourselves.

We don’t drive. We don’t have a car.

Also, different neighbours stole our bin from the curb one week when we didn’t bring it in immediately after rubbish pick-up.

Did Seattle public housing projects not have locks on the doors in the late '60s? :eek:

Yep, but like I said, you couldn’t hide from the neighbors. The walls were thin – you knew when somebody was home. Janice had no problem pressing her face up to the window and peering inside. “I see you! Where’s the pie? I know there’s pie in there!” (Only a slight exaggeration.) Her kids were always hungry – what are ya gonna do?

ETA: We didn’t lock our doors when we were home. We didn’t have any crime problems until we moved out of Holly Park and into a nice neighborhood. Go figure!

This didn’t happen to me, but to our neighbors when I was a kid. House is built next door to us–nice couple moves in with 2 small kids. I babysit them, it’s all good.

Neighbor next to them has slightly older kids. Everyone is friendly.

New neighbors get a dog for their small kids. They get a rescue dog–this is back in 1978 when this wasn’t as common. Dog already has a name and they kept it to minimize trauma to dog. Dog (little yapyap thing) is called Patty.
Other neighbor’s name is also Patty (or Pat). When her husband found out the the neighbors got a dog named Patty, he went a little nuts. He knocked on their door and told them that he and his wife now have a bathroom named Gail (the new neighbor’s name).

WTF?
Odd.
My current next door neighbors are weird–and not in fun eccentric way. She’s got a little girl voice that she never discarded (she’s in her 50s) and every March she starts with the laying out to sunbathe (we live near Chicago). She looks like naugahyde. He shoots off bottlerockets most nights–he drives over to Indiana and gets them by the carton.
He is not allowed to smoke in his own house, so he’s always out, sitting on the bumper of his car (in the garage with the door open) just watching. He creeps me out a bit, if truth be told. He once offered my youngest son a rock to put in his pocket, so that #2 son would always have it. Huh? :confused:
She told me (upon the birth of my daughter) to bring said daughter over when she turned 5 and they could play Barbies togethers. She still has all hers, apparently, and still um, uses them.

I try not to talk to them too much.

Ignore them 'til they go away? I guess I’m just a better misanthrope. :stuck_out_tongue:

Crime problems? You had someone helping themselves to free babysitting services!

From my former house of 11 years in North Minneapolis;

Neighbor 1 (Immediate): Bus driver, wife was mentally ill. One day I was in my driveway holding my 30+ year old daisy bb gun that my parents had dug out of their basement upon moving and given back to me. I hear this wild screaming “he’s got a gun!”. I look around, see curtain movement and realize that it came from their house, through a window that was open maybe an inch. Had to be one helluva loud scream for me to hear it like that. Of course, the fact that I played paintball (heading out in head to toe camo, carrying paintball guns) and owned real guns probably broke her brain.

The hubby liked to work on his broken down garage and 5 vehicles in very small increments, not actually accomplishing much. At one point he’d stripped the shingles off the roof of the garage and the entire thing was listing heavily for more than a year before the city made him tear it down. One week while it was still up, he was up on the roof of it hammering endlessly until midnight (when I made a point of saying something about it), then right back up there at 6am.

They had this little sand box area they worked on about once a year and was covered with a tarp the rest of the time, for the entire 11 years. No friggin’ clue what that was all about.

Neighbor 2 (the other side of 1): They had a small, yappy dog that they had a penchant for tying up outside then leaving for the night - the entire night, not returning till the next mid-morning. That is, until they got so many Animal Control complaints against them, capped off with me getting the required 7 neighbors to sign a formal complaint, that the dog was taken away from them.

One Saturday morning I awoke at 5:30am to about a half-hour nonstop loud barking from that little piece of shit. When I finally got dressed and came downstairs intent on doing something about it, I see Mrs. Shitforbrains calmly standing 3’ from the barking dog, smoking a cigarette and staring off into space. Then she threatened to shoot me when I said something not-nice about the dog.

Neighbor 3 (across the street): Open drug dealing, 10 year old hellion who openly vandalized other people’s property and was caught trying to steal their neighbor’s Harley right out of his garage, capped off by mommy threatening to shoot the neighbor when he tried to speak to her about it. It was so bad that despite my every moral fiber to the contrary, I had come to firmly believe that it might be necessary for me to beat that kid within an inch of his life and leave him for dead a couple of blocks away if he messed with my property again. Thankfully, I moved before that happened.

Thankfully, my latest problem neighbors have just moved.

I’m in an apartment complex where my apartment is on the end, over three different garages. There was a family of four right next to the rental office, with the garage directly below my living room.

Last winter during a snowstorm, my living room started filling with smoke and the very thick smell of lighter fluid. When I opened my window to vent it out, I heard them below. So I walked out and discovered them with their grill in the middle of the fucking garage. :mad: I let them know what was happening and let it go with a polite and friendly warning.

This summer during a rainstorm, the same thing happened. This time I called the complex management immediately, and let them know that this was the second time it had happened.

At this point, I made sure to mention that their garage was full of garbage and other crap and that, if the grill was accidentally knocked over or untended, my apartment would be gone in an instant. I also reminded the manager that my sister works for a nearby fire department and is a state building official (In other words: I mention this to my sister and she’s legally required to do something about it). And finally, I stated that if it were to happen again, I would call both the police and the fire department and press every possible charge against these idiots.

That was about a month and a half ago, which might have had something to do with their otherwise unplanned departure from the complex.

Well, there was that ugly hit and run incident.

And two houses down, there’s the family that dresses like the Ingolls family (Little House on the Prairie) and home-schools their boys using the Boyscout manual as their curriculum. Pa is a professor at a local University. Ma is… well just plain spooky. The boys take after Ma. The boys ride their bikes & hang out all day and apparently make lists of what people own by looking through their house & car windows when they get bored. Og only knows what Ma De Farge does with this information.

I’m not sure which church takes credit for their [del]mental illness[/del] faithful patronage, but I wish it was a lot farther from my neighborhood*.

*Not by PSE&G gas explosion; relocation via moving van would be more than sufficient.

My landlord’s daughter (“Lily”) lived in the apartment right below mine. Her husband drank quite a bit, and visited the prostitute on the ground floor quite often, and he had an ongoing affair with the coke dealer who lived across the hall from me. He accosted me on the stairs more than once, with various propositions, but he was far less scary than his wife.

So Lily had enough of this, and confronted the coke dealer, right in the middle of the hallway, around midnight. After an hour of screaming, profanity and threats, and several calls from me and other tenants to the police, Lily decided to take it outside, and managed to throw a fairly large rock through a third-story window into coke-dealer’s apartment.

When the police finally managed to show up 20 minutes later from 2 blocks away, the other tenants vanished with surprising speed, leaving me to try to explain the whole mess to the officers. That was when Lily’s husband happened to leave prostitute’s apartment and stagger upstairs, and all hell broke loose again. They both got carted off to jail, for some jumble of domestic violence, assault, public intoxication, assaulting an officer, and who knows what else.

They were both home again, and at the same old stuff, within a couple of days.

About 15 years ago, we bought our first house in a modest neighborhood. It was a fairly nice house - a bi-level with an above-ground pool, some nice decking, etc. What we had not considered was the neighbors. On one side, a nice couple with a very small child & a little dog. This fit well with our 2 children & 2 dogs. However, on the other side, we had “Bubba” and “Bubba Ann”. They both wore wife beaters.

Bubba liked to work on motorcycles. Not just any motorcycles, but rather Harleys with straight pipes. He would sit in the drive and rev those bikes for hours and hours at a time. I am still not clear what this did for the bike, but it certainly raised the noise level in the neighborhood. The noise would shake the windows on the other side of the house - where the youngest (a baby) was napping.

The noise would also aggravate the dogs and get them barking. Bubba hated our dogs barking (but somehow did not mind the sound of his own dog) and would walk around his backyard carrying a shotgun swearing at them.

After weeks of crying baby & barking dogs, I went over and spoke with Bubba. I explained that perhaps he was just unaware of how loud his motorcycles were & perhaps he was unaware that we had a small baby. He kind of grumbled “yeah, yeah” and I mistakenly took this for an acknowledgment that things might change. They changed - he revved the cycles longer & louder.

I contacted the police in this little podunk town. They came out - and wrote me a ticket for my dogs barking. Apparently there was no ordinance for disturbing the peace via motorcycles, but it definitely was against the law for a dog to bark. I went to court, figuring that our “justice” system was surely not that stupid. I was wrong - we have a “legal” system instead of a “justice” system. I ended up paying the ticket and the court costs. Motorcycle revving continued unhindered.

One day, I had enough. I decided that the mosquitoes were entirely too pesky in my backyard & I fired up the propane fogger. I filled the yard with a dense smoke from that day forward every single time that I heard those pesky motorcycles - um, I mean mosquitoes out there. Its funny - Bubba seemed to cough louder & louder and eventually the cycle work became more tame.

We eventually moved to a nicer town. I looked recently & saw Bubba lost his house to foreclosure. Bummer.

This wasn’t a feud, but could have caused one…

The house next door to where we used to live had a mother-in-law cottage in the back yard, where the son of the owner lived. This guy was the same age as my husband (mid-40’s at the time) and was learning to play the drums.

Oh yes.

He was diligent and determined, and practiced a LOT. Especially on weekends. We lived in that house for 10 years and he never got any better. He was awful. He would wear headphones to listen to whatever he was practicing, and most of the time we couldn’t tell what it was supposed to be.

The only thing that made it bearable was that it was only annoying if we were in the office. You really couldn’t hear it much from the rest of the house.

I grew up in military housing, and there were crazies everywhere.

My mother had this routine when we moved which meant we were there 2-3 days earlier than we needed to be. She’d check out the housing with her measuring tape to maximise room space (4 kids = 3 bedroom even if one was 16 and one was 4 months old). When we moved to San Diego, she did her deal and then came back to the hotel where my brothers and I were living it up at the pool. About 3 days later the truck with all our stuff arrives. She goes into supervisor mode and opens the door and then the garage door to find 4 cots complete with pillows and blankets, a space heater, and a pair of sneakers. :confused: The look on my mother’s face was priceless.

Seems our neighbors, who were authorized a 3 bedroom house as well, were overflowing what with grandma, grandpa, 2 aunties, 3 uncles (granted one, maybe two, I couldn’t really tell, lived in the van in the driveway), and 4 cousins in addition to the wife and 2 kids. The previous tenants of our house let the 4 cousins (all sub 12) sleep in the garage. That’s the day my mother learned garage doors have locks. The family put a tent up in the backyard after that (well several because sometimes the space heater wouldn’t get turned off, and we’d come home from school and the tent and a section of the fence would be burned.) They became good friends, but my mother was always wary.

Our attached neighbors were pretty normal, and we were sad to see them go. Our new ones were just strange. They married later in life and the wife already had 2 teenage boys, but they acted like newlywed teens all the time. Finally, the ship goes out to see for its 6 month cruise. The wife, never really fashionalbly saavy, starts walking around with hip hugger jeans that clearly show her husband’s fruit of loom undies. She said it made her feel closer to her husband. She even said that she send a couple pairs of her undies off with her husband wink wink It was several years later before I understood the wink wink I just figured she wanted him to get his assed kick so they’d send him home.

There was the serviceman across the street who discovered while he was gone his front door was replaced with a revolving door (an all too common event). He set fire to the house one night with his wife and new baby (not his) inside. They got out, and a guy 4 houses down, who even all the kids in the neighborhood figured was the baby’s daddy, comes up and tries to kill the firestarter, while baby’s daddy’s wife roots for the firestarter as she throws rocks at the wife and baby. My friends and I sat on the bumper of the ambulance watching the show until some MP noticed us.

My Dad has the best neighbor story. His newish neighbor got himself a brand new boat. It was a tall one. He decided he wanted to store it in the backyard what with it being hurricane season and all. He removes the fence between my Dad’s house and his so he can pull the boat through. Dad grumbles, but is neighborly and doesn’t say anything and goes off to do his errands (ie hang out at the VFW). He comes home later that day and the entire left side of his house is scrapped along the brick, but the roof gable is all messed up, and there’s a considerable size hole looking into the attic. He goes and talks to his neighbor who stands there and says, I don’t know what you are talking about! You sure it wasn’t vandals? I was here all day but them vandals are tricky! My Dad, who when he turns to silent communications means he’s trying desperately not to kill you, points to the boat’s chrome thingie on the boat that is all mangled and points to his house, and the points to the neighbor. My brother said he did it 3 times when a piece of the gutter system fell off the roof. He decided then to remove my Dad from the area. It’s been fixed for 2 weeks now, but it’s still a little too early to joke about it with Dad. :smiley: