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.