Drunken neighbors and lawncare

So Saturday night was Mrs. Ace’s 24th birthday party. Around 11pm a friend comes in followed by an older (40+ vs. our 25-35 crowd) guy with no shoes and a cell phone.

This guy is drunk and overbearing, but he seems to want to be neighborly - apparently he lives two doors down. We’ve lived in this house for a year as renters, and we just bought it outrigt two weeks ago. We humor him for a while, but eventually he gets belligerent and tells us how lI’m a lazy asshole for allowing algae to build up on the aquarium wall and not trimming my lawn/hedges regularly. He offers to mow my lawn for me, I decline. He says he’ll have to spank me (he mentions every 5 minutes that he’s so gay, as if that had any bearing on anything) if I don’t keep the lawn neat. He also thinks my job is meaningless because I neither directly craft nor sell a product.

I was nice for the first 20 minutes or so but after he started calling me names and rambling about the yard I stared him down and he walked out. At this point I realized that I didn’t want my alcoholic neighbor holding a grudge against me or my property. With that in mind, I follow him on to the porch and sit and talk with him for another 20 minutes or so, explaining that this is my first house, I’m not an experienced (or affluent) groundskeeper, and that I’m doing the best I can. We were only able to afford a hedge trimmer two weeks ago, and we’ve used it once already. I just mowed the lawn a few days ago. This is when he starts laying on about how useless my job is because I’m not a primary producer. He’s an HR manager, but he doesn’t want to listen to my idea that both of our jobs are support roles for large organizations.

Apparently he has been there for 9 years and lives with his husband. His mom just moved in last week, and they’re thinking about moving to a bigger place. I’m guessing he’s worried that the neighbors’ lawns are going to drive his property value down. Mine’s not the best kept in the neighborhood, but it isn’t an eyesore either. His is extravagantly detailed, far moreso than anyone else on the street.

So eventually I excuse myself, he stumbles down the sidewalk and leaves his beer can in my yard.

Now - I’ve seen this guy once before when I was drinking on the couch and he appeared at my carport door drinking and talking on his cell phone. He seemed lost, and excused himself and wandered off. That’s two meetings in one year, and we’d both been drinking. He’s apparently a belligerent asshole, and everyone else there was surprised I didn’t punch him. They’re all artists though, and perhaps more prone to show emotion than a programmer like myself.

I looked at my yard today. The vine on the front porch is a little unruly. The hedges are trimmed but still a bit overgrown. I don’t feel like touching the yard for a few weeks just out of spite. I’m hoping he doesn’t wander into my yard again, but now that we’ve made introductions perhaps he thinks we’re friends. I think if I see him again I’ll make an on-the-spot decision to either politely chat with him on the porch or order him off of my property.

Any advice from longtime homeowners?

You’re putting way to much thought into this. You’ve got better things to do. Be a man and tell him to go fuck himself.

I’m not a longtime homeowner, but I’ve been one for 3.5 years now. But it doesn’t matter, because you don’t need advice on your home. You’ve got an asshole neighbor, plain and simple. You can quite safely disregard him, and let him know that he’s not welcome on your property. You don’t have to be someone’s friend just because you’re his neighbor.

Frankly, as soon as I read this:

it was obvious that you weren’t talking about a reasonable human being. Don’t trouble yourself over his opinion.

Oh. And get a gun. Guns make even better neighbors than fences.

And post a sign on your lawn that says “No Nutjobs.”

Wife hates 'em. You know those adages about how guns kill their owners more than intruders? I’m pretty sure I’d be safe using one, but I don’t know that anyone would be safe if she picked up a gun. She has no experience around firearms and no desire to learn. Maybe I’ll try a baseball bat instead.

Haha! I’m a programmer, and I’d no problem knocking someone’s teeth down their throat (see side story below).

Comeon, man, this is 'Merica! If some drunk asshole shows up to your house and starts giving you shit, you grab 'em by the ear and toss that shit right out with the garbage! And holy cow, he’s a gay lush, too! What’s he gonna do, quit you Ennis?

Seriously though, someone else can probaby give you more measured advice. I’m from the midwest, and no one would get away with acting like he did. He’d get his ass kick real quick, for real. So I don’t have experience dealing with people like that. My mentality is if you are on my property and I don’t want you there, I’ll tell you. And if you don’t go, I’ll throw you out, bodily.

Ok, so my quick story is that when I moved in to my current house (my first home I have owned, not rented), my neighbor decided to introduce himself by coming over at 8:30 at night to say the TV was too loud. We live in an attached rowhouse type block. So I say sorry and turn it down. So he comes over again another night around the same time (I am trying to be neighborly at this point, and very concious of the noise) and tells me he’s trying to eat dinner, it’s too loud. Ok, I tell him I don’t think it was too loud, but whatever. So now I guess it’s on, because he’s giving me dagger eyes all the time when I see him, no hellos. I be sure to carefully read the Alexandria code for noise violation statutes, etc. I even go outside and listen carefully at different noise levels to see what you can hear outside if he ever calls the cops (you can’t hear anything, unless it’s on 10 … and I usually keep it at 2 or below). Still, I’m trying to keep it down and be neighborly.

Well, one day I have 3 guy friends over playing NFL2K5, I think, and he comes over at 6 PM. He says, again, he’s trying to eat dinner, and he can hear our “woo hooing” (exact quote).

So now I’ve had enough, I close the door behind me, and step outside, and I tell him “It’s a bit early for this, don’t you think.” He responds that he doesn’t want to come over again. I tell him, don’t bother, because it’s obvious that our tolerances for noise are wildly different. I tell him if he wants to be totally soundproof he should buy a single family, detached house, that I can even hear him sneeze sometimes if it’s really quiet. He starts to walk away down the front walk then he turns back and goes “I’m telling you, keep it down”.

Hahahahha. That was the wrong thing to say. I tell him “I’ll tell you what. You come over here again, and I’m gonna open up the door and break your fucking nose for you, then throw you into the street. How’s that sound?”.

He put up his house for sale about a month later. A really hot asian girl moved in recently (though she’s just eye candy now, I’m recently married).

My wife is the same way, though I’ve grown up with firearms. I keep an 18" curved gurhka knife by the front door, though. It’s also balanced for throwing. When unsheathed . . . whoah, it looks badass. I’ve never had to even pick it up, though. Hopefully never will.

Oh, about not wanting a neighbor as an enemy. You know, I used to have this mentality. What if he does something to my car? What if he pees on my bushes?

You know what? You are within your rights to tell him he’s an asshole and to never set foot on your property again. IF something happens to your car, or your property, you call the cops, plain and simple. The first thing they will ask you is if you know of anyone who might have done it. Then you say: “Yes, my asshole neighbor”. Then the very least they will do is go talk to him. Or if he’s REALLY an asshole, he’ll come over and go “Yeah, I keyed your car, why’d you have to call the cops”. Then you can, you know, tear his liver out.

Stroker, think about how hot you’re going to make your wife with your manliness when you tell her “Guess what honey, I just told that Richard Simmons-wannabe to go fuck himself.”

Man, I kind of miss that the asshole left the nighborhood. I kinda wanted to fight him. Why do men like to fight so much? I don’t know.

Anybody else ever get that “red veil” come down over you when you get really fighting angry at someone? It’s like a curtain of rage is descending, and you have to pull it back and cool down, shaking. I think it’s testosterone’s fault.

Even if you can’t hear it outside, bass can often really carry through walls. Which is totally besides the point, of course, since you are right that living in an attached dwelling comes part and parcel with being able to hear your neighbors sometimes, even if they aren’t being loud. If he has a problem with that, then he needs to move or deal with it, because it is unreasonable to expect your neighbors to live in total silence for your convenience. Fortunately, he did move, so problem solved.

Stroker: in all seriousness, I wouldn’t go out of my way to provoke the guy. Bear in mind that whatever you do, you still have to live near him. That said, there is no reason to put up with him showing up on your property uninvited, or leaving beer cans in your yard. If he does either of those things again, tell him to leave. If he gives you a hard time, call the cops.

Yes, I’ve had that. It means stop, take a deep breath, because you aren’t in control and you are about to do something that in all likelyhood will land you in jail. Last time it happened to me I had to do tight manuevering to avoid incarceration actually. So trust me, that red veil means walk away.

The shaking is the adrenaline comedown. Never trust adrenaline.

Hahahahha. That was the wrong thing to say. I tell him “I’ll tell you what. You come over here again, and I’m gonna open up the door and break your fucking nose for you, then throw you into the street. How’s that sound?”.

He put up his house for sale about a month later.

Ah, so in your story, you were the asshole neighbor. Always good to have all perspectives.


It’s also balanced for throwing.


Balance has almost nothing to do with a throwing knife’s effectiveness. In fact, I’d argue it has nothing to do with it, which is why you can throw things like ice picks and tomahawks effectively.

Really? Why? He threatened me on my front doorstep. . .

Really? Why? He threatened me on my front doorstep. . .

Well, let’s have a game of storyteller:

"I have been living in my pleasant little rowhouse for about seven years with no problems. I got along great with my neighbors, and unfortunately they sold their house and had to move.

The new neighbor is a young guy who likes listening to his TV real loud. I can hear everything right through the walls, particularly the bass. I’ve gone over and politely asked him to turn it down, and he seems willing to do it, but it slowly creeps back up over time or it’s something about his system that just makes it penetrate through walls. And, of course, his parties with his friends screaming and yelling don’t help.

I’ve asked him several times to turn it down, and the last time he actually physically threatened to “break my nose” if I so much as knocked on his door again.

Because of dicks like him I just ended up selling my house and moving somewhere quieter. How do you deal with neighbors like that?"

BTW, I’m saying this as a guy that has had to ask people to turn shit down and as the person that has been asked to turn things down. Everyone is different when it comes to tolerances, and decent people work something out instead of just saying “Fuck you, deal with it”.

When I lived in an apartment, my neighbor was a home theater buff – before there was such a thing. He had a MONSTER system that was so loud that – I shit you not – when it was cranked I couldn’t have a conversation with my roommate in our living room.

I asked him nicely, several times, to keep it down. Now, the asshole part of me wanted to be like “Jesus, you live in a goddamned apartment, what the FUCK do you think is going to happen?” He’d do this at midnight. I hinted at that, and his response was “You’re in apartment, if you want quiet, move into a house”.

So…both sides have valid viewpoints. I could have been a fucking cock and really pushed it, but instead we came up with a compromise. He could crank it as loud as he wanted between certain set hours. He was feeling pissy because he couldn’t crank it anytime he wanted, and I was feeling pissy because he cranked it at all, but that’s what compromise is about.

I’m sure our respective friends were saying “Hey, why do you even put up with that shit at all?”

In Texas I had one neighbor that would idle his truck in his driveway for 20 minutes every morning, which would have my dog go fucking batshit insane. Then the neighbor would come out and bitch that my dog was going fucking batshit insane. My dog would bark at him and his truck, and would bark at cars that went by, but my dog was not a habitual bark-at-random-shit-all-day-long type of dog.

So I tried to be reasonable. I asked for hours when the guy would be asleep or at home, and I’d limit my dog’s outside time. Nope, no can do, apparently I was one of “those asshole dog owners who can’t control his dogs”. He actually said to my face “If that was my dog I’d kick the shit out of it until it shut the hell up, I can’t help it if you’re a goddamned pussy”. I was flabbergasted he’d adopt that hard ass stance.

Needless to say, with that kind of attitude, I wasn’t feeling particularly conciliatory. I had tried every compromise, and he had started calling animal control bitching about it, but we were well within the legal limit.

Because he was such an asshole, we did nothing to try to help his situation and just went on with life as usual and we let him bitch and moan, because he refused to have it any way but HIS way.

Stroker, you are way too polite. Way, way, way too polite.

See, that kind of passive-aggressive shit comes from not telling the drunken asshole neighbor to leave as soon as he became a problem.

Now you’re here posting about it? Dude, he was being belligerent and you ended up spending a bunch of time where you should have been having fun catering to him.

Tell him to write you a fucking letter. His own problems are a lot worse than your lawn care.

See, that kind of passive-aggressive shit comes from not telling the drunken asshole neighbor to leave as soon as he became a problem.

Rock out, so our life lesson: “If you have a problem with what I’m doing, then it’s actually your problem and…fuck you, I don’t care.” I skipped that chapter in Carnegie’s book.

If you have a problem that you’re waiting until I have a big party to come over drunk and tell me about, yes.