The Top 10 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor
Living - Being at Home
Almost all of us live somewhere. That is a fact. Being alive without being somewhere turns out to be remarkably hard to do. No matter how hard you try, you will find that this is true.
For many of us, the place we decide to do our living most is called our "home." This is where things get tricky. You see, home is often a "somewhere" that ends up someplace next to someone else. That is when the whole neighbor thing comes in.
Apparently, some people have no idea how to be good neighbors. In fact, some people are very bad neighbors and have no clue how to live next to others successfully at all. Fortunately, I am here to help by offering up a bit of friendly neighborhood advice, some good neighbor tips. Below are the top 10 ways to be a good neighbor, the Ten Commandments of the Cul-de-Sac, as it were.
1. Mow your freaking lawn
Seriously. Just mow it. It's not a "wilderness area" and you aren't Al Gore. You want to save the planet, great, but dropping my property value in half because you can't roll off the couch long enough to follow your mower around just isn't working for the rest of us. Hire a neighborhood kid if you're comfortable with your body weight, but get that wild growth cut down. Rent a goat and tie it to a stake. I don't really care. But you're making the whole street look bad.
2. For the love of God, shut that damn dog up
I swear I wish the Mob offered hitdog services sometimes. There is nothing worse than trying desperately to get some sleep and having to listen to someone's dog all night. I mean, if I thought that a dog was actually barking at a burglar, I'd be fine with that. But that's never what is going on. Most of the time it's just barking at some dumb cat, or it's barking at some other mouthy mutt. The doggy network around a neighborhood can really get tuned up; they all get in on it and the barks start coming from literally everywhere. The thing is, this ain't a Disney movie and all that yapping isn't going to bring the 101 Dalmations home. It's not. Really. So shut your pooch's pie-hole before I let the Mafia in on my awesome hitdog idea. Bring Rover inside if you're one of those people who "don't hear him when he barks." Let him sleep with you since you love him so much. I know none of your neighbors do. (And for what it's worth the Bark Free advertisement up there... those things work. Greatest product in the history of dogs next door.)
3. Park in front of your own house
I get "having company." No problem. You have a big party and people park in front of my house... no problem, I get it. That's why I am such a great neighbor to have. However, don't park your twenty-two year old Toyota Turdmobile outside my front door just because you have nowhere else for it to go. Get rid of it if you don't drive it anymore. Give it to charity. And if your kid is driving it, well... See, unbelievable as this might sound, I like to have company over to my house too, and they get tired of having to walk four miles to visit us because you and your sixty-four kids have filled up the entire street parking all your cars. Tell that enormous herd you spawned to park their cars somewhere else besides right in front of me. (Yes, I know it's a public street, but as you may recall, this top 10 list is about common courtesy. What is legal is not always the same as what is right.)
4. Invite me to your party, or at least give fair warning first
If you're going to fill up the street with cars and have that deejay blasting his incredible wit out into the universe through speakers bigger than a cow, then at least give me a bit of warning first. Let me know so that maybe I can plan to be out of town. Or at least go check into a hotel. Or even better, invite me. If you're going to deprive me of sleep until who knows what A.M., the least you could do is offer to entertain me while I am forced to be awake. Feed me. Let me drink your beer. Something. Just show some courtesy.
5. Deal drugs somewhere else
Ok, I admit I've never had this problem (yet), but I hear it all the time. People selling drugs, sometimes right off of their front lawn. WTF? Dude, I get that drug culture exists and all that. Fine. If the DEA and other law enforcement can't stop it, I'm sure I can't with a blog. However, is there any chance you could just, you know, take that somewhere else? Or at the very least inside? I know you're all scary and stuff, but you do realize that, fear of reprisals and all, at some point I'm still going to turn you in, right? (Woops, big word up there, my bad. I'll help you out. Ree-prize-all: it's what you guys do when someone ‘snitches', yo.) So, yeah, go away. Or just O.D. and die. That's fine too. Your neighbors will thank you either way.
6. Turn your music down
That kick ass stereo you bought rocks. So does your sweet surround-sound. It's awesome. It's so awesome that it shakes the glasses off my shelf. It's even worse if we live in an apartment complex too. It's so loud, I can't read. I can't sleep. I can't even watch TV if my speakers aren't as big as yours. If enough of us get in on one of those stereo volume contests through the walls, we're liable to summon the aliens down. If we make too much noise, we might piss them off enough to make them give up studying us in favor of just wiping us out to shut us up. So stop. Don't be responsible for the annihilation of our world. That's totally un-neighborly.
7. Turn your music up
If you make so much noise when you are having, umm, some form of "romance" that you wake me up, then you are allowed to ignore rule number 6 above. I don't care how good a lover you are or how much your partner really likes to yell. Nor do I care if it's just your way of appreciating all that porn. Whatever it is, nobody wants to hear it, so, given the choice of your wild monkey screams or that noise you think is music, well, the neighborhood vote is in: We'll risk the aliens. (Hey, no faking either, we're not going to buy it if you try to use that as an excuse for skipping number 6 all the time. Nobody has that much energy. We will know if you try to lie.)
8. Take your garbage out
Pretty simple, really. The dead animal stench coming from your rotting garbage makes everyone want to puke, particularly those of us down wind. Same goes for the three foot layer of dog feces you haven't bothered to scoop up off of your back lawn. My god, take Fido for a walk or something. What's wrong with you?
9. Slow down - You drive too fast
I realize you may not have kids. Maybe you do, and you just don't like them very much. Who knows? But the thing is, the rest of us like our kids pretty well. Heck, some of us might even like your kids too. The thing with kids is, especially the little ones, well, they're just not all that smart. They do dumb stuff like run out unexpectedly from between cars, or maybe ride their bicycles in the street. I know, I hear ya, pretty annoying, true; but, well, it's just a reality of life. Good parents keep an eye on their kids, I understand, but, the fact is that good parenting is kind of like the drug enforcement thing I mentioned up above: probably not going to happen just because I wrote this blog. So, in the meantime, if you could ease off the gas while you're rocketing through the neighborhood, that'd be great. Thanks.
10. Fix the F-ing Fence
This is my pet peeve. I swear if I have to fix my fence alone one more time I'm going to shoot myself with the staple gun. We have tremendous winds here sometimes and fences are always blowing down. If you are my neighbor and our fence blows down, get your ass out here and help me put that thing back up. Ok, look, I get that maybe fence building isn't your thing, or you might not even be able to do that kind of work. I seriously have no problem with that. But you know what you can do? You can fork over some money for the materials and any equipment that WE have to rent. Yeah, that's right, stuff that WE, me and you, need to build OUR fence back up, even if I'm doing all the work. Wood, concrete, nails, maybe a posthole digger and other kinds of tools - they don't come cheap. Don't make me pay for them AND do all the labor too. That's just wrong.
So there you go. 10 easy-to-follow rules that will help make your neighborhood a better place. I'm sure there are other items that you can think of that might take the place of one or another of these on my list, but in my experience, these are the big ones that just keep coming up. Living by these might seem a matter of simple courtesy for some of us, but apparently many people live in a bubble or else they just don't give a --- ...hoot. But, well, maybe this will help them see the error of their ways. I know I'm holding my breath. How about you?
(Stay tuned for my upcoming all dog blog, where we can examine the particularities of the pooch across the fence.)
This guy's neighbor has lost it.
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