Repercussions of Winning The "Big" Lottery
Everything Was So Peaceful At First
Back in 2000 we moved to a lovely little bungalow in a town that I had grown up in. Coming back in from a huge lot out in the country and a two story house, this was to be our downsize. At the time we bought our house there was a house on the left hand side of us, and an empty space next to it. We assumed, wrongly, that it was to end up being a park. It wasn't until we moved in and met the neighbours on both sides of us that we learned this was slated to be a Public School.
We had a moment's pause about this but in the end there was nothing we could do about this now. Plus, the neighbours told us that this had been talked about for a few years now and so we were left wondering if it ever would happen. In the meantime we settled in and got to know our neighbours, not that we went back and forth a lot, but they were all the kind of neighbours who would lend a hand in a pinch, and you could maybe share a glass of wine with on the back deck now and again. The years went by and we were very much enjoying ourselves, building up our garden and decorating inside.
The house on the left between us and the empty lot was owned by a Real Estate Agent. In fact he had designed and built most of it himself. So it was a custom built raised bungalow with many beautiful features inside. We learned that this house had 6 bedrooms in it and each had their own bathroom, with of course the finished basement containing some of these bedrooms, as well as a fully equipped kitchen. At the time their daughter and her husband, just newly married were living there until their own house was built. This caused no problem at all because they were very quiet and very nice people.
A couple of years later the school was added and in the end it created no problem at all. There was a little bit of activity first thing in the morning and at end of the school day, especially if it was raining and the parents would come to pick up their kids, adding more traffic on our street. But all in all everything was cool.
And then in 2005 our neighbour on the left, and next to the school, decided to put his house up for sale now that his daughter and son-in-law were in their own house, and move into a smaller house that he was building. For some reason right away I got a knawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. I worried that we could end up with multiple families in this gorgeous house and indeed I said to him one day, kiddingly but kind of meaning it, Don't move "-----" (I won't use any names for obvious reasons), you're such good neighbours, who knows who we're going to get next".
Our New Neighbours
Moving day came somewhere just after Christmas and the house sat empty for a month or so before we noticed any acitivity around the place. Then some time around March they came. On the very first day I noticed they had a dog tied up in the backyard, a black Rotweiler. So far there had not been a problem. And then about day 4 or 5 I noticed another van arriving every day, a lady would get out with a wrinkly looking dog that I soon found out was a Shar Pei and she would put it out in the backyard with the Rotty. Now this dog obviously did not like being out in the backyard because it proceeded to bark - and bark - and bark. Eventually it would get the Rotty going and then they would both bark nonstop.
We were both retired at this time, and spent quite a bit time at that time of year in our den, which happens to be next to their house. I was doing some Real Estate work for my niece, working on a newsletter and just could not concentrate. I had the window open because it was one of those nice days that you get early on telling you spring is coming. Anyway, this carried on for about three days nonstop and it was driving me nuts. Thinking that it was the neighbourly thing to do, I decided to approach the owner (whoever she was because it was hard to tell at this point) I knocked on the door, introduced myself, welcomed her to the neighbourhood and then told her of our predicament. She apologized and suggesed this was her mother-in-law's dog and she would take care of things.
Well folks, nothing changed. The dogs continued to bark and then to my horror I realized that now the mother-in-law and her boyfriend had moved in too, and he had brought his pit bull with him. Truthfully we didn't see much of this dog, as I learned at the time when this fellow was still talking to me, that his dog didn't like to be outside. OK that was good. But the other dogs continued to bark non stop.
So, to bring you up to date who had actually moved into this house (with no names attached) it was a lady from Ghanan descent with her three little kids; her boyfriend of Italian descent - his three little kids from another marriage came on the weekends, his mother and her boyfriend whom I found out some time later were to be the babysitters and landscapers (this became a joke in and of itself) - and the three dogs!! And shortly after they moved in, the owners gave birth to a new baby between them!!!
We carried on like this for a while, trying to put up with all the nonsense and all the while the rest of our neighbours were looking at them and we were all wondering "how in Hell's name did they afford this house". Please believe me when I tell you that I am not a snob, but it was very obvious for reasons that I choose not to go into that they came from another area of town, and normally would not be buying a house like this. This was a house just over half a million - and I will say no more at this point. To be fair to the mother's boyfriend he did try to do things outside, cut the grass and dig a weed or two, and we talked. And I talked to the fella who owned the house along with his girlfriend too - trying to be friendly, hoping they would get the message and settle in to be "good neighbours". Even so I spoke to them a couple of times about their dogs, and by now others were complaining too.
And Then All Hell Broke Loose
We moved on from March, the spring and into the summer months. I think really all of us neighbours had been very tolerant up to this point. And then two things happened in July on a long weekend of that year 2006. The owners got married and Italy won the World Cup in Soccer. They were celebrating and that was to be expected. Then late on The Sunday night, well around 10PM, I was sitting at the computer in our den when all of a sudden this ear splitting music crashed through my head. I am not kidding when I say this; our windows were rattling. I jumped up and went to the other side of the house where Craig was busy making some muffins in the kitchen, and with a startled look he said "what the Hell is that?". I went out the front door and looked across the driveway to see the owner, the guy who had just got married, sitting in a brand spanking new Mustang, with the driver's door open and his music cranked up as loud as it could go.
With my hands on my ears I approached the car saying his name over and over again, at which point he jumped out of his car at me with his little Italian flag in his hand and his next words stunned me. "You are nothing but a bitch; I'm only 30 years old and I won $10 million dollars. I paid cash for this house, and if you don't like it, put a sign on your house and get the Hell out" At that point my worst nightmare became true as I recalled our friend saying " Lynda, I remember reading in the paper back a year or so ago where this Ghanan lady won $10,000,000 dollars and what she wished was to get her kids into a good school, in a good neighbourhood" Voila - and here they were!! Ho Ho - she had won the money and somewhere along the line she had hooked up with him!!
I walked back into the house and briefly told Craig what the scoop was. Craig went out and was threated by the "jerk" as I will now call him, promptly returned to the house and disappeard into the den (I knew later, to call the police). Then I looked out the front door to see our neighbour across the road yelling at him to turn the music down. I made the mistake of going out and over to her side of the street to join her, at which point he followed me cursing and swearing and waving his flag in our face all along. A man on the corner saw this and came out too to defend us and he was threatened to be beaten to a pulp. Well my neighbour had her cell phone in hand, telling the "jerk" that we didn't have to take this and we were calling the police. So needless to say a few phone calls went out to the police that night, and we were told to go back in our house, do not engage him and close your doors.
They Have Attitude
On the Monday the police came to get statements from ourselves, the neighbour across the road and the neighbour on the corner. It wasn't until Tuesday that they could catch them at home. They came back to our door and basically told us that our neighbours had "bad attitudes" - no kidding! and that the door had actualy been slammed in their face. We were advised that they, the police, would be making checks back and forth and in and around our neighbourhood in the next couple of days; in other words they would be present on and off.
The very next morning Craig and I got up to continue a painting job we had started on our garage doors. In no time Mrs. "Arrogance" (that became my name for her ) pranced out and over to her SUV, opened the door, rolled down the window, cranked up the radio, got out and went back inside the house. We ignored her. In another few minutes Mr. "Jerk" came out got into his Mustang, opened the door, rolled down the window and cranked up his radio, and went back into the house. Both of these cars were playing, you guess it, rap music with phrases such as "Kill the bitch" alternating on and off with choice words that I do not have to and cannot repeat here.
I couldn't take it any longer, got in my car and decided to go into the Real Estate office to get a break. Craig went into the house and called the police at the same time that our neighbour on the other side of our house called By Law. Both of these officials appeared at their door and made it very clear to them that this was their second warning, and if it happened again there were heavy fines, and whatever else to pay.
It didn't happen again, but what happened next was activity in between our house and theirs, which are not that far apart with both of us having side walkways going to the back of our respective houses. It didn't take me long to see what was happening. Gates were being installed at both ends of the walkway entering from the front and exiting into their backyard. The next time she saw me outside she trounced over pointing her finger at me and saying "We are putting our dogs in between our house and yours, and if you don't like it you can just go ahead and call Animal Control"
How Do They Live Like That
In just four short months, our lives and the lives of our neighbours immediately around us and behind us had been changed. Not only that, the school was now into it. Parents who were picking up their kids were complaining that these dogs were jumping at the fence snarling and snapping at their kids. The "Neighbours From Hell" wrote back a complaint to the school accusing the kids of bothering their dogs. Nevertheless, whatever happened, Craig and I got the brunt of the whole thing, along with their anger, because we were the only house adjoining theirs. Even the house behind us was on a cul de sac that was curving away from our backyards, so they were not quite into it yet, but they would get there eventually. In the meantime we were living in Hell. They would leave their dogs out, if not both, then at least the Rotty well into the middle of the night - 2, 3 o'clock in the morning barking and howling. Our master bedroom was at the back corner of the house right next to this "dog pen" that they had fashioned.
We called animal control and we found out that now we had to document times and for how long they barked. It was a losing battle and it seemed that they had the upper hand all along the way. In the meantime they added another dog to the fray, a Rotty puppy which would end up in our backyard sometimes. The neighbour finally got into it when it ended up in his backyard, and the door was slammed in his face when he approached them. Are we having fun yet?
The List Is Long
There is no way I can detail everything that happened here in that horrible year and a half that they lived in our neighbourhood. It would in fact take a book. So to give you an idea here is a list:
- Dogs barking at all hours of the night
- Mr. "Jerks" kids on the weekend screaming and yelling, giving us the finger and saying "f-you" (at no more than age 5
- Empty pizza boxes and pop cans and sitting on their driveway for days on end.
- More cars being added to the fray: We start with their SUV, his mother's and boyfriends SUV, his Mustang; find out she has a Cadillac Escalade which she shows for prizes; and then the big yellow Hummer
- No more backyard grass, the dogs have totally demolished that
- Cigarette butts not only all over their property, but our driveway and along our front lawn too
- Rotty, getting out of the "pen" several times and trotting down the street much to everyone's dismay
- Rotty, beating up on Shar Pei - won't let it eat; tears the fur off the neck of the poor dog
- Feces left in the run between our house and theirs - smells throughout the summer
- Garbage now being put in the same pen as the dogs, ending up all over the place for days on end. I even saw the dogs rooting at a dirty diaper.
- Screens broken off bedroom windows, with the kids sitting on the ledge waving at us in our backyard
- They go everywhere in a limousine because they're bigshots now, all decked out with their kids (who were really cute by the way, but have no chance in this life) to shows such as "Monster Truck"
- Everyone flies to West Edmonton Mall in Alberta for a weekend - I'm only telling this because you can see what is happening and what eventually happens.
- Rotty gets out of the pen and attacks another lady's dog. They are made to take the pen down and move the dogs to the backyard, good for us, but the poor backyard.
- The last owner had a beautiful Garden Shed. "The landscaper" aka mother's boyfriend has now been given instructions to make this into a house for the Shar Pei, so a lopsided opening is cut into this door for him to go in and out - and a frost fence put around the whole thing so the Rotty can't get him.
- The Rotty runs around the backyard on his own -and the Pit bull sits on the side deck - thankfully on the other side of the house
- They start staining the fence -and get half way around, giving that up for a bad job.
- All kinds of toys and parapanalia are bought for the kids and then cast aside as more and more new things are added.
Who The Heck are These People and Where Did They Come From
I could go on and on - but it's pointless because surely by now you've got the picture. But I will tell you this. One day he was coming down the street and Craig was raking leaves. He screeches his car down the road, screeches to a stop and pulls into his driveway. This is a habit he has even though the stop sign is just two houses away from his. He is making a point, isn't he? All the while he is cursing and swearing at Craig, calling him names and saying "you sons of b-----s called the animal authority on our dogs". Isn't that a sad point! He didn't get it and he never would because he didn't want to. He cared no more for those poor dogs than he would have cared for a knat.
Craig told me an hour or so later what happened. I was so riled up I called the police and they basically said we can't stop someone from yelling at you out of their car window. But I would not stop talking, I rattled on and on and she listened. Then she asked me what address they were at. I told her and her response was : "Did you say he was driving???" She changed her tone completely and her parting remark was this. "I am going to say something to you now, if you feel the least bit threatened at all from this point on, I want you to call 911". OH BOY!!! I don't know what they had on him, but it must have been big. And then I remembered the night when we were all awakened at the sound of beeping from a truck backing up. Looking our our dining window we saw a tow truck delivering the Mustang into their driveway. No "Mr. Jerk" present - just "Mrs. Arrogance" directing traffic and giving orders Mr. Jerk arrives home the next day in a cab, I suspect after a night in the clinker. He for sure has lost his licence.
What do we have next door to us? It would be foolish for me to think that they were not into drugs, we all surmised that they were. Indeed the last New Year's Eve they were there he had woke us all up at 4AM in the morning, racing up and down our street in his Mustang. And we saw the evidence of his wreckless driving with various scrapes and dents even on the Caddy, and a wrought iron fence at the end of our street that had been damanged, leaving behind a piece of black car. Uh huh! Then the clincher. Just before they moved, I found out from my Chiropractor that Mr. Jerk had gone through either a stop sign or stoplight, broadsided another car, and he was now treating the lady for bad muscle strains. This was the thing that ended up seeing jail time for him . Everybody in our neighbourhood knew them, and wanted to stay clear of them.
In The End
In the summer of the following year we found out that they were moving. In fact a notice was tacked to the door and the house was repossesed. She had enough nerve to call in a Real Estate Agent and try to sell it, when it fact they were losing it. It was wrecked inside. We did get to go through it after they left and it was awful - I can't even go there with the details. One thing is that they'd had a fire in the basement the Boxing Day before and they had never repaired the damanged kitchen afterward. I remember the firemen having a hard time getting anyone to answer the door; and then they couldn't get in because of the Rotty. I won't tell you what they saw in corners of the house.The original owner and builder of this house was just hanging his head in disgust and unhappiness for what had happened to his house and all of his former neighbours.
Before they moved out, it was a very very hot August weekend and it appeared that no one was around, but the dogs were out in the backyard on their own. The Shar Pei in his penned in house, the Rotty running around and the Pit Bull on the other side of the house. Craig commented to me that if he didn't see someone in the next day he was going to call Animal Control again. In the meantime the Rotty was trying to get water from our hose as Craig was watering by the fence. He went in the house and got a big foil tray, filled it with water and put it under the fence. The Rotty immediately made off with it. I went around to the other side of the house and proceeded to throw ice cubes to the Pit Bull and the Shar Pei.
The next morning a notice appeared on their door that a complaint had been called in, which by the way several neighbours had done along with us, and that the dogs would be taken away if they did not respond within 24 hours. Damn if they didn't get home in time. The very next day Mrs. Arrogance knocked on my door and proceeded to tell me "I want you to know that I am charging you with harrassment" all the while pointing her finger in my face.
Well they moved on, and I hear they had the same problems at the next place, and they moved on again. But this time I believe all of that $10,000,000 is gone. And I am sure they are back on welfare.
And there folks, you have the story of my "Neighbours From Hell". The saddest part is in thinking what good they could have done with all that money. What happens now to those kids and their future. What future??