You Can't Pick Your Neighbors Part 2

While growing up, I had a nasty neighbor who made it his #1 priority in life to drive my father crazy. There appeared no other reason for the shit he pulled.

Every Saturday morning, he rang a bell at 6am for twenty minutes to signal to all his asshole friends who lived in the surrounding community to wake up. It was one giant motherfucking bell. It must've weighed 30 lbs. The sound went through our skulls and woke us up as well as the three feral dogs I liked to call 'pets' that serenaded the family with howls, barks and bays from the noise.

"The bastard," muttered my father. He asked the guy several times in a very solicitous manner not to ring the bell that early because the weekends were my father's only days off. The guy was retired as were his asshole friends so they didn't give a shit.

"Tough shit, Art," said the guy with a smirk. "If you don't like it, call the police."

After the 6am morning bell, the neighbor mowed the lawn. Even in the rain. To be followed up with the weed whacker. My poor father was fit to be tied.

"What the hell's wrong with that moron?" he screamed. "How many times can you mow 1/16 of an acre?"

Most of the time, the guy let his lawn mower run on until it ran out of gas, hidden behind bushes right next to our house. Did I happen to mention he was a nasty son of a bitch?

At noon, he rang the bell for 20 minutes. You could hear my dogs howl in pain for miles. It wasn't only the lunch signal, it served as well as an announcement for their game to commence. Shit, I don't even know the name of the game. The guy paved an area right in front of our property where they got to play a special kind of game. It wasn't tennis because the paved area was not big enough for a court. It was a sort of tennis/baseball/racketball kind of game that only they and their families knew how to play. One thing they knew how to do: hit the balls over onto our property igniting our dogs to a frenzy.

"That fucking bastard," my father muttered. He maintained considerable composure not to bludgeon those assholes when they sent their kids every five minutes to run down our lawn to pick up their balls causing the dogs, tied to trees, to jump and bark and strain against their leashes. All day long. To the point where those assholes ran a trench down the property.

This went on for Y E A R S.  My father gave up: there was no fighting this. He was unable to sleep for over fifteen years on weekends. Especially with the cacophony of dogs chronically barking all day long from bells, kids running all over our lawn. Not to mention the constant cackling of forced laughter that was even shriller than that fucking 30lb bell.

Outside of canned laughter on television, I became quite aware of fake laughter at an early age due to my neighbor and his friends and family. Real, true laughter is intermittent. Sometimes it can go on for a few minutes. But screaming hilarity for HOURS. That's fake. I should know. I grew up in a family of true comedians as described in several of my earlier blog postings.

When you're subjected to hours of phony screaming laughter and forced glee, you know it's done on purpose. It's done for anyone witnessing that braying noise and snorts that would make pigs envious would think, "OMG! I'm truly missing out." When, in reality, you're not missing a thing. Instead, you despise those people who would go to any lengths to get acknowledgement.

No Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening was complete without the 7pm bell. By Sunday night, you had to physically repel my father from running over to the neighbor's with a bat. A common plight during my formative years.

One day, YEARS later, at the end of the fall season, Dad decided to let the gas burn out in the lawn mower. He never did it before and decided to imitate our neighbor. He placed it by the neighbor's property and turned it on. In moments, that bastard ran over, shrieking insanely, "You FUCKER! HOW DARE YOU MAKE NOISE!"

Don't you just love neighbors like that?

It's ok for them, but NEVER for you.

I was close with one of the kids who ran down my lawn every five minutes every weekend until there was snow. We made a tacit agreement not to discuss our families or their friends in the community otherwise we'd come to blows. Besides, he had a massive crush on me when I was a teenager and followed me around like a dog.

When I turned 21, he asked me to marry him. I liked him solely because I knew him since I was three.

Diplomatically, I said, "I love you like an incestuous brother. Besides, your parents would strangle me should they find out. They do hate my parents."

"No they don't," he insisted, "even though your father did let that lawn mower run out."

I knew better. "Say," I advised, "why don't you marry Patty?" He dated another girl in the community. "The sun rises and sets where you're concerned."

He invited me to his wedding a few months later. I approached my parents. "What should I do? I hate these people. They've been nothing, but cruel to all of us."

"He's your childhood friend," my father said. "Go. Let's hope they'll be polite and kind to you."

Yeah. They did whatever they could that one day to ensure I'll never forget or forgive. Every time his family and their friends from the community took a group picture, they told me to stand at the end to cut me out of each and every photo.

The best part was that each person went out of their way to say, "I hate your father. He's such a bastard."

In his defense, he ignored them at all times. The few times they ventured to display superficial kindness to him, he nipped it in the bud with a curt response.

I said, "It could be due to the fact that you were never nice to him."

"Well, that's because he ran that lawn mower for an hour."

Mother of the groom came up to me and said, "Your mother's such a bitch."

That woman had the mouth of a syphilitic sailor and displayed the utmost of non-civility towards me while I played with her son when we were kids. At least she was consistent at the wedding, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief her precious son didn't marry me. The thought never crossed her mind that I found her son unsuitable in anything relating to matrimony.

During the wedding, my neighbor, now nearing 80, told me his penis can still get hard and told me to suck it.


I bumped into the newly married guy a few months later and he said, "You looked simply lovely at my wedding. I wonder why there are not pics of you?"

"Why don't you ask your friends and family?" I retorted. "They made no bones about hating me and my family."

Aghast, he recoiled. In seconds, he said, "Well, that's because your father ran his lawn mower for an hour."

Years after my father died, I bumped into the neighbor at a local shop. He must've been 200. I realized that he wasn't as old as I always thought he was, but I guess being a vile excuse of a human being aged him rather young. At any rate, he turned around, "Say, do you want to go out to dinner? My cock can still get hard. And you can suck it."

"Listen, fucker, do you know who I am?" I watched those beedy eyes narrow. He still didn't recognize me. "I'm a Stone."

"I should've figured that one out! You're as nasty as your old man! He once let his lawn mower run for an hour."

Sometimes with neighbors, you can never win.

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This blog and all its posts are a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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