Aug 25, 2006

Letter to My Obnoxious, Anonymous Neighbor

Left: Japanese spurge, believed to be a noxious weed by my neighbor

(Toledo, OH) I originally planned to work around the house this weekend, but my plans may have changed. I think I'll put a chaise lounge in my yard and work on my tan, instead.

You see, I have an ongoing battle with an anonymous neighbor who likes to call the city to complain about my house. Some of your complaints have been valid, like when I needed to replace a missing section of gutter last winter.

Most other complaints have been downright petty.

Take today's visit, for example. Since he has been around so much to follow up on your repeated calls, the housing inspector and I are on a first-name basis. Victor [named changed to protect the bureaucrat] said that today's complaints involved "weeds, broken garage windows, and trash all over the yard."

Today Victor and I shook hands and agreed that I should have the standard 30 days to effect "repairs" to the "violations."

A few thoughts, dear neighbor-of-mine:

1. The plants that you describe as "weeds" are actually Japanese spurge, an ornamental ground cover that thrives in shade. I spent about $150 purchasing these plants this year. I know you might prefer every house in the neighborhood to have perfectly-trimmed, weed-free, Ozzie-and-Harriet fescue as landscaping, but grass simply will not grow under my giant red oak, and I never much cared for the Nelsons, anyway.

2. The "broken windows," as you likely know, were broken years ago by my children. Instead of replacing the panes every time a kid nailed the glass with a basketball (the windows are right under the hoop), we cut wood panels and painted them white, to match the garage. These days, all I have to do is put the wood panel back in when one gets knocked out. However, since I now have a month to rectify the problem, I have decided to wait until September 23 to replace them. Oh, and I am tempted to write the phrase "KISS MY FAT ARSE" on the panels until the city comes back out and cites me for an illegal sign.

3. Victor and I walked the property looking for the "trash" you described, but we failed to find any. Perhaps you could be more specific when you call, or, if there is no trash, you might want to empty a bag of trash in my yard when I am at work to make your story more believeable.

4. Finally, please be aware that the city housing inspectors have much more to do than to serve your strange agenda. There are entire city blocks with more abandoned buildings than habitable dwellings, and the time you spend with these frivolous complaints takes away time that could be spent on real problems.



McCaskey said...

HM, place some speakers outside and blast your neighbor with a little 'Who's Next.' Maybe after hearing 'Don't Get Fooled Again' at high decibel level he'll get the hint.
Ah, that'd probably get you in more trouble...

LTLOP said...

Yeah Mike those inspectors have better things to do, like harrass my neighbor and her pigsty! This is truth ask doknowdocare. Just one question are your japanese plants creeping into your neighbor's yard? That might be his only legitimate complaint, other than that he sounds like he is being petty and vindictive. What did you do to him, invite Subcommandante Bob over in a drunken binge?

Hooda Thunkit said...


Everybody in this world has a purpose.

Your neighbor's seems to be to make sure that your house and yard are immaculate and meticulously maintained.

Q. Next time you and Victor meet, maybe you might request that he "spot check" the complainer's property, purely in the interest of fair play.

If nothing else, it might serve to lessen "Victor's" work load ;-)

On the other hand, you could have a neighbor like I have; he doesn't even think of cutting his back yard until the grass/weeds lean over the fence...

Hooda Thunkit said...


Amen on inspectors having better things to do.

Some places have REAL problems.

Brian said...


Why waste some premium WHO on an obnoxious ass?

Give him "The Night Chicago Died" played over and over again at top volume. That'll teach him. Heck, it might kill him!

Do said...


Sounds like you have a neighbor that is "botanically challenged" when it comes to landscaping and the many types of plants that can be used. ;)

Hey ltlop? How's that problem coming over there? I haven't heard anymore about it, but I did have a little heart to heart with one of your neighbors that serves on council. ;)

Any improvement? If not, let me know and he and I will 'chat' again. Maybe this time it will be in front of lots of folks that will be interested in the hissing going on when I try not to lose my temper.

Seems as though the inspection process is still skewed. And with all this ineffectiveness they still want yet ANOTHER ordinance that they cannot enforce due to lack of staff. Oh in Toledo.

Lisa Renee said...

See, you are nicer than I am Mike, I would paint my garage a nice flamingo pink color with some really cool purple trim.

However, Miguel has some rap music that I find especially irritating if you want to borrow some selections.


McCaskey said...


Maybe "Muskrat Love"...LOL

Mark said...

I sympathize completely with the obnoxious neighbor post. I live in an apartment, and the woman above me likes to either scream at, beat, or otherwise verbally abuse her kid/ex-husband/anyone else in the apartment.

If I weren't afraid that she was a serial killer, I'd tell her that I will call the police if I hear any more of it.

Kate said...

Well it's pretty sad when neighbors have a problem and can't talk it out. But some people just don't have a desire to be 'neighborly'.

Don't let him/her get to you. It'll affect your quality of life at home in your yard.

I'd suggest some yard parties with as many children as you can get. Laughing and having a good time.

Invite your neighbors. Must solve the problem. If it continues, the complaints, you may want to talk to an attorney. You have a right not to be harassed and I know someone who made some noise about inspectors coming back repeatedly when a person of normal intelligence would have been able to conclude that the complaints hadn't been valid and the inspections were aiding an ongoing case of harassment.

The visits stopped.

Kate said...

Meant 'MIGHT' solve the problem.


microdot said...

True story in todays news in France, this was on all the networks.
On the exclusive shoreline dunes in Arcachon, a retired couple from another part of France built their retirement dreamhouse. They spent over a million Euros. There were some questions about the property rights, but all was cleared up before they began. The old money Bordeaux neighbors did not approve and objected to their view of the ocean being obscured. They waited until house was finished and then started proceedings to have it declared illegal. The battle raged on in the courts for about 4 years, first the retired couple won, then the neighbors appealed and they finally won. The house is being torn down. The retired couple had their revenge. They started an investigation into the legality of all the houses built on the dunes and the courts today ruled that they might all have to be torn down because they were built ignoring the same environmental rules that were used to fight the house being torn down. This neighbor war became almost biblical in scope!
I had problems with a neighbor in my old house in Ajat. I won't go into details except that I discovered I had a talent for yodeling and now my exneighbor has a chronic nervous tic.

Davros said...

I live in the country. My wife and I decided years ago we will never live in town or in a subdivision. We both sort of hate people. At least stupid people who can't mind their own business.

My neighbors would never complain about my property and I would never complain about there's.

Move to the country!