Thursday, January 17, 2008

A brief service announcement

Greetings, folks. Recently, I posted a short story that involved an annoying family terrorizing their neighbors with the remodeling to their house. I’m sure that, for many of us, this was a familiar scenario. Either it has happened to you, or you were the one to inflict emotional damage on other people by overembellishing on a project. So, for anyone involved in such a position of having a new family move in across the street (or plan to relocate to a different town,) here is a short guide on proper neighborhood etiquette.

The Three Things You Should Never Do For Your Neighbors!

Rule number 1: Do not give money to your neighbor!

It doesn’t matter if the two of you are bosom buddies from high school, blood brothers recently booted out of the frat house, or escaped convicts on the run. Do not hand hard-earned cash out to that pleading face on the doorstep. Such a gift will become an unpaid loan the moment he annoys you with some trifling comment. For example, he’ll laugh over how you shouldn’t have parked the new BMW in the driveway just to have his old rotten tree fall on top of it. When no one takes responsibility for the mishap (or the missing money), someone will declare war and adults will turn into unruly kids as bad pranks fly over the fence line.

It’s a disaster you don’t need, and a bad habit deliberately being fed.

Rule number 2: Do not have relations with your neighbor!

When I say relations, I mean on a personal level: like frying eggs for them the following morning as they shake off their hangover. Becoming bedmates sounds great when watching that beautiful bod bent over while they’re washing the car, but look away! If anything happens to sour the relationship, you’re going to still be seeing this person on a daily basis when getting the mail or taking out the trash. And if the dumped boyfriend/girlfriend is the jealous sort, do expect to find them sitting on a lawn chair outside your bedroom window whenever you bring a new fling home. Also, forget about filing for a restraining order. It won’t work if their house is only three feet away from yours.

Sadly, stalkers have rights too.

Rule number 3: Do not agree to any DIY remodeling for your neighbor!

I don’t care how many splinters you have in your hands. If you don’t have a license for it, then you are not a certified professional when it comes to construction projects. I realize that it’s easy to become scammed into helping the neighbor. First it’s the dripping pipe in the basement, then a flickering light in the hallway, and finally a deck or second addition built onto their house. But even if they dangle a dollar sign in front of your face, walk away! This neighbor will never believe that you worked hard enough at the job and they will complain over the inferior workmanship every single moment until your ears start to bleed and you run away without earning one lead cent. Worse, if something disastrous happens (like falling ceilings or a structure fire) then do expect a knock from your local taser-happy police officer.

Make sure you have a lawyer on speed dial for your court appearance.

So, folks, heed the following friendly advice to keep the peace in the neighborhood. If this doesn’t work, then buy a really high fence for your property.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled ranting.

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