Saturday, December 22, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you... Or maybe not.

This morning I was reading through the blogs of some of my favorite bloggers and I saw a similar theme in Crystal’s and Bohorap’s most recent posts. Neighbors. Actually more like bad neighbors.

As much as I enjoy rating about the antics and my neighbors here on Hysteria Lane, truth be told, they are the best sets of neighbors I’ve ever had in my entire life, which is why I don’t ever want to move. If you’ve ever experienced a “neighbor problem” you probably know how terrible these things can actually get.

When I was about 3, we moved from apartment living to a very small two bedroom house on the north side of Chicago. It was my parent’s first house and I do remember how excited they were to move in. That was short lived, though, when they realized what was residing next door.

A family with two rebel rouser boys around 18 to 20 years old. Their dogs were so vicious that they couldn’t even bring them into the house. They would just tie them with a rope to the back of the garage and needless to say, their dogs were constantly running the neighborhood biting the butts of people, including mine. These boys and their friends slept most of the day, too, so that they would be rested enough to rev their motorcycle engines all night long.

The lady of the house had serious back problems and since her husband was always intoxicated and her sons wouldn’t do anything, on occasion, she would ask my dad to life something or move something for her.

My dad liked to tinker around with cars and he was pretty darn good at fixing them, too. I liked to help him by handing him the tools he needed.

When I was 6, the lady next door rang our doorbell during dinner and said “Tom, I have a little problem in the garage and I was wondering when you have time, if you could come over and check it out.

My dad logically thought it was a problem with the car, so we finished eating and we both headed over there. My dad lifted up the garage door where we discovered that she did indeed have a “problem” in her garage. .

Her husband had hung himself in there! It's been thirty-five years since that day and it's not an image I have ever forgotten.

We moved shortly after that to a nearby Chicago neighborhood. All seemed ok there until we realized that the house next door was actually some kind of drug/whore house. Nobody really lived there, but there were always lots of people around. Other than the occasional argument between two stoners, they didn’t cause too much trouble so we just ignored them.

Shortly thereafter, though, it became really hard to ignore one of my other neighbors. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Mr. John Wayne Gacy. Yes, that’s right. My neighbor was a sexual sadist serial killer who buried young boys in his crawlspace. They say you never know someone until you live with them. I think there’s probably some truth to that.

My parents decided it was indeed time to move again and this time we were going to the near north suburbs. Enough of Chicago. We were on to picket fences and station wagons.

We moved into our 3 bedroom (my own room!) suburban house and right next door to The Neighborhood Czar. This guy was one of the biggest asshats I’ve ever met in my life and both of his teenage kids had drinking problems. One actually drove drunk onto our front lawn and hit our house. He ignored these kinds of things, but would actually report you to the city if you had your garbage cans out one minute earlier than the ordinance said you could.

My mom had many problems with this ass over the years. When my mom remarried 15 years ago, she offered to sell us the house for the outstanding loan, which was very little. Even though I knew asshat lived next door, I agreed thinking that since hubby and I both worked for the police department, he might leave us alone.

I was wrong.

Everything we did annoyed him including the hours we worked, lights in my house, my kids, my dogs and the color of my new garage door. He would call the police on us all hours of the day even though we weren’t doing anything. One night I came home from work to find he had attached a big piece of sheet metal to the one side of my garage so he didn’t have to look at the color of my garage door (brown) or see the motion sensor light.

Turns out his wife was the mayor’s cousin, so the police would never arrest him nor would they stop responding 5 times a day when he called with this jackassery.

The village ordered the Neighborhood Czar and my husband and I to attend counseling together in order to solve our “differences” and learn to live in peace and harmony. Ummmm.....counseling with that jackass? Tell you what, we’ll just sell the house and move. And we did.

We moved here to Hysteria Lane and while I do have a couple of wackos on the block, like Crazy Eddie and his equally perverted masturbatory brother, The One Eyed Jack, it’s relatively quiet here as far as neighbors go, so I’m never moving again.

My neighbor problems are officially over!

I just realized I never even got to tell you about my neighbors in my first apartment building when I moved away from home. The two guys below me used to paint themselves blue and sword fight in the lobby. The guy next door, Eraserhead, well, I won’t even go into what I stumbled upon him doing in the laundry room one day. Let’s just say "neighborly day in this beautywood" wouldn't desrcibe it at all. Maybe that could be another post.

Today, I’ll just continue to be thankful for the beautiful day in my neighborhood.


Harlekwin said...

Wow Jessica, it looks like you've have some horrid neighbors too. Does every neighborhood have at least one family? And OMG, a problem in the garage? That was just beyond weird. Your poor dad.

Thanks for the link. I wish it would have been for something more cheerful.

I hope you're having a terrific weekend.

Sarah said...

In the 3 places Damien & I have lived, we have always been blessed to have great neighbors. Now if we would just take a leap of faith and converse with them it would be even better, lol. I keep telling myself I will spread out more when we buy, but in fours year of renting we really could have made great friends.

Sassy Lucy said...

Yeah we have had some wild and wacky neighbors over the years. My husband's grandparents used to play cards with Ed Gein, known as the Plainfield Butcher. Interesting that you had Gacy as a neighbor that would kind of haunt me for a long time I think.
Right now our nearest neighbor is a half mile doen the road and I like that. Close enough to be helpful if needed, but no real living is the life for me. I do worry about my sister though living in dowtown Chicago.

Crystal said...

Woaaahh, suddenly my cracked pot neighbors don't seem so bad.

Girl, do you ever run out of interesting stories??

The Rock Chick said...

harlekwin:next time you get a cheerful link, I promise!! As you know, I'm a little fond of ranting :)

sarah: hmmmmm...maybe all the weirdos are in Chicago! Actually, for every bad neighbor there must have been 10 good ones, too. The bad ones make for better storytelling :)

sassy lucy: Wow! Ed Gein. I actually did a paper on him back in college. I've become fond of suburban Chicago living. Everything is close to get to and you can still park your car in front of your house. Downtown is just too crowded for me. I don't even really care to go there.

crystal: oh annoying neighbors are annoying neighbors. doesn't matter what they do! As far as stories go, I think as long as I remain in contact with people, I will have stories LOL

Kendra said...

oh my dear goodness! you totally deserve peaceful hysteria lane after going through all of that for all those years. no wonder a little drama from 'bree' and 'lynette' doesn't bother you too much!!

Anonymous said...

WOW! I have a feeling you will be reading that a lot in your comments! That is absolutely insane!!!

If I were you I would have moved to a place with trees all around my yard. Fences are high enough.

Gacy? OMG your parents must have been totally freaked!!!

The Rock Chick said...

kendra: yes, I can easily handle their drama, annoying as it gets sometimes LOL

kelly: well, like I said, for every bad neighbor, fortunately there are like 10 good ones. I don't know why I always seem to move next door to the wierdos on the block, though.

joey said...

Back Pain is a pain in my… well… back!
I was hit by a car a few years ago and since then I have suffered a lot of lower back pain and back ache! I was on strong painkillers for awhile but then I was getting addicted to them so had to drop them before it got too bad. That was about a year ago now and since then I have been looking for alternate ways of relieving the pain and aching until a month ago I was struggling to find anything that helped but I managed to get hold of a memory foam mattress and I finally got a good night’s sleep! It was great! memory foam mattresses support my back where its needed relieving the pain and relaxing the muscles. I’m moving in with my girlfriend and I’m thinking of buying a king size memory foam mattress which will help me sleep but I have a feeling that her snoring will keep me awake anyway!