The surreal life

This was a bad night.
A few weeks ago I came home to something not too bad – one of the glass panes in our front door was broken. Being deathly afraid of serial killers and having just watched a series about them on TV, I snuck around back (and I should confess at this point that on the night in question I had been drinking, lowest tolerance ever – no good judgment either, bet a man $100 that John Edwards will be our next President) and called the cops from the back of the house. They came – about four cars and checked. No one was in the house. It was kind of freaky but not that big of a deal.
Tonight, I was home all day studying and watching Wimbledon. Right after it ended I put the dog in the kitchen, we keep him there at night because he has been pooping in the house. He hates it in there but usually stops after about 10-15 minutes. 30 minutes later a neighbor is at the door complaining. I try to explain that he’ll stop soon; he’s not my dog, blah, blah, blah. I go and try to deal with the dog – he’s not mine but I feel bad about keeping the neighbors up so I was in the kitchen when I heard someone at the door – I was home alone so I hoped it was my roommates – it wasn’t, it was the husband of the woman who was by. He was really mad and started screaming at me about the dog. That he was all alone all day and all sorts of things that aren’t true and looking right at me he started banging on my door. I am six feet away from it and when he breaks it glass hits my legs and though I don’t scare easily he scared the shit out of me.
Maybe this is doesn’t do my situation justice. I reinjured my knee on Wednesday and can barely walk on it. It’s 11:30 at night. I am home alone and my 6’4" male neighbor just broke my front door. I tell him I am calling the police because he just broke my window and he yells, "You broke your window!"
Add to my description, I am alone and my neighbor – from whom I have zero protection – is crazy.
The police came and advised me to have a drink (I kid you not) and promised he would not be back.
Craziness follows me like a black cloud. My last neighbor killed all my plants and used to scream at me all the time.
My life is good but I really think we all have a point at which we just can’t take any more stress and maybe this is mine.

Well, if this is the crazy neighbor thread, then here is mine:
Two days ago I was passing by my apartment door when I hear my upstairs neighbor talking on the other side of the door. She basically said that if I ever damaged her car again, she’d call the cops. So I open the door and ask what’s going on, and she turns around and walks down the stairs, gets into her car and drives away, all the while I follow her, asking what she thinks I did.
She returns several hours later and asks to ‘talk’, then proceeds to ask if my wife or I hold some sort of grudge against her. I tell that I don’t know her at all, and we’ve never talked except to exchange greetings. She then tells me that someone ‘keyed’ her car several weeks ago, and around the same time her boyfriend’s car window had been rolled down during a rainstorm, soaking the interior. She hints mightily that she thinks it was me, and again asks if I have some sort of grudge against her.
At this point I’m flabbergasted, and again deny having anything to do with those incidents, since I didn’t know her boyfriend, much less that she had one, much less know what kind of car he would be driving. She apparently wasn’t satisfied with my denial, as she warns me that that has taken ‘precautions’ and will know if anyone tries to vandalize her car again. We part ways.
An hour later, she knocks on my door again and says that she has proof that I vandalized her car. I reply that if she does, we can call the police so she can show it to them and file a report. She replies that she legally doesn’t have to show the proof to me or anyone else, as she has three lawyers in her family. I put up my hands and retreat to my apartment, as she is clearly nuts - still standing out there mumbling to herself. I call the police, and while I’m waiting for them to show, she gets in her car and drives away. The police come to talk to me, and tell me to call them back if she returns before the end of their shift. She doesn’t came back until 6AM the next morning.
She’s not back 30 minutes that morning, when there’s a brief power outtage on my street. Immediately, my upstairs neighbor starts to jump up and down on her floor - our ceiling, as if having a tantrum. Then she flies down her stairs to bang on my door and acuse me of turning off her power. I explain to her that our power is out too, and most likely the entire street is without power, but she’s having none of that. I again retreat to my apartment and call the police.
Now, bear in mind, my wife and I just came home with Ethan last Tuesday after a difficult labor ending in a C-section, so we’re still pretty exhausted. My wife is starting to freak out because it’s obvious that this woman is crazy.
So the police show up, and explain all of this to them, and as soon as I finish telling them what happened, she’s leaving the apartment again. She turns the corner, sees me with the police and says "Oh wow, I can’t believe you called the cops. I should be the one calling them."
So they walk down the hall to talk her - get her side of the story, and she talks about how her car was vandalized, and how much noise we make, how she found dog poop on her deck that wasn’t from her dog, how I turned the power off to her apartment. They basically tell her that anyone could have vandalized her car, and that the entire block lost power. She leaves again, and the cops come back to say that they won’t file a report - since this is a ‘civil’ matter, but if anything else came up to give them a call.
I’m glad that I’m moving in a few weeks, but the paranoid/persecution/delusional woman living upstairs from me, my wife, and my baby worries me not a little bit.
Working as a medic, I’ve dealt with many, many truly disturbed people. But when one of them is the next-door neighbor, well, there really isn’t much a private citizen can do - can he?
So Calvin, I feel your pain.
- Tae

Calvin, Tae-
I am SO sorry about your experiences - unbelievable!! sad.gif We’ve probably all had similar encounters with such creeps. On the lighter side, and forgive me for sharing this under your trying circumstances, I also have a pooping dog story. My mother has to keep our really old dog in the kitchen because he will otherwise a. pee AND poop in the house without so much as a HINT that he needs to go or b. dig his way out of the yard and terrify the neighbors (not even Alcatraz would hold him) as well as poop and pee on their lawns. My mother believes she HAS to keep the dog because she feels obligated but she HATES the dog. Yes, coming home is a real treat when you step into little heaps and puddles in the kitchen because you forget they will be there.

Yikes! I am so a cat person.
Tae – that sounds scary. My last neighbor was a lot like yours. She called the cops on me one day and thought I hated her because of her age. Other neighbors told me she hated everyone in my apt. Basically it was a two apt house, hers on the ground floor mine on the second floor. She had both a separate entrance and one she shared me with me. Once a month she would find some reason or another to freak out at me – she would scream at me from the yard or from the hallway. Once I was on the phone when she was doing it and he thought she was in my apt but she was downstairs.
This guy just had me all worked up because he was so angry and really crazy. I saw him today and just walked by w/o saying anything. The guy creeps me out but I am not going to let him know he gets to me.
I am just sure if there is no domestic violence in that house now, it's in that couple's future for sure.

Damn, I'm feeling thankful for my wonderful, sane neighbors about now. About the worst thing they ever do is not weedwack their side of the fence. Calvin, you might want to think about a restraining order if this guy bothers you again–he sounds scary! And Tae, sounds like a good thing you're moving.

It isn't quite that easy to get one, otherwise I probably would.

As a person that one day hopes to save lives…I hate to say it…but get a gun. During my career as an attorney, I have had a number of people threaten to kill me. I hate carrying a gun but I have to. There truly are mentally ill folks out there that have the capacity to harm you or themselves if their illness goes unchecked and the circumstances lend themselves to such action. I had one guy that threatened me involuntarily committed. Sounds like these people just need some help.
Advice-have a video camera or tape recorder ready to document this unusual behavior. (Tape recording calls can get you in trouble in some jurisdictions)
Even if the police will not arrrest the person, you can go to the local district attorney’s office and file a complaint against them. Often the police do not want to get involved. But, if you go to the D.A.s office to swear out a complaint they have to.
My two cents…
Good luck
Let me know if I can help…

That is crazy. Well, she is anyway.
Does she blame you when it rains? I can see her walking barefooted through her apartment, stubbing her toe, and cursing your name for moving the couch out of place.

As a person that one day hopes to save lives...I hate to say it....but get a gun.

I feel the need to add a bunch of caveats here. If you get a gun, you have to learn to use the gun. You have to get ammo, load and unload it, go to the range and practice, decide on a safe, accessible place to keep it. And, more importantly, you have to figure out if you'll really use it if you have to.
Twelve years ago, I used to keep a .38 Special in my car in Louisiana (you could do that there). I was driving over the twin spans at night in a very old pickup truck with a disposable alternator (I went through them like toilet paper), and just recently a man had been shot to death while changing his tires on that bridge. I was pretty sure I could shoot someone who was trying to break into my truck to hurt me, and my aim wouldn't have to be that good to do it. Just a couple of years back, I got rid of my gun. I wasn't sure what I would do in my apartment if a crazy person broke in and I was shaking with adrenaline. I kept the gun unloaded in the house (in which case it's not a gun; it's a stick), and the chances I could get it out, load it, and shoot it while I was panicked and shaking with adrenaline were slight. The chances that the crazy person would take it and shoot *me* with it seemed higher. And I wasn't willing, for lots of reasons, to keep a loaded pistol in my nightstand. I took the thing to the police station and got rid of it.
Your mileage WILL vary.
I feel for you. I sure hope everything works out. It sure would be ironic if you had to get a bigger, meaner, noisier dog to protect yourself from this lunatic.

I had a neighbor like this who screamed crazily at me etc… and complained that my daughter’s crying was too loud (she was a baby at the time) and that my storage room should be his because he needed more space (whuh? sad.gif ) + many more incidents.
I know it’s really frightening when someone comes at you at your own front door like that so I really sympathize. Our strange Mr. Muller moved out of the building finally when all the neighbors wrote letters on my behalf to the landlord and he realized he couldn’t win. Maybe you could try this.

Thanks. I don't think I'll buy a gun because I am not coordinated enough and think I may end up moving. He owns his house so he's not going anywhere.
At least nothing else has happened with that…

Hi there,
I’m down in Salem, Va at the Veterans Hospital doing another month. After dragging home from seeing a consult patient in the middle of the night, I crawl into my warm bed where I am finally snuggy snug under my down comforter. I start to hear the bed springs going full tilt above me. The next thing I hear is the sound effects from that restaurant scene in “When Harry Met Sally”. I finally get up and turn on on the fan to drown out any more loud lovemaking from above. ohmy.gif The walls are paper thin in my little basement apartment.
Natalie mad.gif

QUOTE (njbmd @ Jul 2 2003, 12:33 AM)
I crawl into my warm bed where I am finally snuggy snug under my down comforter. I start to hear the bed springs going full tilt above me. The next thing I hear is the sound effects from that restaurant scene in "When Harry Met Sally". Natalie mad.gif

Not as bad as getting yelled at in your own house but definitely annoying. Unless of course that is you happend to be one of the noise makers biggrin.gif

It sounds like you must be back in your same little apartment!
So. . . . go ahead and put on your CD, the one with the really strong bass, turn it up, and let them have it!! rolleyes.gif
Maybe they’ll think twice before they complain about your music being too loud! (Or else, buy some earplugs for the nights you’re not on call) biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Calvin -- in a box by the river @ Jul 1 2003, 07:15 PM)
Thanks. I don't think I'll buy a gun because I am not coordinated enough and think I may end up moving. He owns his house so he's not going anywhere.
At least nothing else has happened with that...

Here is an approach you could take that would not be considered too drastic.
One is to address the issue of the dog barking. That is what he does - right? Because he poops in the house, he is not allowed anywhere beyond the kitchen, which is why he barks? I know you mentioned that he is not yours, but I hope the owner knows that the dog is causing some friction.
First, make sure that the reason the dog is pooping in the house isn't a medical one. Then try to figure out what behaviorally causes the dog to poop in the house. If you can figure that out and cure it, then the dog can roam the rest of the house and won't be so barky.
I have two dogs that don't bark much - thank god. But my *other* next door neighbors who just moved in have two dogs that start barking the second both of their owners leave the house. And they are gone for 8-12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's easy to see why these dogs bark - they are in a new environment, probably are not exercised or challenged, and quite frankly, are at times left alone for too long.
Now, since I'm moving away in a few weeks, I'm not going to talk to them about their dogs. Besides - my wailing baby @ 4am I think is compensation.
But, if you can get the barking dog addressed, then you won't have to deal with the inappropriate response of your neighbors.
- Tae
QUOTE (ballast @ Jul 1 2003, 12:01 AM)
That is crazy. Well, she is anyway.
Does she blame you when it rains? I can see her walking barefooted through her apartment, stubbing her toe, and cursing your name for moving the couch out of place.

Ya know, my wife and I noticed a loud 'thumping' noise every so often in the last few months. We always thought it was a door being slammed or something of the like. But we've recently come to realize that it was our upstairs neighbor stomping on her floor. We don't know why she does it - I guess in protest to something we are doing, but truth be told, we go to bed early, never blast the stereo, and most of the time when we hear the stomping, we are watching TV at a reasonable hour, or in bed.
I haven't really seen her or her car in the driveway for several days. Maybe she's waiting out our move before returning. I hope so.
- Tae