Monday, January 23, 2006


In Which We Take It One Day At A Time...

Day 1:

Crazy Neighbor yells at Her Lovely Self for a crime she believes you committed. She yells, then leaves, not even giving her name. HLS is too rattled even to think of writing down a license plate number.

She calls. She freaks. You freak. You cope by blogging. She copes by calling the Yummy Mummies (YMs). By the time you get home, HLS has already gathered three first-hand accounts of dealings with the Crazy Neighbors.

YM #1: She had virtually the same experience as Her Lovely Self. She owns a large black Labrador retriever and it is a well-established fact that Labs can excrete their own weight in crap everyday. This requires regular walking. YM #1 and her husband share the walking chores. While husband is walking dog one summer day, Crazy Neighbor, who is out mowing her lawn, suddenly veers towards him. She shouts over the mower engine that he has been failing to pick up after his dog. He waggles pooper scooper in her face by way of rebuttal and, a moment later, is even forced to demonstrate as his Lab assumes the familiar squat then and there. Crazy Neighbor shrieks at him, gesticulating at him and at the ever-growing pile of crap. She whirls the mower around, completing an odd crop-circle type design in her lawn, mowing and watching over her shoulder to make sure he retrieves all of his dog's crap. He does. Nevertheless, the next morning, the couple discovers two hardened doggy nuggets on their doorstep, with a note indicating that the husband missed these post-digestive gems.

YM #2: Last fall, she was waiting at the corner of Boardwalk and Park Place (the corner where the Crazy Neighbors live) with one of her younger kids, standing in line with a group of children waiting for one of the first buses of the school year to come pick them up. As they stand on the sidewalk waiting, the garage door opens and the male counterpart of the Crazy Neighbors comes roaring backwards out of his driveway in an SUV. He backs it into the street until the vehicle is parallel to the line of children. He stares hard at YM #2, then picks up his mobile phone and appears to be making a call, even as he tears off down Boardwalk.

A moment later, Mrs. Crazy Neighbor storms out of the house, yelling at everyone in general to stay off her grass. YM #2 and the children look about: Everyone is on the sidewalk. When YM #2 points this out, the Crazy Neighbor insists that they are trespassing on private property. YM #2 asks her name. Crazy Neighbor refuses, but warns YM #2 "not to push her luck." Then ignoring YM #2 completely, she turns to the slightly frightened children and says, "I am with the police and if you know what's good for you you'll stay out of my yard or I could have any one of your arrested." This prompts YM #2 to respond in anger, telling the woman to return to her house, unless she wishes to be knocked on her ass. Crazy Neighbor opens mouth, closes it, opens it again, then scurries back into the house. From a safe distance, she shouts more unintelligible threats and remarks until the bus comes. (When YM #2 shares what happened with the bus driver, word goes up the chain of command and a voluntary decision is made to move the bus stop to another location, across and the down the street. The rumor that the Crazy Neighbors called the police and forced the change is erroneous).

YM #3: Lives diagonally across and three houses down from the corner of Boardwalk and Park Place, when her phone rings. When YM #3 answers, she is immediately assailed by a screeching voice. YM #3 demands to know who is calling. The caller identifies herself only as "living on the corner." She is furious, she says, because she knows YM #3 lets her dog out unleashed and he comes over to relieve himself in her yard. "I just saw him do it and run back to your house. That's against the law. If I see him in my yard again, I'm turning him over to the pound!"

YM #3 has presence of mind to retort, "Ma'am, if my dog comes into your yard again, please DO give me a call. He died last spring, so if you see him, I'd sure like to know about it." While the Crazy Neighbor stammers, YM #3 slam the phone down on her.

It is full dark by the time you arrive home and gather this information, which you find both illuminating and amusing. There are two key details that will prove useful as you formulate a response. The first--and the one that you must act on immediately--is that these people have a history of leaving nighttime deposits on the doorsteps of neighbors who have wronged them.

(The second piece of information no doubt leapt out at nearly every reader here, and will later prove to be a very useful, er, nugget of information indeed. Feel free to make guesses in comments below. As usual, yours truly, the Boy Detective, didn't realize how helpful this one piece of info would be until almost the very end).

While Her Lovely Self is relating each story to you, you begin rooting through the address books and documents you keep in a small desk by the kitchen. The development in which you live requires all residents to be automatic members in the development's homeowner's association. The association's primary functions seem to consist of sending out an annual bill for an ever-exorbitant membership fee; hosting quarterly meetings of the heads of the neighborhood watch groups in the sprawling development; dispatching a dried up old prune of a woman to yell at residents who haven't put their garbage cans away within 12 hours of trash collection; and issuing an annual calendar and directory. After some searching, you find the directory and under the address at the corner of Boardwalk and Park Place you find them: Bob and Bea Belfry, 666 Park Place. No phone number listed (and directory assistance has them as an unlisted number), but no matter. Now you know their names, and naming has power.

But power is not enough. Sometimes, you need paranoia too. So, being Your Mother's Son, you prepare for the worst and anticipate a night assault. You descend to your basement of Crap which, despite being depleted by a recent giveaway, is still, well, a basement of Crap. In one of three boxes marked "Electronics" you find an assortment of patch cables and mismatched AC plugs. In the second box, tangled up in a gaggle of keyboards and mice, you find it: The wireless camera sent to you ages ago by some company for review.

It is a battery-powered device and in the cold night air it likely won't have power for long. You also can't locate the wireless receiver that is supposed to allow the camera to transmit images directly to your VCR or computer. Nevertheless, you mount the camera in a prominent spot on your front porch and leave the porch lights on all night. Until you get a proper (or at least operational) camera up and running, this non-functioning camera can serve as a scarecrow (a term you remember from your long ago days working at trade magazines, when you interviewed a manufacturer of fake security cameras, who claimed that a third of all security cameras in use today were either complete fakes or not hooked up to anything. Their primary function was simply to be visible, to preserve the illusion of surveillance. To be, well, scarecrows).

(Her Lovely Self, incidentally, is furious when she sees the camera. The last time this camera was used, it was as a nanny cam: you had it mounted in your baby son's room and the receiver was hooked up to the TV downstairs, providing a constant live feed that permitted you to watch your infant son snoozing. The camera and wireless hook-up remained in the room even after your son outgrew his nursery and was moved in his own room. Eventually it was consigned to the basement of CRAP. Until now.

That night you sit up in the living room, where you have a clear view of the front yard and driveway. Pacing back and forth in front of the door is the dog. Mrs. Belfry's visit was an upsetting one for everyone. The dog barked intermittently for the rest of the day. Now he can't bring himself to leave the front hall and ends up sleeping on the floor, blocking the door. You doze, wake around 3:30 and go up to bed. You need your rest because tomorrow, you've got to start doing interviews and you have to call in that favor with your friend. Your friend the newspaper reporter. Your friend the newspaper reporter who covers the police beat...

Why is it that I have the "Mission: Impossible" theme running through my head when I read about this? Crazy Lady doesn't know who she is messing with here....
She is WITH the police?! Hoo boy, this is getting SO good. Blog on, MM!!!
Isn't it interesting how she only confronts the YM's and not the husbands? I doubt she's with the police, or if she is it's as a secretary or something. Can't wait to hear the rest MM, as usual, on pins and needles.
Wow, things are really about to hit the fan now. I was going to break down and get cable TV this month, but never mind. This is far more entertaining. Will you post the video after the story breaks?
AIEEE! This is the worst cliff hanger ever! Or should I say the best... What I mean is, I'm dying of anticipation!
No way! It was a human turd?!

Damn near busted a gut reading "Your father-in-law slapped his hand over his eyes so fast he nearly knocked his eyeballs through the back of his head."

I can't wait for the rest of this to unfold.
OMG This is awesome. I am gripping my office chair with eager anticipation of the next installement of "MM Gets His Revenge on The Crazy Neighbors"!!

Riveting. Enthralling. This is better than Desperate Housewives becuase it's REAL!!
I swear, your life is full of the most colorful, crazy characters and you manage to turn even the most normal occurances (ie. getting screwed over by A Big Home Improvement Store...who hasn't been there??) into a great story! Now I think you are well aware of how we, your loyal readers, feel about this cliffhangers you love to torment us with...but since you clearly have a million things going on right now, you are forgiven. Again. So long as the ending isn't TOO long in coming!
may I just say-- I am completely entralled by the story of the dog .....poop???

how bizarre for her to collect the offending......... feces...... and deposit it on your doorstep! I suppose you should be grateful it isn't flaming!
i love the comments you have about the HOA... considering I work in the that field...

Can't wait for the next installment of this real life experience...
The second piece of information is that they like to threaten others and have a hang-up about keeping everyone else out of their yard. They're so protective about their yard, in fact, that I think a dead body might be buried there. Possibly they're afraid one of the dogs might dig up a bone or something, either before or after the dog has conducted its all-important and urgent business.
I am afraid that the second obvious fact didn't leap out at me, but I'm anxiously anticipating the continuation of this story.
Is it weird that I kind of wish I knew the person screwing with you so that I could see their reaction to your 007-style antics? I love, love, love it.
"... pert 18-year-old breasts ..."

I'm sorry. Did you say something else?

Just kidding. Can't wait to hear the ending!
Are you serious - do you think it's a Belfry turd and not a dog nugget? Ewwwww? Who does that?
Certainly the police wouldn't do such a thing.

I've have images of her cackling, "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too" as she waves a skeletal finger at HLS. Maybe AJ could work on that video.
Sounds like everything is falling into place. I can't wait to read the denouement.

Go get 'em!
Methinks the second important thing is the fact that Bea Belfry impersonated a police officer.

And where are we getting the human feces? Did I miss something?
I am so loving this saga. As a dog owner and subject of more than a few accusations of defecation delinquence, I cannot wait to see how this all turns out. Mrs "Bats in her Belfry" shall have her comeuppance, I feel.
I completely and officially love the "..." MM stories.

*sits right down and wills part 2 to magically appear*

Ya, that didn't work. Oh, well, I await more of the fun that is the MM life. And I am with sassygirl. I totally hear the Mission Impossible theme now while reading this saga.
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