"Redneck Neighbor"

Page last edited on April 11, 2002

In case you're wondering, this Web page is about my next-door neighbors.  Since my neighbors have been driving me crazy and no amount of civilized reasoning and/or negotiations have worked -  I have decided to dedicate a small corner of cyber-space to them. 

My family and friends are constantly asking me to tell them the "latest" thing my neighbor has done so this page will save me from repeating myself.  Besides, I thought it would be fun.   Everything you read here is entirely true, that's what makes it so funny.   Enjoy!

Background:

My neighbors moved into the house next to ours in October 1997.  Itís a brand new neighborhood with new houses.  Everyoneís house looks beautiful but thatís about to change.  The new neighbors seem like normal people until shortly after they move in (more later). 

First, let me say that my redneck neighbor is not destitute or under-privileged.  The guy owns a business, drives VERY nice new cars, he just doesnít care about his house.  In order to protect the ignorant, weíll call him John Doe # 8 or JD8 for short.

October 1997 - They are here!

Well, it should have been a sign of things to come but my neighbors move into their brand new house.  Inventory:  1 artificial Christmas tree, clothes, stereo system, TV, no furniture).  The Christmas tree is nicely decorated (remember, it's October).  We can tell what the tree looks like because the windows have no miniblinds so at night, you can see right into the house as you drive up.  They have also decided to wrap some strands of Christmas lights around their front porch railing.  I guess there's no electric outlet nearby because they never turn these lights on.

October 1997 - 1st Home beautification project

It's dark outside, I'm standing in front of my house and my neighbor does the following:  He gets in his car, drives it up to the house on the other side of my house (this house is still being built).  He backs his car up to the construction site and opens the trunk.  He calmly proceeds to load up the trunk with bricks and 2x4s.  Pretty clever, huh?

The following night, at around 9:00pm he decides it's time to build a mailbox post.   It's very nice.  He used the stolen 2x4s from the previous night.  It looks like it's made out of 2x4s except he didn't steal any that were long enough so he nails a couple of them together to get the correct height - I mean, it has to look just right!  The mailbox post is not very sturdy so he braces it with an additional 2x4 (at an angle).  Click here to see the mailbox (no bracing 2x4 though).

He uses the bricks as edging for his flower beds.  They look nice.   Especially with the newly planted bamboo trees and the ten gallon fish tank (no fish, just water).

November 1997 - The fence!

I wake up to my wife telling me, "Hey, it looks like JD8 is working on a fence".   Well I don't think much of it until she tells me that he's trying to build a fence around the entire house (front and back) and that the fence is going to be chain-link.   We have some "covenant rules" that prohibit you from putting up a silver chain-link fence.  Also, you cannot have any fence go past the back of your house.   By now, I am freaking out.  I can see the property value falling faster than his mailbox post.

Anyway, I get to work and at 9:01AM  I call our builder.  I explain the situation to him and he agrees to pay JD8 a visit before the concrete around the metal posts dries.  Sure enough, I get home after work and the posts around the front of the house are laying on the street.  Not exactly what I expected but at least they're out of the ground.  Tragedy is averted for now.

A few days later I realize he's not putting up chain-link but "chicken wire".   Call # 2 to the builder.  While talking on the phone, the builder starts referring to the neighbor in a less-than-amicable fashion Ė someone else on my side!

By that afternoon, the fence is chain-link again.  The top of the fence looks like a wave (he didn't want to spend the 6 bucks on a level), and the sides look like an S.  Very crafty guy.  Total estimated fence cost:   $250.00 - but wait! -- He didn't set all the metal posts in concrete!  Actual cost:  $62.50.  You get the idea here.

Sometime after the fence

Well, it's time to give Cujo the Rottweiler a home.  The dog's actual name is Lucky.  The dog quickly learns how to jump the fence.  Once tied to a chain, he also learns that if he barks for a long time, people will come out to see him.   Unfortunately, for about the first two weeks, he wants to be "seen" late at night.  Apparently, JD8 doesn't play the "let's-see-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-the-dog" game.  I'm the only game participant.  After throwing a few rocks Cujo's way, he decides he'd rather sleep at night.

Something else needs to be mentioned.  Since JD8ís business is booming, he decides he doesn't have time to feed "Not-so-Lucky".  Instead, he breaks open a 50 lb. bag of dog food in the middle of his storage closet and Cujo goes in there whenever he's hungry.  Unfortunately for Cujo, the ants like dog food too.

Sometime after the dog

All work and no play is cramping JD8ís lifestyle!  It's time to get in shape.  We wake up early on a Saturday morning to the sounds of a bouncing basketball.  He's put a basketball goal about 15 feet from our bedroom window. 

Mom moves in!

Nothing wrong here.  Mom seems like a very nice lady.  Unfortunately, my wife wakes me up to bad news again.  "Something weird is happening at JD8ís house.  His dog is chasing some chickens around the back yard."   Unfortunate indeed.  Just as I peek out the bathroom window, I see JD8ís mom come out and throw some chicken feed in the middle of the yard.  About nine chickens gather around, frantically pecking at the food but Cujo crashes in and spoils the moment.   My morning is spoiled as well.

Remember the old "covenant rules" of our neighborhood?  Well, there's a sentence in there about livestock (fancy word for chickens and goats).  We donít live in the country Ė we live in the city.  After a quick phone call to our city's "Special enforcement" folks, they promise to come out and give JD8 a warning.  The chickens are gone within a couple days.  Can you say chicken feast? 

Shortly after this, JD8 decides that maybe the city folks don't like chickens.  Marcy thinks she hears Canadian geese behind our house.  It's geese alright.  JD8 has enclosed the wooden deck behind his house with some more chain-link fence and is now raising geese right on the deck!  The geese disappear weeks after without the intervention of the fine folks at Special Enforcement.  Maybe they flew away.

Mom decides she can't be without her feathery friends and moves back home shortly after.

Party number one

It's Tuesday morning, about 2:00am.  My wife and I wake up to what feels like a small tremor.  It's JD8ís stereo, AKA the Bass Machine.  All we hear is this bass rumble (it's making our bedroom windows rattle), and what sounds like a very poor male singer.  Every song has the same monotone male singer.  Well, amusement quickly turns to annoyance and anger.   I  decide to go ask them to turn it down.

I knock on the door.  Get ready for this image.  The door opens, JD8 is holding a beer.  There's a working disco ball hanging on their ceiling fan.   There's a guy in the background standing in front of a big screen TV (holding a microphone).  The words to George Michael's "Careless Whisper" slowly scroll to the music.  You guessed it!  It's a Karaoke Party!!!  It takes all my strength to not laugh and remain "angry".  I ask them to turn it down.  The music stops for tonight.

2nd home beautification project

JD8 decides to put up rain gutters in front of his carport.  Unfortunately he doesn't buy a piece long enough for the width of the carport.  Instead, he buys two pieces.  They're about ten feet long.  He wedges the two pieces together by hand and proceeds to nail the now larger piece directly onto the carport.  Once again, things don't go as planned for JD8 and he realizes the middle of the rain gutter is sagging -- right where the two pieces join.  Having no time to consult his engineer friends, he comes up with the answer -- he ties a piece of a wire coat hanger around the middle of the rain gutter.  For the finishing touch, he ties the coat hanger around a nail he's nailed onto the carport roof shingles.  The nail is not nailed all the way into the shingles.  About an inch of the nail remains above the shingles with the coat hanger wire neatly wrapped around it.  Bob Vila would love this guy.

The Rock

This has to do with another home improvement project.  There's no way to describe this project.  It is quite simple.  He wants to put a rock in his flower bed.  The weird part is how the rock is placed there.  When I describe this to my friends at work, I call it the "one legged table".  I know it's hard to picture it.  To see it, click here.

Party number two

This party follows the pattern of the first party except I didn't feel the urge to laugh.  The scenario is the same.  It's a weeknight, it's about 1:00AM and the party is going strong.  I decide to again go speak to JD8 about the problem.   I knock on the door and soon realize that the music is so loud that they can't hear the doorbell or my knocking.  It's very cold outside and I'm VERY angry by now.   The only thing I can do is to wait for the song to end so I can pound on the door hard enough for them to hear me.  As predicted, the song ends, I bang on the door and in a few seconds, JD8 is standing there, holding a beer, smiling at me.  I explain my concerns to JD8 and he apologizes several hundred times.  I shake my head and return home.

Same night, but it's now 3:00am.  The music is back and with authority.  It wakes us up again and this time I'm ready to kill somebody.  Instead, I call the police.  The funny thing is that when the police officer arrives, JD8 can't hear the  officer knocking on the door.  By now, my wife and I are glued to the window hoping to see some police brutality (yeah it's bad).  The officer proceeds to walk around the house shining his flashlight into the windows hoping to get a glimpse of what's happening inside.

As the officer is walking back towards the front of the house, JD8 opens the door and sees the police car.  He panics and slams the door shut.  The officer sees the light shining on the front lawn and runs to the front door.  The officer starts pounding on the door, and shouting.  After about thirty seconds, the door opens and the cop goes inside the house.  We can hear the officer screaming for them to turn the music off.  Sweet!

I meet the officer by his car and he tells me to call him back if I hear anything so he can take everyone to jail.  It was beautiful.

The Structure

In case you have not noticed by now, JD8ís favorite hobby is to build things poorly.  His next project is yet unnamed.  All my friends call it the chicken coop.  There are several theories as to what this building really is.  The theories include:  chicken coop, two-story deck, two-story chicken coop, work shop, shed, etc. It would be easier for you to see it than for me to describe it.  Once thing is certain, it is HUGE.  Unfortunately for JD8, I called the city and he has been asked by the fine folks at "code enforcement" to stop building whatever that is.  He needs to get a building permit.  Luckily for the neighborhood, that thing will not meet building code regardless of what it is.

The lawn mower

After living here about 8 months, JD8 decides to buy a lawn mower.   Unfortunately for my wife and I, JD8 is too excited about his new purchase.   He's so excited that he decides he needs to cut the lawn.  The only problem is that once again, the entire neighborhood is asleep.  It's midnight!  This is the only time I curse at my neighbor but I do not know what else to do.  He explains he is "testing" the lawn mower.  I don't think he understands my point.  He seems to think I'm upset that he is cutting his lawn.  The fact that he is making entirely too much noise never crosses his mind.

Miscellaneous Pictures

This is a picture of part of JD8ís back yard.   This is the part that connects our property.  Check out the workmanship of his chain-link fence!

No words can say enough here.  JD8 also likes to work on his car.  Since this picture was taken, he poured the contents of the oil pan into a hole in his yard.

Labor Day Party

Fortunately for us, we were not home on Labor Day weekend.  However, two of my other neighbors tell me that JD8 and friends had a knock-out-drag-out fist fight in the middle of the street.  The time, of course, about 2:00AM.  I can't tell you much about it except that the police showed up and got things under control.  I presume somebody was on the Karaoke machine singing "Everybody was Kung Fu fighting" and things got out of hand after that.

Late night project

Just when you think JD8 will take a breather, things get going again.  This time, it's about 11:00pm and he decides his carport is not complete.  It's missing something Ė something other than a car.  JD8 is putting together a pool table.  It's positioned directly in the center of his carport - where else do you put a pool table, right?  I have to point out that this happened long before the Drew Carry show so he didnít get the idea from there.  BTW Ė you can check out the rain gutters on that last picture.

Back to the story.  Of course, he is hammering, dropping things, and just making a whole lot of noise.   I decide to just open the window and "ask" JD8 to keep it down.   Apparently, "keeping it down" is a relative term.  The project continues.

To make a long story short, it's now 1:00am and the banging and hammering is still going on.  I decide to call the police.  Before the cops get here, one of JD8ís friends decides it's not too late in the evening to race his car's engine and burn some rubber all the way up the street.  It's just wholesome fun!

The policeman arrives and I explain the situation.  I also tell him this time we ARE definitely going to court over this.  He goes over to JD8ís house and after about 15 minutes, motions me to come over.  It becomes evident that the cop has mentioned somebody is going to jail because the entire household is out of the house frantically apologizing, and trying to shake my hand.

The cop explains that it is up to me to decide whether or not they get to spend a night downtown.  I'm guessing that the JD8 crew is picturing some third-world-country type jail because they are quite frantic. 

I tell them that "this time" I won't let the police take them to jail.   However, the "next time" we have a problem, "some damn body" is going to jail.  The police officer agrees and gives me his business card.  He asks me to specifically request his presence the next time I need the police out here.  He tells them he doesn't want to be back.  They are still nodding, waving, and shaking hands.

Back Yard Accident?

Well, after many months of inactivity, JD8 surpasses his previous antics.  I come home from work to the sight of a smoking back yard.  It turns out that it was winter time and the grass was dried-up(dormant) Ė JD8 threw a lit cigarette out his back door and you can imagine the rest.  Here are two pictures of the end-result.  Luckily for us, the fire stayed far from our property.  Unfortunately, the grass didnít burn long enough to take the wooden structure down.  The privacy fence you see in the pictures separates his yard from the property behind our houses.  That fence was about two weeks old.  Here are the pictures:  (Picture one) (Picture two).

Hibachi Hell

After a long hiatus, JD8 comes back strong.  One early morning (around 5:15am), I wake up to the sound of voices.  Marcy is wide awake - peeking out of our bedroom miniblinds.  She tells me there are a few fire department trucks outside.   Apparently, a neighbor (from the apartment buildings behind our subdivision) was on his way to work (he's a soldier) and noticed a fire behind JD8ís house.  He jumped over the privacy fence, woke JD8 up, and called the fire department.

I proceeded to go out there to get the scoop on what had happened.  It turns out that JD8 had left a Hibachi grill on top of his wooden picnic table.   Unfortunately, the picnic table was sitting on top of his wooden deck.  To make a long story short, the table and a big part of the deck went up in flames.

Of course, you want to see the pictures!   Exhibit A     Exhibit B    Exhibit C

Check out the chain link fence around the deck.  That's where the geese used to live.

Neighborhood thugs

In case you don't remember, long ago, JD8 had placed a basketball goal right outside our bedroom window.  Unfortunately for JD8, some neighborhood thugs put a couple bricks through the back-board.  Unfortunately for me, the same bricks also took a chunk off the side of my house. 

JD8 decides to move the basketball goal to the curb to be picked up by our city's waste disposal specialists (garbage men).  Well, from the look of JD8ís house, the garbage men aren't sure if it's really garbage so they never pick it up.  The broken basketball goal sits by the curb for several months when JD8 decides to put it back on his driveway.  He does not use it again.  Here is a picture of the basketball goal.  See the Christmas lights in the background?  This picture was taken in the summer.

Home-grown fish?

I really don't know what to make of this one.  JD8 has done stuff like this before.  Again, like many of JD8ís antics, this one has to do with his never-ending love for home-improvement.  The premise is simple, the flower bed by the mailbox is missing something....  hmmmmmmmm, a fish tank of course!  No fish, just some green water.

Latest Home Improvements

Since there are a few of these, I'll just bunch them together.  The first in this array of home beautification efforts has to do with the old mailbox (the one made with 2x4's).  JD8 decides to use the old stolen bricks and build a brick mailbox.  It's really nice.  However, he uses his old white plastic mailbox and leaves the flag attached to it instead of attaching a flag to the bricks (it makes the mailbox flag inoperable Ė it stays up).  Of course, worried about mail fraud or perhaps the anthrax scare, JD8 protects his mail with a Jesus Christ statue on top of the mailbox.  Check out the handy work.    

         Mailbox front        Mailbox back        Mailbox statue

Notice the realty sign by the mailbox.  That's right - this beautiful, well-taken-care-of home could be all yours.  PLEASE buy it.  I beg you. (No the house has not sold).

Apparently the fish tank by the mailbox is not conducive to the preservation of carbon-based life forms.  JD8 decides his next project will be a pond.  Luckily for the neighborhood, he places the pond in his back yard.  The actual construction of the pond is actually the best-looking project so far (it really is).  However, JD8 had to add his personal touch to it and screwed everything up.  JD8 decides to add a waterfall to the pond.  He proceeds to remove a section of rain-gutters from the carport in order to get the waterfall effect.  Here are the pictures.  Pond 1  Pond 2

The next project is a weird one.  JD8 wanted to plant some spices.  Again, he could choose to use normal plant pots to grow these.  Instead, he buys several of those blue, child-size swimming pools (you know, the round ones that are about a foot deep) and fills them up with top soil.  The look really nice - especially sitting next to the smelly pond.    Pools 1    Pools 2

This next project occurred long before the September 11 events.  JD8 decides to put up an American flag in front of his house.  I donít mind that heís putting up a flag.  However, the JD8 School of Home Improvement (not yet an accredited learning institution) states that the flag pole needs to be taller than your house.  Small aircraft, beware!   Flag pole

Flag pole update

I have to admit that I'm impressed that JD8 has taken the time to replace the American flag with a new one since the old one was looking a little dirty.  In this unprecedented set of pictures, we get to see JD8's handy work as it happens!!  I actually took these pictures while he did the work.  The quality of the pictures is really bad because I had to take the pictures through the window screen and with the camera flash disabled.  Otherwise, my cover would have been blown.  Note that he uses his Chevy Suburban to stand on (rather than using a ladder) and that the flag is upside down!!  JD8 is awesome.  Of course, he figures out that the flag is upside down and fixes it.  The pictures tell the story.   Again, sorry about the poor picture quality.

Picture 1    Picture 2     Picture 3     Picture 4     

 


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