Saturday, November 25, 2006

here's the story

I didn't feel like writing up the details about this over the holiday proper, nor the day I'd set aside to get my head screwed on straight(er).
But here's the poop about the NeighborGuy. Pour yourself a cup o'something yummy, because I'm about to get seriously long-winded.

The background story is such:

I live on a corner lot.
My house is on a hill.
I am a wheelchair user.
I live in a neighborhood with no curb cuts (this means that my personal driveway is my curb cut--it is the ramp that allows me to get my wheelchair from my car and up to my front door).
And let's also add that my driveway borders the NeighborGuy's property.

Now, I don't use the curb cut of my driveway all that often. I typically leave my wheelchair in my car, use crutches to get into the house, and then waiting for me when I open the front door is another wheelchair. This is because the threshold between the landing and the doorway isn't wheelchair friendly...but nevermind that for now. Let's also nevermind for now the fact that I don't use my driveway for parking my car. There is a dead 1970 VW bus full of my camping gear parked there. So I never enter or exit my driveway with a vehicle. Only a wheelchair, and only when I am unloading my car. If I have to carry something in that is too big to be managed on crutches (ie: just about anything), then I use the wheelchair to help me get said item up to the front door's landing.

What makes accomplishing the task of unloading my car difficult at times, is when the NeighborGuy has parked blocking my driveway. This usually means he is out of room to park because he has also parked blocking his driveway, and possibly even the driveway of the neighbor on the other side of him, as well.

So. If you can picture this, this would mean that I load a heavy and/or large item onto my lap, I am not able to use both hands for pushing or breaking because they are holding the item onto my crooked lap (I only have half a lap), I roll downhill three or four houses until I can find a useable driveway, push myself back uphill (which is very hard to do with one hand and a lapfull of heavy shit, because you have to lean forward deeply make a wheelchair go uphill), before I can even get get to my own front yard.

NieghorGuy has intermittently blocked my driveway since, well....forever. And in the last two years, I have had several peaceable discussions with him about it. I have also occasionally left notes that say please and thank you on the vehicles (because it's not always his car, it might be one of the 14+ people living there, or their visitiors, right?). I have nicely explained the fact that it is illegal to park blocking a driveway in this state, and that is my driveway. I have also explained that it really is an accessibility issue for me. Not that gimps deserve pity, but you think that one alone would be enough, wouldntcha???

Wellp. Obviously not.
And at about 10am Thanksgiving morning, when I needed to bring stuff in from my car and was not able to, I knocked on his door and asked politely if he could please move his car as I needed to be able to use my wheelchair to get some items inside my house.

Know what he said? That it was his uncle's car, so therefore it was not his problem (even though his uncle lives there??), that I've been a bitch ever since the white-thingy went up, that it was too early in the morning for this shit, that the canopy was never ever ever coming down...and then he slammed the door in my face. So I mumbled (yes, only a mumble) that I'd just call the sherrif and have it towed.

By the time the Sherriff showed up, about 6 of the people that live or visit the property had gotten into their cars and left rather abruptly (hmmmm *scratches head*...something to hide??).

Once the Sherrif arrived, I explained to her the situation. In fact, I even wheeled about unloading my car to show her the situation. Gathering sympathy? No. Because sometimes an ambulatory person can't really see the problem for themselves...even when they are kind, and mean well, and trying so hard to visualize a mobility situation. They just have no way of understanding things about surfaces and equipments unless they actually see it displayed for them, or try it for themselves.

I apoligized for bothering her with Hattfield/McCoy crap on Thanksgiving. I explained to the Sherrif that I am very tolerant. That I was not calling to complain about the illegal rental unit in the backyard, the illegally wired utilities, the illegal aliens living on the property, the garbage that's been placed on the side of my house that blocks the meter reader, the fact that my garbage can has been used to handle their overflow often hindering me from using my own service, the poor soggy cold doggy and the newly purchased bunny in the backyard that (imho) are treated negligently, the doughnut marks in the interstection (courtesy of my neighbor's "muscle car"--often created in the morning, and we live one block from and elementary school), the fact that NG continues to hop my fence to climb my avocado tree and strip it of fruit even though I've asked him not to, or even newly unobstructed view debate.

No, no. I was calling about none of those things (*chuckle*...I can be such a bitch. do. not. fuck. with. me...and maybe I am a tad bit passive-agressive after all...I'm only moments away from cutting little letters out of magazine print and glue-sticking a note that says, "Canopy or A Call to Immigration--You Decide").

But again, no. I wasn't calling about any of those things.
I was calling about the fact that I couldn't access my own home and had asked nicely and...
well, you get the picture.

So the Sherrif goes over there for awhile and comes back looking very confident, collected, and professional, but looking like she needed a place to sit down and maybe even a cup of tea. Something about her eyes, ya' know?? Well, as it turns out, both the NeighborGuy and his wife yelled and screamed at the Sherrif, were rude and obscene, and even tried to slam the door in her face (smart bunch, eh?). Sherrif Michelle (we are on a first name basis now) advised them that she would be patrolling the neighborhood on every shift from here 'til eternity and that if they even so much as inched over into my driveway, there would be no knock on the door, but instead an immediate tow and a mandatory 30 day impound (you go, girl).

Then she looked at me, scowled and said, "You have no idea how bad I wish that car was still parked there when I got here." (oh yes, I have some idea) She gave me a card with her phone number, what hours she is on duty, and who to call when she is off duty. We wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving and she gave me a handshake...and then leaned in for a hug. Awww :-)

About 30 minutes later or so, I went to my kitchen to do dishes, looked out the window to admire what little of my view is left, and there is NeighborGuy (can I start calling him Asshat or something??) staking me out. He is smack in the middle of his redwood deck sitting on a folding chair staring at my kitchen window donning the hate-mug with his arms folded all pissy-looking.

So I closed the blinds.

And I just could not stand the idea of TheAsshat squeezing out my sunshine, so I pulled them back up a few minutes later after I stopped feeling freaked.

Not much drama since then.

But I'm a bit scared to leave the house and have the place looking vacant.
And I'm checkin' my tires every day for carefully positioned nails.

The End.
Knitting photos later, if I can get my act together.


Anonymous said...

What a poop he is. An absolute poop. Bleh. Glad you've got the sheriff on your side!

Anonymous said...

Gah! I hate that you are in this situation and that there is nothing constructive I can suggest or do to help! Gah!

(except, yes, maybe call immigration. He may be one of those horrible people who take advantage of them and charge exorbitant rents for poor conditions and threats, anyway. If they're not illegal, no big deal, and maybe immigration calls someone about the illegal unit and illegal utility hookups [ooh, call the utilities people, call the city about the code violation of the illegal unit] and if they are illegal, then hopefully he gets a trip to jail and they get a free trip home to their families for la Navidad. But then again, I understand the helplessness of feeling the intimidation and the fear of escalation. So, gah!)

Scoutj said...

Jaysus. What an asshole. I really hope he leaves you alone.xo

Carrie said...

Holy crap! You poor kid! Call immigration or something. No one should have to live with this ... well ... crap. Call every single person you reasonably can and quit being so nice. It's not doing you any good. What a jerk you have for a neighbor. Grrrr.

Anonymous said...

Oh, rock on, Sheriff Michelle!

jodi said...

Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry you have to deal with an ass like that. I too think you should call everyone, turn him in to the appropriate authorities for every single transgression. But, in similar situations, I usually just fume and wish the person would go away.

~Donna~ said...

The word asswipe should be used I think. Good luck and you go Sherrif Michelle. I hope she gets 'em and gets 'em soon. Sounds like they pissed off the wrong Sherrif.

That guy makes my asswipe upstairs neighbors look like pussycats.

Rabbitch said...

Asshat is too nice. You may use my new favourite epithet if you wish ... "fucknozzle".

You're welcome.

And yes, perhaps la migra needs to visit him.

And perhaps you need to have a lot of friends over to visit so he doesn't see that your house is empty.

I think I'm going to go kiss my neighbours now, just for being so nice.

strangelittlemama said...

What the freaking hell??? Asshole! Tell him I'll personally come kick his sorry ass if he messes with you again!

strangelittlemama said...

You know what else? I WOULD call immigration, and the utility department and MOST certainly the humane society. This guy heas several reasons he needs to be spanked, and if it were me, I'd be calling him on EVERY single one, soley due to his egregious disrespect. Gah!! Can you tell I am pissed?

Carol said...

How can I top the infamous, always-knows-just-the-right-cussword Rabbitch? Fucknozzle it is.


Sounds like you handled it beautifully. And kudos to the sheriff lady. I'm gonna knit her a pistol cozy or something.

M-H said...

You know, I wouldn't stir the pot any more just now. Leave it to Sheriff Michelle. You might be surprised what authorities get to hear about them now that she's in the picture. BTW, I just love that you still have 'sheriffs' over there. It sounds so much more scarey than 'rangers', which is what we have for parking infringements etc. And amen to the idea of having as many people visiting for as much of the time as you can bear.

Anonymous said...

I've had my share of shitty neighbors (and have made a few calls to the cops) but nothing that bad. Damn. I hope it gets better.

Anonymous said...

Be careful sweetie... Don't live in fear, but keep taking pictures and video(including ones of him if he starts staring at your house a lot), get a little pocket recorder and record the conversations whenever you talk to him - or if he calls you. Continue to be nice and hopefully he'll back down. But be sure your homeowner's/renter's insurance is paid up!

Anonymous said...

OMG. You have the only neighbors I have ever heard of that can rival my old neighbors. I had to move because the city and police wouldn't do anything.

I would get them on every illegal thing I could.

Anonymous said...

Great idea posted above about recording every single incident and taking all the photos you can. If you have to go to court, you will have documented proof of harrassment (sp?) and of his illegal actions. Maybe some of your neighbours (esp. some of the BIG MALES) could lend a hand. Do they know that you are being bullied? Where I live, they would smack the eyeballs out of anyone who acted like that. They would do it over the dog and rabbit, never mind humans.

I do hope that someone calls the SPCA.

Anonymous said...

Oooohhh, what a horrible experience! Kudos to you and Sheriff Michelle for handling the situation so well. In situations like these, I reckon keeping a log book, with dates and times of incidents, would be a big help (and provide evidence, if it was needed, but hopefully not, fingers crossed). Hugs to you from across the ocean!

Gray said...

What a terrible story! (Well told though.)

That would be just terrific if Sheriff Michelle gets a chance to really bust him.

Photography is legal, but secretly recording conversations may not be.

With sympathy,