mercredi 22 juin 2005

Bestowing dishonour

I wish I could give out the "Worst Neighbour Awards" for my neighbourhood. Or at least become a cop so I could write warnings. For some reason, I have always ended up with people next door who are either racist or disrespectful or surprise, both!

First case I remember: I was four years old and the guy who lived next door hated us. I don't mean just neighbourly hate; it ranked up there with a certain group I will not mention. Do you know what he ended up doing to my quiet, peaceful, didn't-do-anything-to-inflict-this-sort-of-behaviour family (keeping in mind, I'm four years old)? He took a can of gasoline and poured it all over our garden, hoping that we would eat from our contaminated vegetables. Well he probably didn't think we could smell it! It reeked and it was enough to warrant gasoline poisoning. But the police didn't do anything. I don't harbour anything against them - I'm hoping they were working off some sort of logic at the time. They did tell us to move though, or we'd probably end up being dead. Nice childhood memory, huh?

So things got a lot better at the new house. We had better neighbours, then again anyone who doesn't have murder on their heart is better. Still had racist people who enjoyed belittling us every chance they got, but I learned to ignore it. Even though they would open our trashbags and dump it on our property or steal the cans we were about to recycle. If you let the little things like this get to you, you end up giving into the misery they create for you. I think I'm at the point where I don't even think of these people.

Second major case: Worst kids ever next door! I'm not just talking about loud, annoying kids who throw tantrums. I'm talking about kleptomaniac pyros who will one day end up on the news. These two boys went around the neighbourhood stealing bikes, wood, basically anything they could get their hands on in peoples' yards. Their favourite hobby was taking newspapers, lighting them on fire and burning neighbours' fences and grass. Vandalism was their middle name and neither house nor vehicle escaped unscathed. We saw social services and the police once in a while but clearly, the parents thought their boys were innocent of everything.

And now, it is slowly escalating to the third case. That family finally moved away only to be replaced with twenty-somethings who blast their music louder than eardrums should be allowed to be around. It's become some sort of frat street now! I could hear the lyrics to their songs even though all the windows and doors were shut and I was at the other end of the house. There's another house that does this, so combine the noise from two houses, including drums or some garage band and you get an idea of what it sounds like. On top of that, that house has partiers nearly every night, adding a bunch of vehicles who think our street is part of the racing circuit.

But going back to our lovely neighbours next door. They have a cat. This cat does not have a litterbox. Therefore, our gardens and yard must be wonderful for the cat to use. Hmm, nothing says neighbourly love like tons and tons of cat poop, rendering the awful smell and impossibility of lawn mowing. And now, these people are parking their excessive vehicles in front of our house. Actually, three houses seem to think that our house screams, "Park here! We have cars but hey, by all means, take our space so that we have nowhere to park our cars." I don't know if it's inconsideration or cluelessness. I just figure, they're older than I am, they must know what is acceptable or not. As well, the city is on a water restriction right now. These people had the nerve to water their lawn for a while without any care or concern, and I'm pretty sure that everybody by now knows that it's forbidden. Even if it's a nice day, we've had fourteen days of continual rain already! I should have reported that, since the police never did come around.

Wow, this was one of the longest rants I've ever written. I just needed to get that out. There's only so many terrible neighbours a person can handle. This is why it's hard for me to apply Jesus' teaching to "love our neighbours." It's so much easier to obey when the neighbours are either not plotting to kill you, steal and wreck your property and possessions, or think they're at a dorm party all the time without realizing that it's disruptive. Granted, the neighbour cases have been getting better and less severe in nature, but I just hope this means that one day, I'll end up with nice, wonderful people next door for once.

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