Monday, May 3, 2021

Parking Battle: An Update

Morning, friends!

Today I have an update for you on a long-running saga. As I write this, it should officially be over in a few days, but let's see how we got here.

When I last left you, there were people who were visiting my neighbors to the left (relative to me standing out back) trying to park behind my house. Since then, a new person has moved into that house. He introduced himself to me and seemed to be a decent human. I could not have been more wrong in my assessment. But we'll get back to him, because first we have to talk about the neighbors on the right.

These people have two cars, which is fine because there are two adults and at least three children in the house. What is not fine is that one of them decided it was okay to park in my spot because he could not figure out how to fit both cars into their space (hint: if they pulled straight in, there would be no issue).

One day a few months ago, I asked someone parked in my spot - who was presumably visiting left neighbor - to not park here anymore. He said "okay I won't, my bad" and I've not seen his car since. A day or two later, right neighbor was parked in my spot about halfway. I'd just had success with someone else, so I went out to tell him not to park here. The result was quite different.

He said things like "I'm not in front of your door" and "do you have a car?" and "even if I move it over, it'll still be here so what are you gonna do about it?" I responded that none of that mattered to me, as he was illegally parked. I told him I would call the police to have him ticketed, then a tow truck. His words were "you won't call the cops" so I stepped inside and did just that. While I waited for the officer who drove by but did not stop, I heard right neighbor complain to left neighbor about me calling the cops. I figured this would make both of them leave me alone so I wouldn't call on them again. It did not. I called at least two more times on right neighbor (he had parked in front of my door twice), giving the police his license plate number each time. 

Nothing came of it, but two days after the first call? They called the police to report that very car stolen. I had nothing to do with it, but part of me was surprised that I wasn't questioned by anyone.


So that has kind of been it for right neighbor. They have encroached on our space a few times, but nothing egregious. Though one day when I was taking out the trash and I noticed their garage was open. And do you know what I saw in that garage, friends? Absolutely nothing. These jerks have been using my spot for two years because they "can't fit two cars" when they have an empty garage that could fit at least one of them. The disrespect is real.

Meanwhile on my left, these people have added another adult and another child to their household. They have also started working on cars and bikes behind his house. And when I say "his house" I of course mean that his friends use my space all the time. They have also left trash [a refrigerator and a mattress - separately] and parked their own car there. I should also point out that about a year ago, he banged on our door asking about tow companies because a truck was in his spot. "I'm cool, but that's my spot."

Two weeks ago his car was in front of my door while he was working on another car in his spot. Jill confirmed the car had been there for at least 30 minutes. I hadn't had any real problems with this dude, so I wanted to give him the courtesy of asking him not to park here before I just called the cops. I went out and said plainly "please don't park here." He looked at me, dumbfounded, and said "it's only been there two minutes, I'm sitting right here." I called out his lie and he huffed and puffed before moving his car. He peeled out of the space like that was supposed to either impress or intimidate me. Then he spent the next 10 minutes loudly whining about it like a child. I still don't know if he's too stupid to realize we can hear everything he says, or if he talks shit about me all passive-aggressive like.

A few days ago, he had a buddy working on a shitty car (seriously, these engines they rev for hours never sound any better) in my spot. I called the police and said he threatened me last time I asked him not to park here, so I couldn't give them any information about the car. That's true, by the way. He stepped up like he was about to hit me and, for the first time in my life, I did not flinch at all. I think the car was gone by the time the police arrived. That's what usually happens, anyway.


After that, I sent a text to my landlord just to make sure we were still good to put up fencing (front and back). She said yes, so my next correspondence was with her repair guy. We had talked several months ago about fencing and he said he would be able to do it. I can't remember if this was before or after he came to fix something and left neighbor told him to move his truck because it was six inches into his spot, but the idea was there. So I called him on Saturday and he came out to measure things.

I figured this would take time, but I was pleasantly surprised when he pulled up yesterday and started putting in the posts. Left neighbor came out immediately and said "make sure it's not on my side." Yes, friends. This asshole who parks his car and leaves his trash on my side had the audacity to say that to me. I told him I wasn't doing anything to his space. He threw his hands up, went inside, and slammed the door. He came back outside moments later [after I'd gone upstairs] and harassed the repair guy for a good five minutes. It is hilarious how mad he is about this and I'm sure I will hear him complaining about it today. Also in a fun update: right neighbors had to squeeze both of their cars into their own space. Maybe this will make them realize they have an empty garage they can use for something?

And so that's where we sit today. There are posts up now - they're eight feet high, it's awesome - and the rest of the pieces should be installed this week. I felt bad because I had to make the repair guy pull out one of the posts. I asked about a gate months ago, but failed to mention it Saturday. Luckily I brought it up before the cement dried so he was able to take out the middle post. I don't know if a really wide car will be able to fit through, but it's something!


Before I go I do want to mention this: It is completely ridiculous that I have to spend my own money to solve this problem. I understand that the owner won't pay for fencing, and that's fine. And I am getting a deal by using this repair guy (less than half of what a company would charge). I am also grateful that this will keep my kiddo safe and people's shit out of my space. But this is all happening because my neighbors are unable and/or unwilling to be adults and respect someone else's property. The responses I got from them - "I'm not in front of your door" and "It's only been there two minutes" - show a complete lack of respect for my property and for me. I don't complain about their constant arguing, the revving engines at all hours, the smoking in their house so it comes through our vents. This is the only issue I've ever brought up to either of them. I think "stay out of my space" is a very simple request that any reasonable person could accommodate. But as you've read here, I don't think I'm dealing with those.

I know that a good way to end this would be to share a picture of the finished fence, but that is not available to me yet. I may come back and update this, but for now I just wanted to let youse guyses know that this war is almost over and I am about ready to claim victory. Though to be perfectly honest, I did love the idea my barber gave me of putting a trampoline out there. Maybe at my next house?

That's all for now, pals. I know it was a lot but I hadn't updated you properly in a while so that's why you get this word salad. I may be able to record an actual episode for this week even though we're on baby watch, so stay tuned! Until then, don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Crap open a cold one!

(This post was brought to you by Broad Street Bound.)

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