Saturday, June 07, 2008

Name that Spore (social comment)

Last week, my wife came from her garden in our front yard and she was really upset. There was a pile of animal feces right where she had begun planting corn. She was absolutely certain that the pile was too high to have come from a dog and immediately concluded that it had to be a stalker among our corn stalks. Like all neighborhoods, ours comes with a bit of history. We moved here seventeen years ago and there was a pair of hunting dogs roaming front yards at night. After talking to some of the other neighbors about it, a few of them mentioned that they didn’t like it much either but apparently no one had done much about it. My wife went to talk to one other neighbor whose dogs had also gotten loose and he and his wife started screaming at her. Anyway, she took the matter into her own hands (she’s very good at this) and called the pound.

As it turned out, the owner of the two hunting dogs is the neighborhood psychopath. One neighbor explained that he’s the guy who works underground at the construction sites and it’s affected his personality or he’s always been that way. Every few years, the police show up at his house on domestic violence matters. Anyway, he wasn’t very happy that it cost him a hundred dollars to get his dog out of the pound.

Fast forward, twelve years, yes twelve years, and his dog gets out again and kills our cat on our front doorstep. He killed another cat down the street as well. It costs us almost two thousand dollars in vet bills and the cat dies anyway. The owner doesn’t come over to apologize, refuses to return my phone calls, then screams at me when I knock on his door and threatens to kill me. I call the local police and the officer tells me that my neighbor wants me to sue him in small claims court so his property insurance company can cover the cost. I do that then get a call from the insurer who give us something like twenty five hundred dollars for the cat.

The next year, my wife isn’t happy about strange dogs coming and leaving dog things in our front yard. She puts a sign by our mail box asking people walking their dogs to pick up after themselves. One night she’s driving home and the neighbor is standing in front of our mailbox with his young daughter. In the morning we discover that he’s left a pile of dog poop in front of our mailbox and left a sign on top of our sign. I’m not sure why he decided to involve his daughter in the matter.

Two years later, one of our dogs (Lucky) is missing. We eventually get a call from the police saying that our neighbor has it and is insisting that Lucky keeps slipping into his yard and kills his chickens. He’s holding up a dead chicken and he tells the officer that he wants two thousand five hundred dollars for the return of our dog and to replace the dead chicken. There are a couple problems with his story. Lucky is eleven years old and doesn’t move around very well anymore. She’d either have had to jump a five foot tall cyclone fence or slip across a thorn-infested creek that links our yards then came through his backyard to kill chickens when he still has hunting dogs there. The police officer makes him return the dog then gives us a ticket for our dog being out of the yard.

For some odd reason, my wife is convinced that the poop in front of her nascent cornstalks must be our neighbor (three houses up the hill). She starts telling me that he’s probably going to use a gun next time. She goes to the police who take her report. I bury the pile of poop. It is rather large and contains fragments of undigested nuts or something like it. Yuck.

Two days later there’s another pile of pooh in exactly the same spot though this one is a bit smaller. We then learn that our across the street neighbor (also a little strange) is getting the same pile in their front yard as well. It then occurs to us that it might not be the psychopath neighbor. Believe it or not, I’ve still never exactly spoken to the guy.
One night I was riding my bike down the hill and he was driving up in his car and he did spontaneously start swearing at me, but even then I didn’t talk to him.

We now believe that it’s some sort of animal, but what sort of animal leaves this kind of conical pyramid of spore and always in the same exact spot? We do live a couple counties away from Big Foot, the giant humanoid creature that supposedly roams the redwoods. That would be way better than the flock of wild turkeys that wander our front yards from time to time. My sister in law is a biologist from fish and game and she’s thinking raccoon, but that’s way too boring. I’m sort of rooting for Big Foot or some other mythical creature. Perhaps it could be a prehistoric rodent or space aliens who have moved from crop circles to crap circles. We do watch a lot of Law and Order SVU. I was thinking of calling Doctor Warner (Tamara Tunie) to have her run the DNA test.

Maybe we can turn it into a hit reality show “Name that spore” and we can then move to another neighborhood and be free of psychopath neighbor?



At 6/08/2008 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

You've had some really shitty luck.

At 6/08/2008 10:25:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I think we all have strange neighbors. Most of our neighbors are wonderful or at least indifferent.

The police suggested that we install a security camera in our front yard.
Might be sort of interesting, but probably not 400 dollars interesting.

At 6/09/2008 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Elizabeth McQuern said...

I have no suggestions on the poo issue, but what a whack-ass neighbor. Scary!

At 6/09/2008 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

It's more than a little scary. I don't disagree with my wife that he might show up with a gun some day. Apparently he goes into rages with most everyone quite easily.
We figure that anything will set him off, so basically we just avoid him.

At 6/14/2008 02:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this special case, I'd vote for the security camera so no suspicions can be poo-pooed, as twere. I lived next to a gun-nut case for some years & that kind of rage is no joke.

At 6/14/2008 08:43:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. PB,
It's very clear that the crazy neighbor is not the source of this pile, but yes a security camera is a better idea than picking up our own gun.


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