While I have neighbours within my own house, as a household we have neighbours in the house next door to us. It is a very funky looking house with a well-tended yard and a purple colour scheme. It happens to be a boarding house owned and run by an Eastern European gentlemen I will call Boris. I have no idea what his real name is but Boris will do. Boris has a very motley bunch of tenants, one of which hit my car and then tried to swindle me out of a lot of money a couple years ago. I received a series of bizarre phone calls and threatening letters from this guy after he smashed my car and then tried to avoid paying for it. Fortunately a hawk-eyed man in the building across the street saw it all and provided me the necessary information to get the cops involved and my car fixed. However this story is not about that particular freak. It is about Boris.
Boris hates all of us who live in our house for the simple fact that we live here. In reality the feud is really between Boris and The Reign of Terry, our house caretaker. I am uncertain what the original problem was but they loathe each other with a ferocity I can only say amuses me greatly. However all of us must suffer. Boris “punishes” us by stealing our garbage cans, or just the lids from our cans. He plays loud polka music at us and puts his garbage in our recycling bin. I am not exactly sure what our crimes are as a household but I know anybody who is unfortunate to be in the front yard gets yelled at if anybody parks their car in front of his driveway. He never uses his driveway and often the person who has parked there is not related to any of us in any way but we always must pay for that particular action. Other than the occasional parking infraction the only thing I can think of we are guilty of is a poorly tended lawn and a laurel bush that used to over hang his property. Recently it was a friend of the downstairs tenant who momentarily parked his car in front of Boris’s driveway that resulted in Boris stealing our recycling box. I guess somebody had to pay. The funniest thing about Boris is that he doesn’t seem to care about being caught at his thievery. He regularly steals any new garbage can of ours even with our address painted on the side. He proudly and blatantly carries our garbage cans filled with his trash to the curb only for The Reign of Terry to dump his garbage back into his yard in order to reclaim the bin. While Boris is fairly passive aggressive he is not subtle.
My in house next-door neighbour has tried to be friendly to Boris in order to change his perception of all of us. I don’t even bother. I know he is a strange old man who needs us to make his day worthwhile. Boris needs a reason to get up in the morning and if sitting on his front porch glaring at us coming and going with our daily routines is what it takes, dude, feel free. Maybe part of my glee over the whole situation is seeing The Reign of Terry get all worked up over a few milk jugs in a recycling box or a dirty look over the fence. These sort of events give a quaintness to the neighbourhood that would otherwise be busy, dirty and impersonal. Boris and his vendetta make our neighbourhood homier.