Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Open Letter to a Neighbor

Dear Mr. Mexico,

I hope this letter finds you well. We seem to be laboring under different impressions about our relationship and the property line between your yard and mine. I don't wish to cause you distress by bringing this up, but the situation has become intolerable. As civilized neighbors, I believe we can work things out in a civilized manner.

The County Assessor's office has a clearly marked boundary on file, pursuant to our last discussion about the property line, from February 2, 1848. I do recall that it was settled under less than friendly circumstances, but a deal is a deal. While we had respectful exchanges opinions about each others' yards, we realize that our right to dictate behavior stops at our respective side of the fence. I respect your authority to set rules for your yard, so I would kindly ask that you respect my right to exercise authority over my yard.

Just because I pay you to mow my lawn doesn't give you the right to send your kids over to climb my tree whenever they want. While innocuous in and of itself, your kids frequently leave pop cans and candy wrappers on the lawn. Plus, they tend to tell my own kids that they cannot climb the tree when they are, inflaming tensions between our families.

Also, I would be so humble as to point out that there is a big difference between my inviting you over for a beer, and you coming over while I'm at work and helping yourself to the contents of my refrigerator. Your refrigerator may be near empty, but that is not sufficient justification to helping yourself to what is mine. I'm a generous guy, if you ask around the neighborhood, you'd see that it's true. Still, your presumptuousness is wearing on my patience.

Yes, some of my kids have no problem with the behavior of you and your kids, but my kids have a sketchy idea, at best, of property rights. Some of my kids like the fact that your kids will mow my lawn and wash my car so that they don't have to, but that's beside the point. I decide what goes on at my house, not the children. So, don't send your kids over to have my own kids yell at me for sending your kids home or for insisting on my property rights.

You really need to have a discussion with your children about Cause and Effect. When they throw rocks at my dog, he gets angry. That's why he's bitten your kids on a couple recent occasions. If your children insist on continuing to throw rocks, the dog's mood will not improve, and more biting will ensue. Rant and rave all you want, but they're the one throwing the rocks at the dog to begin with.

I know that my attention to this issue has been spotty, as I still am dealing with some creeps from a couple blocks over, the ones that stole my BBQ grill. Still, I do think that we need to address this swiftly and with all due civilized discussion.

Your Neighbor,

U. S. America

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