Random Things that Fall Out of My Head

Frank Michels

Frank Michels
Location
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Birthday
March 29
Bio
Frank Michels is a songwriter, musician, and producer in Nashville, Tennessee. He likes to dig in the dirt and plant flowers, cook tasty things, walk his dog, and play really fast riffs on a telecaster guitar.

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FEBRUARY 3, 2012 8:00AM

The Neighbor From Hell

Rate: 13 Flag

                        getting back at the neighbor

Fifteen years ago, my wife and I decided that our 2-bedroom, 1-bath bungalow in West Nashville’s Sylvan Park was getting too small for our growing family, and we started looking around for a bigger house. We knew we wanted to stay on the west side of town, but most of the houses we looked at either had fatal flaws, like having giant electrical transmission lines in the back yard, or were too expensive.

Then we happened upon an unloved-looking former rental triplex in a desirable neighborhood. A young couple had been trying to renovate it and had run out of money, and the roof was leaking so badly that the ceilings had fallen down in several places. We got it for a very good price, put on a new roof, and had a huge dead oak tree that was hanging over the house removed. My wife moved in one weekend with the kids and the dog while I was up in Canada on a music tour.

Shortly after I returned, we hosted a house-warming party. Nothing too noisy or late, just a house full of friends sipping wine and chatting, while our ten year-old son and a couple friends kicked a can around in the back driveway.

The next morning at 7 a.m. someone started pounding on the front door. When I staggered out of bed and opened it, there was a middle-aged man I didn’t recognize standing there with an unpleasant look in his eyes. He thrust a crumpled Coke can at me and shook it in my face. “Look what I found in my driveway this morning! What are you people going to do about this?” I was pretty foggy, but I apologized, and explained that we didn’t have frequent parties, this was just one to celebrate our new house. “But,” I said, “It’s just a can on your driveway. Did this really require pounding on my door this early?” He shook his finger at me. “We like things quiet in this neighborhood. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of me!” With that he stalked off to his house next door.

As we started meeting other neighbors, it seemed everyone had a story about this guy. The lady down the hill on the other side of his house told us she had burst into tears after he screamed at her when one of her cats had strayed into his yard. She had become so uncomfortable with his constant glaring at her that she was thinking of moving.

One day, I was cleaning out a 4-foot area between my back driveway and the fence around his patio so I could plant some forsythia, and I was using my chainsaw to cut a few skinny trash trees that were crowded in there. He came storming down my drive, red-faced, demanding to know why I was cutting “his” trees. “The fence is not the property line!” he yelled. “I’m going to call the police!” I tried to reason with him, but it was useless. He was a nut.

The next day, there was a fencing company there, erecting a wooden privacy fence between his front yard and ours. We were actually pretty happy about that. His strange and ugly behavior had made just the sight of him working in his yard an unhappy experience. He was poisoning the neighborhood with his bad vibes.

After about a year of unpleasant encounters with The Neighbor From Hell, as we had started calling him, we heard some good news through the grapevine. Another acquaintance down the street who was on friendly terms with our bad neighbor’s wife said that they were putting the house up for sale. The day they left, my wife and a few friends from the neighborhood popped a bottle of champagne on the front porch and cheered loudly as they drove away.

Shortly afterward, Peter and Margy moved in next door, and by coincidence it turned out that Peter and I had once played in a band together. Soon we were all fast friends, and just like in a fairy tale, the evil spell that had been cast upon our block was broken, and we all lived happily ever after.

I just feel sorry for whoever is living next to jerkface now. 

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Comments

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I once read that you should talk to neighbors before buying. Sounds like a good plan. We were lucky enough to be able to rent to own.
You are LUCKY! I like the idea of talking to neighbors before you buy. But sometimes you just have to move and roll with the punches. A good neighbor can move out too and a bad one move in. It makes me want to live on a mountain all by myself with some dogs.
I have the best neighbors EVER!! They don't talk to me, I don't talk to them!! ~:D
I started out with good neighbors all around, now the trailer trash behind me have 5 pets (we're allowed two) and the dogs are vicious. So far the big one hasn't figured out it can jump the fence.

The rest of them, though, are excellent neighbors for the most part. One even feeds me from his garden. Yum. He actually feeds everyone, but still, yum.
Shoulda never left Sylvan Park!
I'm glad he moved on!
This is the trick when you buy or rent a house -- who will the neighbors be? Talking and drive bys don't always work either...but sometimes they can help...
I'm glad he's not your neighbor anymore, but I kind of feel for the guy -- with a temper and red-face like that, he's not enjoying his gift of life too much.
What a shame.
For him and his new neighbors!
Good grief! What a welcome to your new house! So glad he moved! We had a neighbor with a lot of barking, aggressive dogs. She called the police whenever we went and sat out on our back porch because we were "spying on her." A real nutcase and an alcoholic who drove into her driveway in an enormous SUV regularly in the wee hours with the radio loudly blaring. We were so relieved when she moved away!
When we first moved to our California foothills neighborhood cul-de-sac all was well. Eight years ago a 40ish man moved into the house across the street and literally stopped living his life. What was once a beautifully landscaped acre has gone to overgrown weeds and bushes. The bushes have grown over most of his home windows but no matter as he never opens any of the shades. He doesn't work, he doesn't have visitors, he doesn't drive. Every once in a while someone in a van will pick this neighbor up to buy groceries. What I will never understand is why the guy purchased this nice home and let it turn into a dump. He could have saved a ton of money if he bought a dump in the first place. Last year we had our first words - a huge rain and snow storm had hit our area, trees were down everywhere. Unfortunately one of his trees had uprooted and fallen across the road. Since we are not a county-maintained road and knowing he would not do anything we started cutting a path thru the fallen tree so neighborhood cars could get thru. As we had are own fallen trees and branches down on our property to deal with I started throwing the cut branches from our neighbor's tree in the street into his driveway. After a while the neighbor came out and started yelling at myself, my husband, and my son demanding we remove the branches from his driveway and throw them in his weeds instead. We then asked him to help us as it was his tree. He said the Parkway people would come and get the tree off the road. After a good laugh we informed him there wasn't any Parkway people coming and again asked him to help. Eventually he walked back into his closed up house. Creepy.
When we first moved to our California foothills neighborhood cul-de-sac all was well. Eight years ago a 40ish man moved into the house across the street and literally stopped living his life. What was once a beautifully landscaped acre has gone to overgrown weeds and bushes. The bushes have grown over most of his home windows but no matter as he never opens any of the shades. He doesn't work, he doesn't have visitors, he doesn't drive. Every once in a while someone in a van will pick this neighbor up to buy groceries. What I will never understand is why the guy purchased this nice home and let it turn into a dump. He could have saved a ton of money if he bought a dump in the first place. Last year we had our first words - a huge rain and snow storm had hit our area, trees were down everywhere. Unfortunately one of his trees had uprooted and fallen across the road. Since we are not a county-maintained road and knowing he would not do anything we started cutting a path thru the fallen tree so neighborhood cars could get thru. As we had are own fallen trees and branches down on our property to deal with I started throwing the cut branches from our neighbor's tree in the street into his driveway. After a while the neighbor came out and started yelling at myself, my husband, and my son demanding we remove the branches from his driveway and throw them in his weeds instead. We then asked him to help us as it was his tree. He said the Parkway people would come and get the tree off the road. After a good laugh we informed him there wasn't any Parkway people coming and again asked him to help. Eventually he walked back into his closed up house. Creepy.
I feel your pain Frank. We lived, for two years, next to the weirdest person I have ever met.

We moved, not because of him, but for employment reasons.

We all breathed a sigh of relief.
Sounds like your neighbor didn't have enough crystal meth.
What?

You photograph old men in tight shorts?
I"m glad the terrible neighbor moved - but I feel sorry for people like this in a way. I mean, what is bothering them (or boring them?) so much in their own lives that they make trouble with those around them? I hope they find peace and get a lot nicer.