Friday, October 12, 2007

Awful Neighbor

I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later, given my track record. In fact, I should probably be somewhat impressed with myself that I've managed to live here in this building for nearly 60 days without offending one of my neighbors.

I'm going to have to settle for nearly 60 days, though, as tonight my charming disposition earned my at least one new anti-friend.

Story goes like this: I'm sitting in my chair, Ellie's on the couch, and we're watching TV, flipping between Hoffa and the Rockies-Diamondbacks game. I'm getting surly because (a) I got up early and am starting to get tired, (b) the Diamondbacks are playing against the Rockies the same way the Cubbies played against the D-backs in the last round, and once again my prognostication skills are on the outside looking in, and (c) every time I flip back to Hoffa something new is happening and I have no idea what is going on, other than some major scenery-chewing by Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Devito.

So, my mood is slipping away from me and, about 11:30, there's an irritating tap at the door. Too light to be cops, too heavy for me to ignore. Ellie starts freaking, doing her dying seal impersonation, my patience completely disappears, and I trudge over to answer the door.

At it is my gross downstairs neighbor, clad in bathrobe and sweating incredibly. I barely get the door cracked and she joins Ellie in the screeching. She starts off with this sarcastic, "I've been hearing all kinds of noise, is there a party in there," trying to look in my apartment. I say, gruffly, "Lady, I'm sitting in my apartment watching TV." Immediately, she babbles, "Oh, it must be the people in 303. I've reported them before. I'm going to call that in." Whatever that means.

Right away, I recognize her type, the awful, intrusive, tattle-tale, rabble-rousing type. I say, stupidly, "Don't report anyone, just knock on their door and say something. But for the record, I haven't heard anything from them and I live right next door."

She begins hyperventilating, complementing the screeching with howling and spitting, saying "I've tried that before, and all I got for it was threats in the parking lot ...." I hear that, and think, "Enough."

I open my door, saying, "Lady, I hope you get to sleep..." She then changes her tune, "Well, maybe it is your TV. You need to turn it down. This building is supposed to be silent after 10 PM."

I say, "Well, make sure you report me, along with 303" and start closing the door.

She sputters, "Oh sir, I wouldn't do that, I just wouldn't ..." but the door closed on her and I went to give Ellie a treat, just to get her to stop doing what will now be called (or at least thought of, by me) the neighbor lady impersonation, prancing around, tongue wagging, threatening to have a stroke.

Could I have handled it better? Duh.

But seriously, people like that, they are going to complain. She's probably been plotting for, well, nearly 60 days.

And people like me, we just can't help making their dreams come true.

So much for a quiet Thursday night at home ... for anybody.

No comments: