Oh, bother. Here’s more neighbor trouble.

So a couple of days ago the phone rang and L asked, “Did you pull a gun on [oh, let’s call him Jay]?”

I said, “No, I did not pull a gun on Jay. Why do you ask?”

Okay, a couple of things first as background. First, we have a new neighbor, right on the outskirts of what I consider my stomping ground. We’ll call him Jay because that’s his name and I don’t like him. He’s a loud, obnoxious drunk with a pickup truck that looks like it has sideswiped a myriad of trees and fenceposts and an ATV that by some absurd miracle has not yet killed him. Following the tracks of either is like falling into a cartoon with a cruel stereotype of a drunken driver. I thought I knew for sure how Jay is going to die, but now I’m no longer sure because a second possible cause of death has arisen.

Second, from my earliest firearms training I was given what I consider extremely good advice, which I have never even been seriously tempted to break in all these years: Never pull a gun on a person you’re not prepared – indeed planning – to shoot. First, it’s dangerous because accidents happen and second, what if he calls your bluff? What’s your next move, Tex? You’ve just converted a position of strength into one of weakness. What’re you gonna do, wound him? Life is not a Jason Statham flick. So no, I wouldn’t have pulled a gun on Jay even if I’d been the one who confronted him, which I was not.

Those preliminaries out of the way, this morning I wanted to know why L had jumped to the conclusion that I had pulled a gun on Jay.

“Well, his girlfriend (yes, Jay has a girlfriend. They may reproduce.) said somebody did. And I thought if you had caught him nosing around Ian’s place or something…”

“Wait. He’s trespassing now?”

“Better than that. There’ve been at least two break-ins, and guess who looks like the most probable breaker-inner given what was stolen.”

“What was stolen?”

“Booze, and a composting toilet.”

“And Jay and [girlfriend]’s place famously has no septic field…”

“Or water well, or electricity, or nothing. Right. So I thought, maybe Joel. Except now I know it wasn’t you, because Jay’s girlfriend called the cops on the woman he said had pulled the gun. Except it wasn’t a gun, it was a camera. So now the cops have digital photos of Jay (a “menacing figure” right out of central casting) going postal on [Cindy C.], who looks like Olga Korbut only smaller and less intimidating. Not too unclear who was menacing whom, so [girlfriend] didn’t do Jay any favors by calling cops, but we’re not talking about mental giants here.”

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Y’know, I don’t normally wish evil to befall my fellow man just on general principles. But since Jay is destined to drive full-speed into a tree or off a cliff one day anyway, is it bad if I hope it happens soon?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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21 Responses to Oh, bother. Here’s more neighbor trouble.

  1. Robert says:

    Sooner is better but only after the toilet is recovered. The booze is certainly gone and should be considered a self-administered pre-death toast to the departed.

  2. Kentucky says:

    Problem with guys like Jay is, they always seem to somehow be protected by a misguided angel or something. I mean, he’ll run his truck off a cliff and totally destroy it, resulting in a fireball worthy of a movie car chase and yet come staggering back up to the road with nary a scratch or singed T-shirt.

    Sad to say, I imagine all your lives will be more “interesting” for a while.

  3. Kentucky says:

    By the way, doesn’t L know you have indoor plumbing, thus no need of a ‘posting potty?

  4. Mark Matis says:

    How about next time you see him passed out face down somewhere, you paint a red and white target on his posterior. Pour encourager le taureau

  5. Joel says:

    L wasn’t suggesting I stole the commode, Kentucky. She was suggesting that I had threatened with a gun the guy who did, to discourage him from seeking more loot in my territory.

  6. Joel says:

    If I see him passed out next or in his vehicle, he’s going to wonder where his ignition wires went.

  7. MJR says:

    I know that you will but I’m going to say it any way, keep your guard up around this guy and his girl friend. I’ve seen way to many folks like this over the years and I’m sure Kentucky is right, some force is watching over them. We used to call people like this sh*t magnets. They’re not the sharpest tools in the box and they don’t have the smarts (or simply don’t care enough) to think about the possible end results of their actions. In the end the actions of fools like these guys tend to drag others along for the ride.

  8. Zelda says:

    What Mark said. I have red paint if you need some. And if he isn’t face down when you find him, just do the crossed legs bit and roll him right over.

  9. phred says:

    If only there was a way to steer the local livestock in Jay’s direction…

  10. Joel says:

    Oh! A completely unexpected stampede directly into the path of that speeding ATV, how tragic!

  11. coloradohermit says:

    I hope none of the losses were at Landlady’s or Ian’s places. It didn’t seem like there were that many neighbors out your way or thereabouts.

  12. Kentucky says:

    I did indeed misinterpret L’s comment. Mea culpa. Blush.

  13. Mark Matis says:

    If you work it right, he can be this guy:

    i expect that his girlfriend wouldn’t be too interested in him after something like that…

  14. Jay says:

    For the Record,,,, I live a long way from Joel and am not much of a drinker.

  15. MamaLiberty says:

    Maybe your neighborhood needs a regular “rat patrol.” Sounds as if a nasty rat has moved in.

  16. Unclezip says:

    The bright side of sh!t-magnets, MJR, is that they serve to draw the sh!t away from you and yourn. There’s usually one in every neighborhood, no matter how remote.

  17. MamaLiberty says:

    Indeed, Unclezip, at least one. Managing them is, however, highly dependent on a few other factors. Late last fall, someone moved into a house on the backside of the bluffs to my west, and promptly put in a large kennel with lots of dogs. They barked sometimes, and in the beginning that got very annoying at night for some of my neighbors. (Me? I can’t hear anything like that at night) Anyway, I dropped by to make a “welcome” visit, and frankly (but friendly – non threateningly) talked to him about the dogs and the noise.

    Now, I don’t KNOW that it made any difference, of course, but the fact that I am clearly and visibly armed didn’t go unnoticed. He even asked if a lot of people here carry a gun. Duh! And, for some strange reason, I very seldom hear the dogs now. Go figure. He never was a “bad neighbor” like Jay here, but he could have gone in that direction so easily.

  18. Goober says:

    I would caution against any interactions with dingus at all. You may have avoided his notice to date, so I’d counsel you to keep it that wayif the day comes that you must be introduced make it be for a good cause and with dramatic result.

    For instance, he comes snooping around your place, or any of your friends or neighbors places and you find yourself tasked with running him off, etc.

    Until then, stay gray man with dingus. No sense in attracting his drunken, stupid attention.

  19. Joel says:

    Oh, for sure. In fact the only thing that annoys me about the story is that I wasn’t involved in any smallest way until L, a terrible gossip, wrote me into it in her own mind. And I’m quite sure that part of the story shows up every time she tells it, which will be often…

  20. Judy says:

    For what it is worth, many years ago I move into a little town south of the folks. Dad says to me out of the blue, “Keep your nose clean or they will burn you out.” Thought it was a weird statement at the time, but okay. Few months later I show up at the local post office to get my mail and the post office is full of the locals. I nod and head for my box, get my mail, and turn around to leave. One of the locals steps in front of the door and another one questions me about the EX that has been parking in the elevator parking lot watching my house. They don’t like it and inform me they are going to run him off. I caution them about the .357 under his seat and that he wasn’t afraid to use it. They thanked me for the information and ran him off anyway.

    So where am I going with this story? Maybe the neighborhood needs to get together and pay a little visit to dumbass-n-girlfriend and let them know they are being watched, and if anything else goes missing they may not like the results.

  21. Mark Matis says:

    Unfortunately, Judy, THAT is when you find out that he is the Sheriff’s kid. Or the spawn of the local prosecutor or judge.

To the stake with the heretic!