Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We hate our neighbor Ray

There he is, right down the hill from the back of our house.

Can you see him? He is sitting at his computer typing threatening letters to us that address me as "Mrs. Husband's-Last-Name," which is never a good way to start things with me.

What is Neighbor Ray's problem? He is old and crabby, and more specifically, he wants a large Monterey pine on the property line that runs between us cut down. He claims he is worried it might fall on his house, which is unlikely because it leans up the hill, which means it would more likely fall on us. What he really objects to is the fact that the tree sheds needles and cones that clog his rain gutters and that he has to sweep from his porch. To which I say "Dude, you live in a WOODED NEIGHBORHOOD. If you don't want to deal with those things, move to SCOTSDALE" where I understand this is not a problem.

Ray pestered us about this tree a few years ago. He wanted to have it removed and wanted us to pay half. No, we said. We will pay half to have it trimmed. Ray did not answer.

A year goes by. Ray's wife calls to complain about the archery range we have installed in the pocket park next door to him. Children could be hurt! [More to her point] We can see it from our house!! Fuck you, we essentially said. My daughter shoots only under adult supervision, and we don't care if you can see our hay bale stack from your dining room window. The homeowners association generously backed us up on this, noting that it was an excellent use of common space. We've now added tubes into which we can insert the poles for our badminton set, which I'm sure they like even less. All that laughing and noise.

Another year goes by. Ray still wants the tree down. This time he is willing to pay for the entire thing. Makes litigious noises. The tree is coming down this afternoon. 

It's probably the right thing to do. The tree is near the end of its life cycle and would need to come down within the next ten years anyway. This gets the job done at no expense to the Figs and at considerable expense Ray. But we're unhappy being pushed. 

And we're sad. Although it is a scrappy, unattractive tree, it's part of our yard ecosystem and a living thing. I went out early this morning to say goodbye. And sorry. When I get home this afternoon, it will probably be gone. 

The only thing that would make me happy now is if by some freak accident during the removal, the tree came down on Ray's house, narrowly missing Ray himself. Very narrowly. Just think of the sweeping that would entail. 

9 comments:

Purple Flowers said...

I'm glad you said 'goodbye' to the tree this morning.

Jen Yu said...

I'm sorry about the tree. I'm also sorry your neighbor is such a drag. :(

Cid said...

As much as I love living in a smalltown it does require you to have neighbours. One of ours anonymously called the dog catcher on our pup. Couldn't they have spoken to us face to face if he was being a nuisance?

Laura [What I Like] said...

I grew up among Monterray Pines and at this point my parents have had to take them all out...they have such a short lifecycle that once they started falling they figured they might as well clear them out. Redwoods have been planted in their place...lovely!

MixinMike said...

You acted like a decent neighbor. I wish you were mine.

Impoverished Preppy said...

So the question now becomes: what can you plant/install in its place that will ensure the ultimate revenge on Ray...

Sorry, I can't seem to stifle my petty, childish side...

But really, think of the possibilities...

adozeneggs said...

When we lived in Boston it was always a sad day when trees were cut down to make way for parking lots.
(just like the song)
Sorry about the tree.

Mom on the Run said...

I'm convinced that old people are terrified of trees. They don't have anything to do so they sit around and worry about them fall on their house all day long. The people across the street from us took out all the trees in front of their house and now it's so bright when we walk out the front door, you gotta wear shades.

I get sick of crabby old people, too.

gandr said...

Just get over it.

-Crabby Old Man-