Saturday, September 29, 2007

Neighborgeddon: Family Meeting

You may remember me complaining at the end of August about my idiot neighbor's barking dogs and two month long roofing project. If you might recall, I stated I was conducting an all-out psychological attack on him by using the timid stupidity of his dogs against him. Apparently, my psychological warfare is having a definite and quantifiable affect. This is because I rule, and incompetent barbers who look like a child with Down's syndrome that somehow managed to live into his fifties shouldn't challenge my authority. Seriously, he does.

He seems to have the roof finished over the main portion of his house, much to the relief of everyone indirectly involved. However, he somehow managed to find a way to be inexplicably more aggravating to me than he was with the major roofing project. He decided to rebuild the roof over his ten-foot by five-foot enclosed patio area where his dogs generally go outside to poop and keep me awake by barking at everthing that exists and half of things that don't. Instead of hiring anyone to do this project, he decided to take it upon himself. The results are a pure win/fail combination of hilarious and irritating.

It's hilarious because this guy's chosen profession is a barber and he absolutely sucks devoutly at it, so I'll leave it to your imagination how competent of a carpenter he is. (Hint: Start at "very, very not" and work your way down from there.) So watching him in action trying to connect slats of wood with tiny sharp metal objects is entertaining to say the least. However, the fact that he typically does it during the day and in the evening, when I'm trying to sleep, is irritating. The fact that he seems to wait all day, even on his days off, until he's certain I've gone to bed before he starts, combined with the fact that this has been going on for nigh on a month now, is worse than irritating; it's practically infuriating.

Take last Wednesday, for instance. Wednesdays are one of his days off. All day long, all is silent in his house. Finally, about 1 PM I decide that I can't stay awake any longer as I'm so tired I'm literally feeling nauseous. I normally have a hard time falling asleep anyway, no matter how tired I am, if I'm laying down. Apparently I can doze off while sitting in front of the computer without even realizing it until I wake up a couple hours later when I wake up and can't feel my butt, but no matter how tired I might be, once I lay down in a bed, a bottle of prescription painkillers and two large mallots can't satisfactorily knock me out. Last Wednesday, after about an hour, I was finally quite possibly on the verge of falling asleep when I was started back to wakefulness by the sound of loud, incessant hammering that sounded like it was coming from directly inside my eardrum. The back patio for which he's constructing a new roof is right next to my bedroom, so there is no escaping the noise.

Since I have such a hard time getting to sleep, if I get to the verge and am woken back up, I get so energized with raging ire that it takes me a while to burn it off and get back to the verge of sleep again. So he would hammer intently for about ten minutes then stop for a half an hour or so. Within that half-hour I would eventually let the anger dissipate and get close to falling asleep again, and he would start pounding the goddamn hammer again. Maybe hammering nails for more than ten minutes at a time was too taxing for him and he had to rest? Maybe he was intentionally trying to goad me into imbedding the claw end of my own hammer into his skull? I don't know, but for the next three hours this cycle would repeat without deviation. If he would only let me just slip into unconsciousness, it wouldn't be a problem because even if he did wake me up, once I finally am asleep, I can usually fall back to sleep without difficulty if awakened. However he could not afford me that luxury, the cruel, reprehensible cur that he is. He kept me awake for three additional hours in such a precise pattern that one could only suspect it might have been intentional because no one can be stupid to that level of accuracy.

Why does this bother me so much? Because time is precious. We only get a limited amount of time on the planet, and not nearly enough to do everything during the day that we would like, what with work taking eight hours and sleep taking another eight hours. Out of the eight that's left, about two of it is spent getting ready for and travelling to or from work, so that's roughly six hours left to ourselves. We often cheat more time for ourselves by neglecting such unimportant luxuries as sleep or our children, but it's not highly recommended. So we need to make the most of every single minute we're given in life that's not being ripped from us by our jobs or the necessity of sleep. This man stole three hours from me that day by not letting me sleep during my designated sleeping time. I couldn't do anything else during that time because I was too tired to think clearly, so the only thing I could do was try to get to sleep before he could start — GODdammit!! Then, when I woke up a mere four hours later, I was still pretty much worthless because I was still so tired I couldn't think straight. I was pretty much worthless for an entire day between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The entire day had been stolen from me. The worst part is that I can't even complain too much because he was technically doing nothing wrong. There's no rule that says he can't pound nails into his house in the middle of the afternoon. It's just inconsiderate of him. If he were anywhere near slightly perceptive, intelligent, or selfless, he would have realized by now that if my window air conditioning unit in my bedroom is running, chances are I'm trying to sleep, so don't pound nails into your house directly next to my bedroom.

The reason this is so upsetting is because this is the third week he's been putting nails into the same five-by-ten section of roof. This is the third week since the frame had been completed. All he's been doing for the past three weeks is hammering nails into a roll-on roofing cover. I swear to Jesus that thing is going to glitter like a rhinestone jacket by the time he's finished with it. It's going to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, visible from space by astronauts contemplating exactly how the fuck he could find a way to fit all those nails into one small section of roof. I spent my waking time amusing myself with all the wonderful things that I would like to cause or see happen to him while trying to complete his roof. I'd considered going out the back door and shouting, "Stop fucking hammering! How many nails do you think that small section of roof needs?!" I'd considered going over there and grabbing the hammer from his hand and throwing it as far as I could possibly make it go. I thought about grabbing the hammer from his hand and using it to pound a giant hole through his newly constructed roof. I also considered a less direct approach, kind of hoping he'd lose his balance and fall off the roof, cracking his head open so his dogs could eat his brains. Yes, I am a sick, sadistic motherfucker when it comes to people fucking with my ability to get to sleep. Inevitably, I did nothing save for complaining about it in my blog because my homicidal inclinations are only rivaled by my laziness and apathy to actually carry them out.

Of course, for all the irritation, I have gotten some entertainment value out of witnessing the spectacle that is his roofing project. The most amusing part, and the part that proves to me that my psychological warfare against him using his dogs is working, is for two weeks in a row now, listening to him hold a "family meeting" with his three dogs. I swear I am not making this up. This is a fifty-something-year-old man standing in his yard, sternly verbally reprimanding his dogs for barking. I don't mean booming "SHUT the FUCK up!!" in a commanding voice like I do, where they, you know, listen to me. I mean that this guy is standing in his yard harshly scolding his dogs for barking like they're small children. It's fucking hilarious.

"You guys can't keep barking like this! You keep barking all night long, and you're keeping me awake! If you keep barking all night, I'm going to kick your fucking asses! I mean it! You listen to me!" I am stone-cold serious. That is an almost word-for-word, actual account of one of his "family talks." Apparently the ringleader of the three is named Sammy, because that name comes up quite a bit, forcing any rational man to ponder why anyone would name their dog Sammy. "Sammy, I know you're the one who gets them all riled up! You need to be the role model, Sammy! You need to shut up or I'll kick your ass across this yard!" Meanwhile, the dogs are running around the yard, barking, jumping up and down, completely ignoring him because they think it's play time. They're looking at him like, "What, are you fucking stupid? We're dogs, dude. We don't speak English. Is this about food?" So I now have proof that my strategy has been considerably more effective than Bush's overall strategy for Iraq. Silly, absurd proof, but proof nontheless.

Watching him work is entertaining as well. He'll find a spot in the roof that desperately needs a nail, pull one out of his pocket and hammer it in, then stand back and inspect his work for several minutes before moving onto the next spot. Remember when I mentioned ealier that he's not the world's most competent barber, and that's what he does well, so he'd very likely be a really tragically bad carpenter? The dude was, and again I kid you not, using the claw end of the hammer to pound the nails in. It goes without saying that he was failing miserably at pounding in nails with the claw end of the hammer, so it naturally stands to reason that he would blame his dogs for making him do that. He eventually turned his hammer around and cursed out Sammy. "Sammy, goddamnit, why did you turn my hammer around?!"

As funny as that was, it might only be rivaled by the time he got roofing tar on his hands. Of course that was the dogs' fault too, more specifically, Sammy's. "Goddammit, Sammy, what have you done? I got this shit all over my hands! My hands are all black! What are you going to do about it?! I have to go out to eat in a half an hour and my hands are all black! Look at my hands!!" Keep in mind that he is using his roofing tar on the roof and the dogs are absently frolicking in the yard, but it's their fault apparently applies roofing tar like Pooh eats honey. The dude went on a tirade for about fifteen minutes, scolding his dogs for letting him get roofing tar on his hands when he has to go out to eat, instead of, you know, cleaning the tar off his hands. If you scrub your hands with some pumice or citris soap while the stuff is still wet, it will usually come right off, but if you wait for it to cure, then the only way you're going to get it off your hands is when you shed your top epidermal layer. You'd think that anyone, knowing this, would immediately go clean his hands and worry about scolding his dogs later. Of course, you'd have to first assume that the "master carpenter" would know this, so my entire hypothesis is basically doomed from the start.

He also leaves his hammer and bucket of roofing tar out on the section of roof and his ladder propped against the house while he's gone at work, so I have considered going over there and just taking the hammer. I could hide it somewhere in the dense jungle that he's made out of his yard and he'd likely never find it. He might accuse me of stealing it, but I wouldn't have technically stolen it because it would have never left his property. It would be an intentionally lost item, not a stolen item. Several other people have suggested to get some industrial-strength glue and glue the hammer to his roof, which would also be highly amusing. He'd probably blame his dog for that, too. "Sammy, you goddamned idiot! You glued my hammer to the roof, didn't you?!"

Sammy is such a little bastard.

np: Switchblade Symphony - "Clown"


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