You can pick your friends. You can pick your job. You can pick your religion. But you can’t really pick your neighbors.
Neighbors are a terrible thing from hell.
This is a really negative way to think. You shouldn’t think of your neighbors as enemies or as bad people. You should think of them as what they really are:
And when an animal gets out of hand you don’t call the police. You just outsmart them.
My neighbor Gary is a real piece of shit. His favorite thing to do on Saturday mornings is to open his garage door at 7am, play some weird country music, and spend 2 hours dragging all of his used garbage out onto his lawn for an impromptu yard sale. Old sweatshirts, crappy vinyl records that nobody wants, and toys his three dumb-looking kids got tired of playing with.
Sure, everyone has a yard sale now and again. But every Saturday? Not cool, Gary. He rarely seems to sell anything, anyway. I think he’s just bored. But it’s tremendously annoying. People drive slowly on our street and he talks loudly with them on his lawn. It’s really unbearable.
I’ve asked Gary on 4 separate occasions to limit his yard sales to once a month. I’ve even offered to help him set up a table and put out signs. He told me he would consider it, but he hasn’t stopped. Last Saturday he told me to “put a sock in it.”
Okay, Gary. I’ll put a sock in it.
On Tuesday I knocked on Gary’s door and told him I was sorry I had bothered him about the yard sales but in doing so I had noticed he was parking his car on the street instead of in his garage. I told Gary that I was buying a second car and I wanted a place to store it and asked if he would be willing to rent me his garage. I offered him $250 a month and I even offered to pay 6 months up front if he agreed to let me keep it for a year. He asked for $300 and we settled at $275.
I had never seen Gary happier. Not only had I “put a sock in it” but I was even now paying him to rent his garage. What a loser I am!
This morning at 7am Gary started collecting all of his house garbage on the lawn to sell to passerby. Another yard sale? Oh, joy!
Well, today, Gary had a very special customer: Me.
I asked Gary how much money he thought he would get if he sold all of the things he had out. He told me everything was worth about $75.
I offered him $100 for everything. It’s Gary’s lucky day! He gladly accepted my offer and asked me if I wanted help getting everything into my house.
What a kind offer. He helped me put everything in paper bags and then asked me if I needed help carrying them. It was like 20 bags! I politely declined and pulled his garage door clicker out of my pocket. I opened his garage door and, bag by bag, put all the things that used to clutter his garage back into his garage.
"Where are you going to put your car?" asked Gary.
"Oh, I decided not to get another car," I said. "I’m just going to use this place to store all the crap I don’t want. Have a nice day, Gary."
I closed the garage door and walked back to my house.
Right now, Gary is probably still on his lawn, without anything to sell, and a garage full of trash. He won’t be alone for long though. I’m doing laundry now, so later today I’m going to go back over to my rented garage to “put a sock in it.”
Looking forward to next week, Gary.