Seems every house I have lived in since getting married, there have been several insane people dwelling on the street.  I am talking lunatics.  I seem to attract them.

From Manhattan to Tokyo to Bangkok to Houston to Dallas to here in Virginia, I have been forced to deal with difficult neighbors.  But Joanne* next door takes the cake.  I am sure she is a nice person down deep, but she comes across to most of the rest of us as certifiably crazy.

“Jo”, as her  unbelievably patient and kind husband calls her, first came to my attention in August of 2000 when a nice neighbor on the other side of us hosted a backyard barbeque to welcome our family to the block.  As my 14- year- old daughter and I stood nibbling some nuts, Jo approached to inquire—

“How old are you honey?”   To which my daughter replied, “I am 14 and entering eighth grade.”

At which point Jo exclaimed, “Oh my!!  You are going to have the worst year of your entire life!  We moved when my daughter was your age and she was miserable!”

It only got worse.  Several years later, my phone rang early one morning.  It was Joanne calling to inform me she was coming over to discuss something important.  “I want to see the whites of your eyes when I am talking to you, Nan”.  I had absolutely no idea what I had done to warrant a 7 a.m. visit from a witch and was shaking in my boots, I mean, slippers.

I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but basically Jo was accusing our son, (who was away at college, by the way) of hitting a golf ball through one of her back windows.  She claimed the repair cost them $800!

“That must be come window” I think I remarked.  “But I am afraid my son was not in town at the time you claim the window was broken, plus he does not play golf in our backyard.”

Luckily, my husband came downstairs to back me up on my insistence that our son did not hit a golf ball from our backyard.  Plus, the ball would have had to sail close to 200 feet, make a sharp left turn, then enter Jo’s upstairs, back window.  I suggested perhaps the people who live BEHIND their house might be to blame.  That family has four rowdy kids, all of whom play many sports, including golf.

Jo agreed she’d confront Mindy* to get to the bottom of the case of the broken $800 window.

Once Jo was safely out of sight, I locked our door, drew the blinds and called Mindy.  When I explained that the witch next door was about to attack her, the mother of four rowdy rascals laughed out loud.  “Ha ha ha ha ha;

Ralph shot that ball, I saw him!”

(Ralph is Mindy’s jock husband…)

p.s.  Last time I ran into Jo on the bike path she jumped, barking at me.

“Why Nan Kilmer, I barely even recognize you, you look so good!”

Thanks Jo…

Names have been changed as I have to live in this neighborhood.


One Comment on “NASTY NEIGHBORS”

  1. Sandy Stewart says:


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