February 22, 2005

Random Acts of Suburban Gunplay

This morning? I was originally supposed to head into the District (of Columbia, that is...land of monuments, museums, politicians, crack and hookers...leading exporter of red tape and pork) for a big meeting. I'd ask for luck but it seems that the meeting got cancelled. Instead of luck, then, wish me powers of supreme mind control so that I may force the world to do my bidding. Or something.

Yesterday, I talked about bad neighbors and many of you expressed horror. And to many, I responded that these weren't the worst neighbors ever. That title is reserved for another couple I'd like to introduce you to this morning.

When Beth and I were living in Small College Town, we had a nice and remarkably cheap two bedroom apartment and, for the most part, really cool neighbors. All that changed when the cop moved in next door. He and his wife and their daughter (I'd say she was around two years old...the daughter, not the wife...that would be sick, yo!) seemed really cool. And, since we weren't running a crack house or pimping hookers [Author's Commentary: Extra credit for working crack and hookers into a post twice!], we didn't really have an issue with living next door to a cop. Acutally, quite the opposite. Who's going to break into your apartment when there's a patrol car out front and a cop next door? We were under the distinct impression that things would be nice, quiet and safe. Of course, this would be a really lame story if it worked out that way.

Things were going along just fine until the screaming and gunplay started. [AC: Gee, this really isn't funny at all. As a matter of fact, its going to get disturbing real soon. I mean, why'd you want to break this story out first thing in the morning?] We had thin walls and could hear almost everything that went on next door. Of course, doing that glass-to-the-wall thing? It works and it helped catch all the stuff we might have otherwise missed. [AC: Two domestic violence stories in a week...hmmm...its like A Very Special Cactus. They want funny and you give them this?] Yes, it got really disturbing when we heard the cop regularly yell "Stay away from my gun!" Like I said, thin walls. Which, to me, meant very little protection against stray bullets. Trying to avoid being victims of the through-and-through, whenever Beth and I heard this, we'd go sprinting to the opposite side of the apartment. [AC: I'm not sure I appreciated how truly fucked up this story is until now.] Then there was the time the emotionally highstrung wife repeated over and over "Now what're you going to do, asshole? Watch me blow my fucking head off." While this was really and truly wrong, what made it worse were the cop's requests for his gun back.

I'm happy to report that no shots were ever fired. Beth and I remained physically fit college students doing all that running back and forth in the apartment. We called the cops several times. On the cop. They'd separate them, talk with both, but never actually do anything. We remained pretty worried. The threats only got worse over time. Finally we convinced the apartment management to kick them out. Hopefully they got a divorce or were both heavily medicated. If not, I hope they ended up in a lead-lined apartment in which they could do no harm to innocent neighbors.

[AC: And thusly, I declare and end to the string of gritty, domestic violence entries for the week and will now think of something funny. Really.]

Posted by Chris at February 22, 2005 08:14 AM

i think most humor springs from really desperate f*ed up stories. it's all in the re-telling (for which you have a knack) ;)

happy tuesday!

Posted by: zalary at February 22, 2005 08:55 AM

I suddenly feel pretty good about my illegal alien neighbors at my old apartment whose kids used to piss and shit in the shrubbery.

Posted by: Iki at February 22, 2005 08:59 AM

You've led the move uneventful life ever, huh? ;)

One time when my wife and I went looking for appartments, we toured one that the manager said wasn't cleaned up to rent yet but we could look anyway.

I found about half a dozen bullet holes in the living room wall that went through into the bathroom. The angle looked like they were fired from the street into the apartment.

In the middle of the kitchen floor was a giant brown/red stain.

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at February 22, 2005 10:17 AM

OK, that trumps any bad neighbor story ever.

Posted by: donna at February 22, 2005 10:31 AM

Wow I've had some psycho neighbors & roommates but whoa. glad you got away from those ones!

Posted by: angel at February 22, 2005 10:37 AM

Wow. Lucky for you guys you moved.

In my old apartment building, I lived in between a very loud wife beater and a drug dealer that used to knock on my door at 3AM and ask for stuff like toilet paper or maple syrup. Always fun. That's what happens when you try to be a rock star and don't get very far ;)

Posted by: RockStar Mommy at February 22, 2005 11:01 AM

Yikes. And I thought I had bad apartment neighbors! But the constant, extremely loud college parties next door and the 40 yr old drug dealer downstairs just doesn't compare...

Posted by: Kitty at February 22, 2005 11:31 AM

And yes, though my neighbors weren't as bad as yours, I'm still extremely thankful that I'm now a homeowner!

Posted by: Kitty at February 22, 2005 11:32 AM

LOL funny story. In my very early twenties I lived in tiny apartment complex and had two very huge upstairs neighbors. Husband and wife team. Both weighing at least 350 pounds each. When they first moved in, I was waken at all hours of the wee morning to hammering and powersaws going. I didn't mind too much since I figured if they could put up with all my ruckus during certain earth shattering amourus encounters with my then fiance, then the power tools and hammering weren't something I was going to complain about. I did become concerned that he might be beating her though when I started hearing very loud banging on their floor (my ceiling), like something was being lifted in the air (like his 350+ pound wife) and hurled to the ground. One day I bumped into the wife and she apologized for all the power tools and hammering. Then blushing, she apologized for all the loud banging on my ceiling. I asked her what all that was about and she told me that her husband was a WWF wrestling fan and like to wrestle with her as part of their foreplay! I'm all for lovers making love, but the visual of 700+ pounds of flesh going at it was just something I didn't need to picture in my head. lol

Posted by: groovebunny at February 22, 2005 11:51 AM

Wow glad I never had neighbors like that! So you did the "A very special Cactus" so now when will you do "A Very Special Guest Star"? You know that is how it is supposed to go, if this were TV, since this isn't TV I guess the rule does not apply.


Posted by: Blue at February 22, 2005 12:07 PM

Hey Cactus! That's some really good stories about your former neighbors! I posted a story about one of my former neighbors on my personal blog so go check it out for a good laugh. Here's the link

Posted by: chroniccoder at February 22, 2005 12:07 PM

I say you start peddling crack and hookers. You have to keep up with the Jones' somehow. [Reader's Commentary: Any bonus points for working crack and hookers into a comment?]

Posted by: smartjuice at February 22, 2005 12:32 PM

Here's a story of Love, to balance out the gunplay and rampant smack abuse. Beth (yes, my wife's name is Beth; all the best ones are) and I once occupied an apartment directly above the domicile of a very...amorous young couple, a guy and a girl about our age. At least three nights a week, we were awoken by "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! OH GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWD! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! F*******************CK MMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEE!!!"

So what, you say? We never heard the GIRL make a sound.

Posted by: Jason at February 22, 2005 12:40 PM

Wow. That trupms may gay upstairs neighbors and the odd noises that come from their bedroom at 3am story!

(Of course, this is diluted by the fact that I live in a predominantly gay 'hood and am 1 or 2 straight women in an otherwise all gay male building)

Posted by: amy at February 22, 2005 01:37 PM

Jeez, RC. You've gone all "SVU" on us here. Heh.

Posted by: sawni at February 22, 2005 02:02 PM

my bad neighbor is the speed freak who lives on the corner....also known as my grocery clerk (one of them)..i think she's selling drugs cause at all hours of the night there is always someone waiting in their car in front of her house.....for their "friend" to come back...i hope it's not a meth lab....

Posted by: miss macy at February 22, 2005 03:15 PM

Just a comment on your first AC. If you can write a post that uses the phrase "Cartesian Automaton" you get 5 bonus points and a 7-months-preggo belly-shot from me :-D

Posted by: Ginny at February 22, 2005 03:44 PM

Ewww, that's scary. Glad you both escaped unscathed.

I had a cop neighbor too. He smoked pot on the porch. Go figure.

Posted by: Gweny at February 22, 2005 04:20 PM

Wow. My neighbors are quite mild. I am a lucky girl.

Posted by: Jade at February 22, 2005 05:22 PM

maybe its you two, maybe you guys are magnets for wacked out mentally challenged neighbors?!?!

Posted by: lizabetty at February 22, 2005 06:00 PM

We had NFH - they would stake us out and wait on our driveway for us to get home from work - and we thought moving to suburbia would give us some peade and quiet from the 20 story apartment building we had moved from - boy were we ever wrong. Thankfully they broke up a year ago and moved...

Posted by: Marie at February 22, 2005 09:37 PM

I can now work crack and hookers into the comments for this post, giving you a triple. My Senior year of college, I spent most of my weekends in a duplex my friends rented. It was next door to a crack house, and there was a steady stream of people yelling "Hey Anthony!" and throwing things at the house a 3 am. And one memorable incident with a hooker in a fake leopard coat getting into a screaming match with someone on the sidewalk. No gunplay that I can recall though.

Posted by: bad penguin at February 23, 2005 10:19 AM