WWJD If He Lived In a Condo?


I pray for my downstairs neighbor.

She’s almost 100 years old. She’s lived practically forever. She’s certainly lived downstairs in this building forever. Ask her.
 

“Long before YOU moved in!”


 

Right around the time I moved in, her perfect boyfriend (yes, older people have boyfriends) became unperfect and they wound up splitting. Right around the time I moved in, her perfect heart became unperfect and she wound up going to the hospital. Right around the time I moved in, her perfect upstairs neighbor of the prior ten years became unperfect.
 

Yeah. Me.


 

A plumber reseats my wobbly toilet. Four hours later, we learn that one of the flange screws nicked an improperly-placed hot water pipe under the floor. By then, my downstairs neighbor’s bathroom ceiling and adjacent hall carpet are wet with hot water.

My plumber and I feel awful. We industrial-vacuum, clean up the mess, and offer to power-dry Amanda’s carpet and repair her ceiling the next morning. She accepts, but when the crew we hired shows up at her door as agreed:

“Oh, no–I’ve changed my mind.”
 

Whu-uh…?


 

The crew, BTW, still has to be paid. Over the course of the next three days I hear:

“You know you’re going to have to replace ALL my wall-to-wall carpet.”

“I’m going to have to speak with my lawyer about this.” (To think I bought her apology flowers!)

And the best of all: “You’re clearly in the HABIT of doing this type of thing!”

I’m confused. Does she think I’m the Mad Pipe Piercer whose rain of terror wets carpet wherever I go?
 

I Confess. She’s Got Me.


 

Weeks later, I am chatting with one of my other neighbors. I am new here, and go out of my way to be social, which is hard for my Aspie-shy self. This neighbor and I have become “stop-and-chat friendly”. Today, he asks “Have you heard about that awful, awful woman who flooded Amanda’s place with her terrible plumber?”

Now I know why neighbors have begun giving me dirty looks. The Amanda News Network must be widely-followed. THIS explains why even people who’ve never met me somehow know me well enough to hate me.
 

I Couldn’t Choose–Pick Your Favorite Illustration!
 

So Many People Can’t ALL Be Wrong


 
Or:

Amanda Has Revealed My True Colors to Them


 

8:30 at night. I’m home alone snuggled up with author Bill Bryson. One of us is laughing my #ss off. The phone rings. Prissy, precise tones needle inside of my ear:

“This is Amanda. Your shower’s been running for over an hour. That’s a big waste of water.”

I check down at my body wrapped up in my blankies. Dry. Not one soggy segment.

“Amanda, I have no water running anywhere.”

Never mind that if I choose to have hour-long shower sex, it’s none of her business.  (Fang only wished!)

(“How Interesting Is ‘Death By Trowel’..?”)


 

Happily, I then receive the following gracious apology:
“Oh. It must be someone else then.” (CLICK!)
 

MY Mommy Taught Me THAT’S Just Not NICE.


 

Now I’m carrying in groceries. Out pops the old woman from under the stairs:
“You need to clean up this mess your workers dumped off your balcony!”

My workers would have needed four-foot arms to dump a mess where she indicates. “You mean this mess all tinged green? The color our building was just painted by the condominium painters?”

Tiny eyes squinch up in bitterness.

“Oh, you’d LIKE to blame them, WOULDN’T YOU!”


 
I’m actually nice enough to clean up the painters’ mess, feeling sorry for the elderly Amanda and her changed circumstances. What a sap.


My new kitchen counters are finally being installed. The re-tiling of my shower will be done by the same very sweet man over the next two days. Suddenly, the condominium’s head of maintenance rushes through my open front door:

“She says she’s calling the city on you right NOW.”

No need to ask who “she” is. Even the Maintenance crew are somehow aware of her hate for me.

“WHAT?!” says my installer. “I’m not doink anytink wrong! For why would she call the city? I’m allowed to be doink dis!”

“I know, but she says there’s too much noise, and if she hears any more noise she’s calling the city.”

And THAT is the last day I see my tiler. He was the friend of a friend of a friend. I can’t afford other tilers right now due to large expenses this year and last (I’m not exactly destitute–it’s complicated).

I have taken no shower or bath inside my own home since.
 

I Don’t Feel Sorry For Amanda Any Longer


 

Last week, I got a call from the condominium manager.

“I’ve had a complaint.”
“Really. Let me guess from whom.”
“She says your balcony plant water is dripping down onto her patio.”

I take a breath before answering.

“Well, Sam, let me explain how I water those plants. I take one Boston fern…
 

Like Dese Here


 

…carry it in from the balcony, across my hardwood floor into my bathroom, sit it in a big mixing bowl of water on my bathroom floor, leave it there for an hour, come back and lift it out of that bowl, sit it in a dry bowl until it stops dripping, pick it up and shake it to make sure there’s no more water—because I don’t want it dripping on my hardwood floor—and then carry it across my hardwood floor back out to the balcony. When I get finished watering all four ferns, I have a big mess of fern leaves on my hardwood floor—but no water.”

Sam takes a breath before answering.
“Thank you, Babe.”
 

No Real Mystery. You Can Figure It Out: She’s a Real $-#-*-!




I pray for my downstairs neighbor.

I pray that peace will come to her heart.

I try not to pray that it is the permanent kind.





I Am Not One Bit Thankful.




Addendum Uno

It is now many months since Amanda’s damage from the leak was “made whole”: The leak was fixed that night, and an insurance check was paid for her ceiling repairs (no new carpeting was deemed warranted). But it turns out that, from Amanda’s perspective, this is still an open issue.

She hired a plumber just this week with the stated intent that he would enter MY home to inspect ALL of my plumbing.

Do you think Jesus would do THAT?
 

What I Think Is That This Should Be Posted on Amanda’s Door, As a Public Service




Addendum Two-O

Realistic illustrations of a real Amanda1  would show, instead of the buffoonish photos and cartoons used herein, a highly-attractive woman who looks nowhere near her age.
 

You Can See That Future Beauty Predicted in This Photo of Her As a Child. (What? It’s NOT Amanda? Oops–My Mistake.)





1 If there even is such a person–someone so petty and vindictive, who’s waged a campaign of harassment which has caused such stress that I literally got the shakes from her recent phone calls and my disease symptoms flared.

Thank goodness no one like that really exists and none of these awful events really happened. And thank you, God, for my sense of humor.

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37 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Unload and Unwind and commented:
    This is a wonderful story – right up to the very end – which does has a little twist I didn’t see coming. I just couldn’t resist adding to the Weekend of Funny here at U&U. You should take the time to take a look at her blog as it is worth the read.

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    • Hi, Jenni–

      Thank you so much for the “wonderful”, and for the reblog–I am honored! I will take a look, after getting out from the mess currently embroiled in (as you see from this tale, life always sends some excitement my way to liven up my otherwise dull, dull life ; )

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      • I’m glad you don’t mind me re-blogging without asking first. It was so well written that I just wanted to know what happened next.

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        • Gosh–are people supposed to ASK before re-blogging? That never occurred to me! Why would anyone be other than flattered? Unless you were deeply religious and your piece were reblogged to a porn or atheist site in order to make fun of it, I guess.

          As for what happens next in the saga, only time will tell… But there IS a parallel and possibly related saga which I may also blog about.

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          • I’m replying to me–months later, re-read this and saw how Judeo-Christian-centrically obnoxious my response to Jenni was. Yikes! Sorry, all you of other persuasions. Will try to get some ethical toothpicks to prop my mind open a little further in future.

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  2. My favorite line of all “I try not to pray that it is the permanent kind.” Just pitch perfect – I really enjoyed reading this!

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    • “Pitch perfect” (long sigh of contentment.)

      Every time Michelle compliments me, my Writing Angel gets another feather on her wings : )

      Thank you! I am so glad to have given you pleasure (and respite!).

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  3. Hilarious and unexpected! Thank you! 🙂

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    • Hi, Melodee!

      First, thank you so much for stopping by! Second, thank you EXTRA much for the “hilarious” : )

      And last, if I still wore bracelets, that New Vintage Rose Beaded Bracelet would be on my wrist TOMORROW–Gorgeous. You do beautiful work.

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  4. Brilliant! What a relief to read the last line. I heartily agree – thank you, God for Babe’s outstanding wit!

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    • “Brilliant?” “Outstanding wit?” Wow! Thank you, Maggie! I guess I won’t be wearing any hats today, since none will fit.

      (But if I’m so brilliant and witty, why is it that my forays into online dating on “Dregslist”, “Plenty of Tuna” and “No Way, Stupid!” have fallen so flat? Sigh.)

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      • At the risk of being totally inappropriate: why don’t you cozy up with your neighbour there and find out the whereabouts of her ex? Maybe you and he could find some common ground, besides the antipathy toward Amanda, that is.
        Sorry, bad joke.
        As for the dating slump. Yeah, that sucks, large. You are wan smaht cookie. I’m sure that comes across in your dating profile. Consider it a built-in filter?

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        • Golly. Am beginning to wonder if you are ever appropriate ; )

          If ahm so smaht, wah ain’t ah …
          Perhaps some would say it’s ’cause I’m that other rhyming word. Fooey on ’em all.

          As for “slump”, this is nuthin’–I went for THREE YEARS without a single date. Without ANY men indicating interest other than (1) those with multiple missing or gold teeth (2) those carrying small beverage bottles in paper bags (3) one 76-yr-old cross-dressing transexual–who let me know this about him in his opening remarks (4) a laborer who advised me that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else (5) An a-hole who fessed up he was married when backed into a corner.

          F#cking Florida!

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  5. Paul

     /  2014/04/26

    Tsk, Tsk, OB. You are a brave, brave soul tempting fate like that. Anytime i’ve ever imagined or voiced a “This is soooo bad” tale, fate has miraculously jumped in and given me a graphic, real example of how much worse it really could be. And always much, much worse than I could ever have imagined. Good Luck with that.

    Ha! That said, it was a very funny post and certainly showed the best of people. Ha! I arrived from Jenni’s blog and enjoyed the visit. I’ll be back! (a little Schwartzenegger there to liven things up – besides, it has a sort of bad-guy image that I like to encourage – it’s good for my ego)

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    • Hi, Paul!

      I can see why you would think that, and you are so kind to warn me. However, my life is already a living model for A Series of Unfortunate Events. Lots of future blog fodder there : ) My own sister, who loves me dearly, thinks that no person as good as I (see how my sister loves me? : ) could experience such an endless string of misfortune year after year after year unless Satan had targeted them specifically because of their goodness. She suggests an exorcism–but, gosh, I have such a crick in my neck already…

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      • Paul

         /  2014/04/26

        Shades of the disciples marching down the road laughing and singing because they have been imprisoned and beaten and starved and abused Your sister’s right OB: you gotta be very good to be suffering that bad. Ha!

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  6. really nice….and the twist at the end…perfect!

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    • Hello, Ogundare!

      Thank you for stopping by, and for the high praise! I just quickly read “Damaged“, and very much enjoyed it. I’ll stop by to read some more on your site in the next day or two : )

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  7. Not only condos, I suppose, but nosey quidnuncs reside and hide in cracks and crevices in multifarious locations. WWJD becomes the height of humor. Just ask. I’m sure you’ll get a host of scriptural prescriptions. A wonderful story, that, if true, exemplifies your ability to make lemonade.

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  8. Hello, Skip,

    OH MY GOSH! Where have you been HIDING!!?? This is AMAZING!:
    http://skipmars.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/what-would-you-do/

    Who WRITES like that any more? I had to check twice to be certain it was written in this half-century. Can’t wait to find a leisurely hour to get back to your site and read more.

    The timing of your compliment couldn’t have been more fortuitous. Someone on “No Way, Stupid” just told me this:
    “…not much humor in your blog…but keep trying…”
    He did add “To each their own.” Indeed. Hmph! The “height of humor”, eh? Niiiccce. : )

    You are right about the preponderance of quidnuncs. Dunno about my lemonade expertise–I do my share of gripin’ and grumpin’. But I also focus on small happinesses in order to lift my spirits above the muck morass–and I usually keep a big smile on my face in order to remove the smiles OFF the faces of those irked by my happiness : )

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  9. Ha, okay I’m glad she is not real because I was going to say that woman is out of control!

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    • Yes, it is certainly good she isn’t real, because if she were, she would have gone to the Association manager only this past week, and HE would have called me on her behalf, asking me to let her plumber in. And I would have politely said “I need to see in writing why exactly she feels this is necessary and what exactly her plumber thinks he intends to do.” Not that, were I to get that piece of paper, I would then say Yes. If this were real, that is.

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  10. This is a funny read Babe! We had a neighbor like this, we probably all have. He came after CH, the Husband, with a rake. Didn’t want our grass clippings on the line of his property, didn’t want our cat’s hair in his yard, didn’t want our clothes hanging on our clothes line when he had company… on and on. There really isn’t an Amanda? 🙂 Now back to your most recent post!

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    • A rake? Jeez!

      Wait– Your cat’s HAIR in his yard? That is… How much hair does your cat shed? I am sitting here laughing over my morning eggs and toast. Hair? Cat fur? All over his precious grass? LOL!!

      Shoot! Now I got some in my coffee! Durn.

      Wait ’til I get to my F#cking Florida neighbor whom I also didin’t really have.
      😉

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      • He said the hair floated over to his yard and he was allergic… he was a doctor, he also was nuts! I felt bad for his wife, she cowered while he yelled at us. This was back in 1982… we moved out of that house in short order. He was tame compared to our neighbors in DC!

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        • Uh-oh. I am about to get on your bad side here: IF the doctor was so very happy with his lawn because he took tremendous pleasure in hanging out on it, sitting and laying on it with his children–then I can see how, if he had severe cat allergies, a cat next store, were it a prolific shedder, and chose his St. Augustine grass as its scratching post…

          But no one in their right mind likes to lay on prickly St. Augustine grass. There’s a reason cats everywhere choose it for removing unwanted hair.

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          • Cat was an indoor cat BUT I would take her out on the patio and stick her between my knees and use a comb to comb out furs and then rub furs into a ball and put in trash. He could only wish for St. Augustine grass… fescue was his choice. Kids.. two.. were not allowed outside because of the other neighbor’s dog that ran the fenceline. I don’t think you could get on my bad side. I am not crazy about cat owners that let their cats outside to poop in neighbor’s flower beds, kill birds, and spray on houses.

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            • I’m switching sides: Will you marry me? GACK!!! My beautiful, beautiful front porch, with its white wicker chairs and white wooden porch swing, and gorgeous cushions with purple twining morning glories…coated with cat fur, and reeking of spray every morning. GACK!!!

              And me so allergic. I felt like your doctor friend. But I just sprayed with Febreze with allergen killer and used a pet hair roller and cried.

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            • People who let their cats roam outside make me furious and frustrated. My concern is also for the cat. Bad things happen to cats when people get fed up with what cats do naturally. Cats are safer inside for tons of reasons. My best gal pal’s husband shot their neighbor’s cat because he got tired of the cat spraying on the pool furniture and pooping in their flower beds. I could never even think about hurting a cat but I understood his frustration. I would cry too over my wicker chairs and cushions. Our neighbor’s cat, which they didn’t give a crap about, was killing birds and voles in our yard and dragging them to our front porch to eat them. We woke up every morning to a blood bath on the concrete and had to bleach the porch everyday. That cat has been hit by a car crossing the road over a year ago. Sad.. all the way around. I feel that dog owners have responsibilities to their neighbors too. Okay, I am done.

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  11. SHOT it?! The poor cat AND man! and you and your friend! I hope the cat went instantly.

    I sat out on the porch daily, with my young children, and my allergies precluded that unless I handled this. I had to scoop cat poop out of their sandbox daily (we had no cover–we hadn’t thought of that when we’d built it for them). It never occurred to me to shoot the cats. The owners, perhaps.

    It is possible that the worst-offending cat finally took an involuntary vacation to a distant neighborhood. I could not say, even under oath.

    I agree free-roaming cats are often unhappy animals. And I can rant for weeks about irresponsible dog owners. Perhaps a post…

    Enjoy your responsible pet-owner day!
    🐱

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    • Babe this happened years ago… best gal pal is divorced from the husband and she didn’t know till years later he had done it. My friendship with best gal pal is no longer since 4 years ago. A post… ? Wow that would be a blazing hot topic. People are so strongly opinionated about cats and whether they should roam or be indoor… at the very least stay in their own dang yard.. 😀 I really am going to be good and zip my lip… er, stop typing. We are without pets now and probably forever. We run around too much and we are old.. 🙂 Who would take care of our kitty? Enjoy your evening Babe!

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  12. OMFG. I especially enjoy the part about trying not to hope her peace is the permanent kind! Hahaha! Oh I bet!
    When I lived on post housing (closest I got to condo/HOA type crap) it was all about who didn’t like you. People didn’t like my friend True. They’d call on her because her 8 year old was unattended on a bicycle while she was inside. They’d call on her because her hose was still in the yard from morning watering. They’d call on her because her trash bin had a broken wheel or her husband cleaned their van out in the driveway, or the pool still had water in it. Seriously, she was victimized. Meanwhile, we received no complaints ever, for many of the same “offenses.” The reason for this was because one morning her mean neighbor said, “Your baby should wear shoes” and True said, “He doesn’t walk and it’s 103 degrees, so he doesn’t need shoes.” But that’s it, that changed everything, and that neighbor called on her all the time! It wasn’t “People” it was ONE MEAN NEIGHBOR who felt scorned! When that neighbor moved out, no more calls. Imagine that!
    Is Amanda still your neighbor?

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    • Your poor friend. Yes, Amanda is still my neighbor. The poison here, however, extends far beyond her and her influence, it turns out. The entire story is ugly, ugly, and cannot yet be written of with humor. (For one example, the Board illegally denied me a ballot in last year’s elections. I am contacting the ACLU to see if they will agree to become involved, based upon this.)

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      • Mmhm. I feel for you. We all have those stories that cannot be written with humor. I hate those stories.

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        • ALL of my stories are those stories, initially. Time gives me the ability to adapt them. The Amanda story was a barrel of laughs while living it, but after surviving it, I could take the laughs out of the barrel and share them.
          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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