A running rant about bad television, crappy products, horrible service, mindless politics, corporate and government ineptitude, moronic media, marketing overload, public idiocy, stupid entertainment, etc. Here's what's annoying me today:


Trailer trash neighbors

We live in a very economically mixed town outside of Boston. Bought a house here about eight years ago, and have put a ton of time and money into fixing it up. It's a nice neighborhood of older houses, in very mixed architectural styles. The houses across the street are big Tudor style houses. About 100 years old. They are worth about a million bucks each.

Out our back door (which is our main entrance, and where we spend most of the time) is a 1970s style raised ranch. It hasn't been painted in 20 years. There are big piles of discarded lumber in the front yard. A couple partially dismantled cars sit in the dirt driveway. There is one of those plastic garages for the "good" car. A couple big piles of dirt with weeds growing out of them are on either side of the yard. Four trash cans sit outside the FRONT door. Until recently when the kids were out of diapers, the Diaper Genie sat on the front step.

There are four generations that live in this house. A nice old lady, a next generation couple that must be either her son or daughter (this seems to be the skankiest generation). A young couple that must be their daughter and her husband. And two little kids, just about the age of ours.

They have a pool in the back yard, and about 50 people come over nearly every weekend in the summer—they must have the best house in their circle of friends. They have one of those extra large blue plastic tarps that they make a tent out of. It usually goes up in the back yard around Memorial Day, and stays there till the first snow in the winter brings it down.

They are always friendly to us, and we are cordial to them. Even invited us to a couple of their parties. We dropped in once, just to be neighborly. It was very frightening. There were about 100 people in the back yard under the blue tarp. It looked like a block party at a trailer park in Kentucky. We left very quickly. We felt like The Keatons dropping in on The Bundys.

Or remember the episode of The Simpsons where the neighbors were trying to sell their house, and the prospective buyers looked out the window just in time to see Homer, laying in a kiddie pool, looking for the hot dog he dropped in the water. "Oh there you are". Picture that scene.

So this brings up many questions and dilemmas.
  • How do we teach our kids to not be judgmental, and that all people are created equal, when we go out of our way to avoid contact with this family.

  • How do we tactfully ask if they could at least keep their trash cans outside their BACK door.

  • When did we turn into yuppie snobs?

  • What the hell is going to happen when the old lady kicks the bucket? Will even more of the extended family move in?

  • If all the neighbors chipped in, how much would it take to get them to sell their house.

  • What kind of tall bushy trees can we get, that will fill out very quickly, that we can plant in the back corner of our yard, so we can block the view of their house from our deck.

  • How come I get nothing but porn, when I type "trailer trash" into Google Image Search. Oh great, now I'm gonna be in the top list of hits on Google for trailer trash porn.

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Blogger leif said...

Of course I had to try your google image search to, er, varify that your results were, uh, accurate.

I thought it was fascinating that a search for trailer trash results in so many images of Britney Spears.

...or maybe not so fascinating...

4:31 PM

Blogger Mary said...

Thank you for taking some of the trailer trash heat off the south. Looks like they have settled everywhere now :)

9:59 AM

Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

I mo' tell you what....When I went to North Carolina I saw trailer folks everywhere but when I returned to New England, I saw trailer folks that I didn't know existed up here! Rednecks are everywhere!!

10:36 AM

Anonymous r dub said...

dear cranky - I feel your pain. It's good you seem to have a sense of humor about your situation...cause there's not too much you can do about it in most communities. Although, if you truly are in a million dollar neighborhood, seems like there might be some kind of association of yuppy snobs to limit what a neighboring homeowner can do even in his back yard.

If you seriously want a relatively inexpensive and non confrontational solution....put up a privacy fence. It's cheaper than going in with the neighbors to get him to sell! If you are a naturalist and don't like fences, try a hedge. You can plant "arborvitae's" about 5' tall for about $50 each (midwest prices). Plant them about 4 ' or 5' apart. After a couple of years they will fill in and up to a fairly solid wall of blissful privacy and look fairly natural. The closer you plant them to your deck, the less of them you will have to buy to block your view and sound. If you plant them near your deck this would be a $1000 project, but you would not get to enjoy the view of your back forty which you have all rights to enjoy, especially since you apparently paid quite a bit for your acreage. If you plant them back at the property line the cost could climb quite a bit depending on just how much southern culture you need to screen.

4:43 PM

Blogger Rick said...

The Swedish Aspen tree or "Towering Aspen" as it is sometimes called, will grow VERY quickly. Even here in Alberta where the winters are brutally cold, a Swedish Aspen will grow 5 feet in one season. Planting several in a row creates an almost instant screen.

1:39 PM


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