The neighbors and I got a new back fence yesterday. It had been falling down for the past nine years. The neighbors wouldn’t do anything about it until a big wind in February took part of it down.
We got added to the fence contractor’s schedule since a lot of fences blew down. Our date was Friday the 13th last week. The scheduler called to tell me the guys were running a day behind. She rescheduled it for Saturday. Then that fell apart, and the crew finally showed up a week later, yesterday.
In the meantime, I worked with the wife in the house below mine. She agreed that we needed a new fence and we agreed to wait for the fence company and not use their gardeners. She even wrote a check for their half of the shared part of the fence and left it under their front door mat for me to pick up yesterday on one of my many dog walks.
So when the husband called and said he wanted to meet with me this morning, all I could think of was that I was going to pass his complaints on to the fence company and not get involved. Let’s just say that I’ve had these situations come up before where the wife says one thing, and the husband says another (I had a downtown shop in a very entitled town).
I hurriedly put their check and mine in an envelope and put it out for the mailman to pick up so that I could say I’d already mailed the check.
When the neighbor came by (let’s call him Dan) with his clipboard, I suggested that we go look at it from his side. He wanted to see it from my side, which meant he had to enter the yard with my dogs. I reluctantly agreed and led him to the back fence.
Dan whipped out his tape measure and then wrote something on his clipboard. He came toward me to point at something on the clipboard, and I took a step backward.
“Don’t you know what’s going on?” I said.
“What is going on?” Dan asked.
Dan shrugged his shoulders.
“I am 64 years old,” I said. “Don’t come so close to me.”
Dan proceeded to show me a diagram on his clipboard, indicating how my yard had been built up over the years and is no longer flush with his. His yard has a big down slope from my fence. His backyard is shaped like a bowl with his house at the bottom.
“I’ve been adding mulch every year,” I said.
“And the weight of the mulch pushed the fence over,” he said.
“The fence fell down because it was 45 years old,” I said.
“The mulch against the new fence will knock it down,” he said, pointing to the clipboard.
“Yeah, in about 45 years,” I said. “How old will you be? I’ll be dead.”
I reminded him that the fence was already falling down in 2011 when we both bought the houses we live in. We agreed to have some posts redone in 2012 by my then gardener, and that part of the fence held in the big wind last month. Dan continued to argue that the mulch would knock over the new fence.
“What do you want from me?” I asked. “Do you not want to pay for the fence?”
“Why are you here?”
“We’re done,” he said.
Dan took his clipboard and tape measure and walked out my gate.
His entire side fence that borders the park has also fallen down. Why? Because it is 45 years old, and the posts are rotten. There is no mulch next to that fence!
Geez, I wish I would’ve thought of that before.
Seriously, you can’t make this s$#T up.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
I guess I should’ve offered to never put mulch in my yard again.
I also realized 24 hours later that this self-isolation is making me crazy. If you don’t believe me, just ask my neighbor, Dan.