Left: Japanese spurge, believed to be a noxious weed by my neighbor
(Toledo, OH) I originally planned to work around the house this weekend, but my plans may have changed. I think I'll put a chaise lounge in my yard and work on my tan, instead.
You see, I have an ongoing battle with an anonymous neighbor who likes to call the city to complain about my house. Some of your complaints have been valid, like when I needed to replace a missing section of gutter last winter.
Most other complaints have been downright petty.
Take today's visit, for example. Since he has been around so much to follow up on your repeated calls, the housing inspector and I are on a first-name basis. Victor [named changed to protect the bureaucrat] said that today's complaints involved "weeds, broken garage windows, and trash all over the yard."
Today Victor and I shook hands and agreed that I should have the standard 30 days to effect "repairs" to the "violations."
A few thoughts, dear neighbor-of-mine:
1. The plants that you describe as "weeds" are actually Japanese spurge, an ornamental ground cover that thrives in shade. I spent about $150 purchasing these plants this year. I know you might prefer every house in the neighborhood to have perfectly-trimmed, weed-free, Ozzie-and-Harriet fescue as landscaping, but grass simply will not grow under my giant red oak, and I never much cared for the Nelsons, anyway.
2. The "broken windows," as you likely know, were broken years ago by my children. Instead of replacing the panes every time a kid nailed the glass with a basketball (the windows are right under the hoop), we cut wood panels and painted them white, to match the garage. These days, all I have to do is put the wood panel back in when one gets knocked out. However, since I now have a month to rectify the problem, I have decided to wait until September 23 to replace them. Oh, and I am tempted to write the phrase "KISS MY FAT ARSE" on the panels until the city comes back out and cites me for an illegal sign.
3. Victor and I walked the property looking for the "trash" you described, but we failed to find any. Perhaps you could be more specific when you call, or, if there is no trash, you might want to empty a bag of trash in my yard when I am at work to make your story more believeable.
4. Finally, please be aware that the city housing inspectors have much more to do than to serve your strange agenda. There are entire city blocks with more abandoned buildings than habitable dwellings, and the time you spend with these frivolous complaints takes away time that could be spent on real problems.