As many of you know, I'm not so very fond of my neighbors. And by "not so very fond", I mean that I hate them. Well, last night I couldn't take it anymore. It was the umpteenth time that their friggin' dog barked NONSTOP from the moment they left the house until 3 hours later when they returned. So, when I heard them come back because the dog stopped barking finally, I decided to summon up the courage to ring their bell and have a little chat. Now, I will put "VI to represent my neighbor (the Village Idiot) and "Me" to represent, well, me. When you read the VI dialogue, make sure you do it with a fake British accent like he actually does. It went a little something like this:
Me: Hi, I need to talk to you about your dog.
VI: Oh yes, we got a text from you not even an hour after we left tonight.
Me: Yes, and I can tell you that I let an hour go by of your dog barking before I wrote it. Here's the thing, the barking is otu of control and I need you to make it stop.
VI: Well, I don't kow how to make a dog stop barking.
Me: Hmmmm......I need you to figure it out, I can't live like this anymore. I have alerted you to the problem repeatedly and I get messages back like "I'm out". Well, I figure as much because the moment you all leave the house, she goes bananas.
VI: That's weird, I never hear her bark.
Me: Right, because it's when you LEAVE that it happens.
VI: I just can't believe that she barks nonstop, I mean I can imagine a few minutes but then she must settle down.
Me: Again, I promise you it's happening and it's nonstop and if it were just a few minutes, I'd be ok, but it's the incredible marathon barking session for hours on end that gets me frazzled like this. And by the way, you couldn't have a neighbor less sensitive to sound than I am, given my hearing aids and all.
VI: Ha ha.
Me: So, I promise you that if it's bothering me, it's gotten out of control.
VI: I just can't believe she barks that much, it's so unlike her.
Me: Once again, I assure you it's happening and it's very much like her. I know this because it happens ALL OF THE TIME. Do you think I"m lying about this?
VI: No. You know, I believe that dogs should be trained and when I've had dogs, I've always trained them. So, when she's around me, she doesn't bark.
Me: that's my point. I've grown up with dogs, multiple dogs, and I've never experienced anything like this.
VI: Well you wouldn't have because you wouldn't know what they did when you were out of the house.
Me: Ah, excellent point and it's exactly what I AM SAYING!!! I'm informing you of what's happening every time YOU leave the house. So, with your experience, maybe you could "train" your dog to not bark any of the time. I could live with 10 minutes after you leave, but the endless hours are frying my brain.
VI: Well, when you live in a condo, you do have to concede that there are noises and smells and other ways where you are aware of yourneighbors. I mean, I can smell the food you cook and I can hear your tv.
Me: Well, don't be a martyr, if there's something you need to tell me re: a way that I'm iimpacting your quality of life, please tell me and I will do everything I can to address it. I hope you are not suggesting that I should concede that 3 hours of barking is just a way of life?
VI: Well no, but sometimes you can hear things and Ih ave very good hearing and I hear things too. I'm really sensitive to music and pitch and tone, I just can't handle it when people sing out of tune.
Me: That's great with your stellar hearing and all, but your hearing impaired neighbor is going crazy listening to your dog so let's get back to how to fix that. I think that anyone could agree that there's a threshold for everything and it turns out that this is mine.
VI: I don't know how to fix it, maybe I can look online.
Me: Yes, maybe you can do that and here's what I'm saying, either we can solve this amicably as neighbors and youc an let me know how you will be fixing the problem or I will bring in a third party to address it and I am quite certain that will be an unpleasant experience. so, I'm telling you in person that this is an issue and am requiring that you address it and either you do and we live happily ever after, or I involve the authorities. The choice is yours.
VI: I just can't believe she barks that much.
Me: She does, I've been tempted to tape it and play it back for you from midnight until 3am so you can experience just how disruptive it can be.
VI: That would be great so I can hear what she's doing, do you have a voice-activated recorder?
Me: I neither have the time nor the inclination to do any such thing. I think you can figure this out yourselves. I have to go, this has been exhausting.
So, then he wanted to just chat with me about everything, clearly not getting that I'm standing there threatening to call the police/animal control if he doesn't address the issue. So, I ended the conversation saying, "I have to go now, American Idol is on, but you probably knew that because you can hear it upstairs. Good night and I look forward to hearing your solution soon."
Why am I being tested like this? Why must I be the ongoing victim of their stupidity and ignorance? Why cant' I just have normal neighbors with normal IQs and a sense of humanity? Is that too much to ask?