Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Audacity of Neighbors

About 6 months ago, our neighbors across the alley stole our dumpy black trash can and replaced it with an even dumpier, dented, smaller black trash can. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and use the moment as an excuse to buy a new, nicer can with wheels. Life has gone on as usual.

Yesterday morning I went to take out the trash. I forgot to bring in the can a few days ago, so I carried the bag out to the alley. And there I saw that the neighbors have now taken the opportunity to upgrade to our new wheelie can-- and...wait for it...replace it with the first can that they stole. Wow. They stole one, waited for us to get a newer one, then stole the new one and replaced it with the first stolen can. So I took all their sticky garbage out of MY can and left it, open, in the alley, and took BOTH of my cans back. Then Adam told me I couldn't leave them with no trash cans. So I gave them the dented, dumpy, small changeling trash can they left for us the first time.

And then the garbage truck never came because sometimes they pick up on holidays and sometimes they don't. So my wheelie can is still at risk in the alley.

Sheesh. Simon really gets worked up over these neighbors because there's always cars coming in out of their driveway through the alley. He hates it.

Not a lot of work on the house going on-- my car was broken into last week, so I finally got the window replaced. We've been doing some cooking-- I have a recipe to post shortly. And the dog ate some cooked and splintered rib bones, so I was on poop watch for a while.

There was a skunk on the porch today. Eek!

But it's Inauguration Day-- so let's all enjoy it!


Karen in Wichita said...

Our trash pickup is at the base of the driveway, which meets with our neighbors' in one big three-lane curb cut.

Our neighbors have the same trash service, so the truck stops in front of the driveways, and the trash guy dumps both carts (standard ugly orange ones provided by the trash company), then wheels them back to their opposing corners of our yards.

Sometimes he swaps them. We know this, because ours lacks the bolted-on name plate for the new company, and still has the name of the company they bought out. And, more importantly, ours has a wobbly wheel.

If we notice before there's trash in either one, we swap them back. Sometimes I wonder if our neighbor thinks we steal his on purpose... we're on good speaking terms, but they're the most tolerant people in the world so they probably wouldn't even mention it.

Amalie said...

That's what I assumed happened the first time, and it would be one thing if they were the same basic can...but our sanitation department doesn't provide the cans for our neighborhood yet. They are BLATANTLY taking a nicer one to replace their crappy ones. Grrr.

sarah said...

Jeez, what jackasses. In our old neighborhood someone stole our recycling bin (with our address emblazoned across it) that you can get for free from the city. Then I was walking the dog & noticed it was the neighbor - and they were using it to prop up the hitch on their crappy boat. Ken took it back :)

Karen in Wichita said...

Yeah, some of the other trash services (Wichita doesn't do the franchise thing, though they've been looking at it for years) have BYO trash cans, and I'm sure there are theft problems there.

Nearly everyone has their address on those, partly as theft deterrent but more as "here's where to bring it back to when it blows into the next county" information. Seriously: some places you have "Found Dog" signs on poles, but around here in the spring and fall you have stray unmarked trash cans lashed to them. We need a leash law.

Corey said...

I spray paint my address on my cans, and people still take them. *sigh*

Amalie said...

I plan on spray painting our address on this weekend, but that kind of in-your-face theft isn't really deterrable, I guess.

Karen in Wichita said...

It does let you file a police report, if you want to take it to that level. That's usually a pretty good deterrent.

Just A Girl And Her Craftsman Bungalow said...

Same thing happened to me. BUT the person who stole it -- a very old lonely man, I just didn't have the heart to get upset with. SO I just ordered a brand new one and spray painted the hell out of it with our address. I also gave him back his broken one that he had given us. SO now he has more trash cans then he knows what to do with. Oh well... life. Neighbors. Lonely old person who is a thief of trashcans! You have to atleast get a small kic k out of the situation I'm sure. :)

Stephanie said...

No. No! No, no, no! Seriously? Who DOES that? I'm blown away, Amalie. What crummy, crazy neighbors!

Green Fairy said...

Nobody has ever stolen our cans, but every dog walker in the neighborhood feels free to toss their poop-filled plastic bags in them because we're at the start of the alley. It gets nasty in the summertime.

Amalie said...

I will admit that I occasionally drop my doggie poop bags in one of the apartment complex dumpsters on my way home, but never in a private can. I do have a line.

I did try to let it go the first time and not make a thing about it. It was just a crappy trash can. But they are not sad old people; they are perfectly spry adults with children who wanted me to throw some mechanic work his way. Twice and in such a ballsy way was more than I could take-- there's still a slight benefit of doubt, but not enough to let them keep the can.