For some of us, all it takes to get our creative juices flowing is a cup of coffee and a few minutes of free time. For others, nothing short of a three-day coke binge and a Pink Floyd laser show can spark their imagination. Then there's a whole category of weirdos who require an intensely burning grudge match to get anything done.
Here are five things that would have never been given life if not for humanity's undying capacity to never let a thing go.
#5. Chinese "Nail Houses"
If you've been paying attention for the last 15 years or so, you know that China is like a rapidly but awkwardly developing teenager -- they're growing so fast that their pants don't fit right, and their boobs are a little lopsided. In the midst of all this haphazard and frantic development, there are a few people who refuse to vacate their government-owned homes to make way for new Chinese strip malls. Builders call them stubborn nails because they won't budge.
Homeowner Luo Baogen, for example, refused to allow the government to demolish his home in Wenling in order for a new road to be constructed. Saying that the money offered wasn't enough for him to afford a new crib, he remained the lone holdout long after all his neighbors had left. Undeterred by the presence of one uncooperative human, the Chinese government just built the road around the home, leaving Luo Baogen and his wife a tiny patch in the middle of the asphalt.
Seriously, how many people have hit that pole?
In 2007, Wu Ping and her husband, Yang Wu, refused to give up their home in Chongqing to make way for a shopping mall. Officials tried to keep them off the property (they'd excavated the area around it so that it was situated in the middle of a massive pit), but they woefully underestimated how utterly badass this particular couple was. Yang was a martial artist, so he managed to scale the cliff leading up to the house using a pair of fucking nunchakus; after Chuck Norrising himself to the top, he unfurled a Chinese flag from his roof, as well as a banner that said "no violation of legitimate private property."
Horton Hears a Holdout
Sometimes really extreme measures are warranted. In one town, residents wouldn't vacate their homes to make way for an office complex, so developers rerouted an entire fucking river to encircle their houses. Using bulldozers, the construction crews created a mini river that was "as deep as a man and twice that wide." Then they cut the residents' power and fresh water so they ended up as squatters in their own houses.
It's kind of sad and kind of supervillain lairish at the same time.
#4. The Gay Pride House Across the Street from Westboro Baptist Church
We all dream of the day we can get recognition for doing what we love. Members of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church are no different from the rest of us. It just so happens that what they love is using the funerals of American soldiers and celebrities to get publicity for their hate-filled anti-homosexual agenda. Can WBC members help it that they are the skid marks on the underwear of the world? Of course they can, that's why they make us so mad.
Monika Graff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Yoda's speech from Phantom Menace apparently fell on deaf ears.
After seeing a 9-year-old boy stand up to the church by holding a sign that said "God Hates No One," one nonprofit organizer was inspired to do the same, but in his own way. Aaron Jackson looked up the church on Google Earth and happened to notice that a house across the street was for sale. Now, while most people would sooner take up residence in the depths of hell than live next to the world's most famous hate group, Jackson was in the market for housing for his group's volunteers and a place to make a point. Six months and $83,000 later, the house is now the property of Planting Peace ... and it's gotten a paint job.
They also got rid of all the closets.
Every time members of Westboro Baptist Church go to church, they are lambasted with the colors of gay pride. Even better -- the WBC's founder's granddaughter now works with Equality House to bring attention to bullying. We guess there are worse ways to spend 80 grand.
#3. Fences Built by Sheer Hatred
Robert Frost once tried to convince people that "good fences make good neighbors." It turns out it also works the other way around. Sometimes shitty neighbors make shitty fences -- on purpose. There's even a name for barriers created explicitly to piss off someone else: spite fences.
For instance, in 1876, railroad investor Charles Crocker built the mother of all spite fences to stick it to his less wealthy neighbor, an undertaker by the name of Nicholas Yung. Except for the lot owned by Yung, Crocker managed to buy up an entire city block, and all that was standing between him and his plans for total block domination was Yung, who refused to give up his sexy slice of real estate pie. In retribution, Crocker entombed the undertaker's house in a concrete wall so high that it required support from buttresses.
Not pictured: the prejudice porch and the hate hedges.
Although the fence did prompt Yung and his family to move, they refused to give Crocker the satisfaction of buying their land. After Yung died in 1880, his wife took up the pissing contest torch and kept the land until her death in 1895. In 1904, relatives sold the property and the wall came down ... and then less than two years later the entire area was completely wiped out by the 1906 earthquake and fire. Because karma's a bitch.
A hundred years later, spite fences are still being built. When his neighbors in a new subdivision started complaining about the smells, mosquitoes, and dust that emitted from his working farm, Rhett Davis offered to pay for half of the cost of putting up some normal fences. They refused, because a fence would block their view. So he built a fence anyway -- three demolished cars planted nose down in the dirt in front of his farm. He calls it his "Redneck Stonehenge."
Of course, we could point out that three solitary cars aren't enough to hack it as a Stonehenge imitation, but let's not keep pushing the guy.