But, again, I'm a humble tenant. The second the whole neighborhood inevitably grabs their pitchforks and torches to chase me back to the abyss where I belong, I can just piss off and start my reign of terror somewhere anew. No such luck when you're financially tied to the area -- if you're the shitty neighbor, congratulations! You're married to the house until the whole town gets tired of you and straight-up murders your ass.
"But Pauli," you say. "Just because you'd be a pathetic, black-hearted excuse of a house owner and, for that matter, human being, it doesn't make every potential house owner a dickhead." That's true, it doesn't automatically turn you into one -- only potentially.
Like The Shining but for assholes.
It's so, so very easy to get caught up in neighbor shenanigans to the extent that you're elbow-deep in petty dickery yourself. Sometimes, all it takes is one asshole and a situation where you both own your houses and are thus unable or unwilling to move away. Take the story of yet another one of my friends, whom we'll call Andy Mandude. For years and years, his family was tormented by a total asshole of a neighbor who kept stoning their dogs, deliberately blocking their car on the narrow road they shared, physically picking fights, and generally acting like a five-star asshat, usually running back to the safety of his own property at the slightest chance of getting a comeuppance. Over the years, the situation escalated into a terrifying real-life version of the many imaginary battles between Donald Duck and Neighbor Jones, including (but not limited to) antics such as:
- a full-hearted attempt to chainsaw down a flagpole
- ongoing, liberal verbal abuse
- several physical wrestling matches
- actual freaking death threats
- stoning and shooting of pets
Even Biggie and Tupac kept their beef human-side.
- a reluctant, ongoing truce that Andy fully acknowledges can and likely eventually will break right back into horror shenanigans.
And that's hardly an isolated case. Google "neighbor arguments" and you'll find thousands and thousands of assholes you'd gladly pick a fight with if you found yourself living next door to them, or just read some of the best ones right here. Who's the asshole in those fights? Ask both parties, and they'll point the finger at each other. Which means that if you're in even a mild, petty neighborhood argument, you are automatically an asshole. Even if you are in the right.
Eventually, you'll get tired of it and decide, "Fuck every last second of this. Owning this house isn't worth an ulcer or a heart attack." Or you'll get old and realize you have too much space to take care of ... or you'll have a family and realize you need more space. So you'll sell your home and buy another one. And the person who buys your house will inherit all of the old fuckery you had to deal with. They'll complain about your half-assed repairs and their new psychotic, dog-shooting neighbor. They'll bad luck their way into an exploding sewer pipe and blame you for being negligent. Meanwhile, you'll be doing the same thing at your new house. And that, friends, is the Circle of Homeowner Life.
Owning a house might be akin to owning a fountain of poop, but selling a house is like jumping in that fountain and then rolling around. See why in 4 Things I Learned When I Tried To Sell A House On My Own, and learn about home maintenance from our resident ghost expert, Soren Bowie, in 4 Tips For Fixing Up Your New Home (That's Clearly Haunted).
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