Are they holding down the kid or the pig?
"Gawdammit." I swore under my breath as I clicked the button on the the bright LED flashlight that went off in my face. It should have pointed the light in front of me, but there are two settings, one forward and the other that was three inches from my eyes that I didn't know about.
Click, the blazing box of light goes off right in my eyes and drills into the back of my skull causing me to reel from the fence and curse under my breath. It's 1:00 AM and my eyes are used to the darkness because they've been closed because normal people sleep at that time. I finally figure out the flashlight and get it pointed at the dog, his eyes glow back at me as I see the tether he's attached to and that he's wound the leash around his paw, and he's barking because he's in distress.
I take a deep breath and instead of getting mad, I decide to write about our neighbors right then and there against that fence with little fireworks still shooting across my corneas. Here it is.
My girlfriend Becky and I live in what would be considered to be a socio-economically depressed part of Pasco County. There are neighbors on fixed or no income, some work, and some don't give no shits.
When you drive down the streets you can see that even though there's not a lot of fluid income here, the houses are kempt and clean. My property and the neighbor across the street back up to swampy forest with fifty foot oak and cypress trees everywhere. It's damn beautiful round heya.
Several months ago the house behind us that had been a vacant lot for years suddenly started seeing a lot of activity. After they got the lot cleaned up we heard the "BEEP, BEEP, BEEP" of a mobile home backing up into place behind us.
A week later our neighbors moved in. What I could see when I peeked through the slats whilst feeding the chickens was a young family; a kid about five, a teenage girl, and a young guy in his late teens or early twenties.
They didn't have power (no lights on at night) and they didn't have water because there was a blue porta-potty in their backyard (that would creak open on the spring and then slam at all hours) which was close to the fire pit they were building out of cinder blocks (which was close to my back fence and chicken coop).
One day I popped my head over the fence and introduced myself to the teenager named Cassidy and her son Hunter. Hunter looked like a feral wolf-child with long blond hair, a pair of shorts, and no shoes running around the prickers.
"Do you guys need water or anything? I have a hose here and a five gallon water container I can fill for you if you like." I offered.
"Nope. We don' need nothin'. We's just fine." Cassidy relayed back to me in clipped tones.
That night they had a seven foot tall bonfire in their backyard. The fire danger was high as we hadn't had any rain. I could tell they had a seven foot tall bonfire because shortly after dark my bedroom turned orange from the light from the fire.
"What are we going to do?" Becky asked nervously as we peered out our curtains at the conflagration.
"Go to sleep. If it gets any more orange in here wake me up and I'll go douse them with the hose." I replied. I was tired.
The next night they had a smaller fire but they were drunker and louder. They were hootin' and hollerin' a bunch o' drunk shit until I opened the sliding glass door and bellowed "YOU DON'T LIVE IN THE WOODS, THIS IS A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD!"
The young girl started mocking me and the young man cut her off and told her to shut up and they quieted down. All rightie then, back to sleep.
It was calm for a week then one day we heard "WHEEEEEEEET, WHEEET, WHEET" which was the undeniable sound a pig makes directly behind your fence. They got a pig.
they don't have power.
they don't have water.
they shit in an outhouse.
they have two dogs and a pig.
they can afford to drink box after box of Bud Light.
The next incident was several days later at the magic hour of 2:30 AM. They were yelling so Becky opened the sliding glass door and said "Hey, it's 2:30 and we're trying to sleep over here."
"Nite, nite then!" came their uber-snarkish reply over the fence.
I chewed on that all day. "Nite-nite." I muttered to myself. I could spit nails.
When I got home I grabbed the ladder and slammed it against the back fence, then climbed to a commanding height and in my biggest, deepest, boomiest voice said "Go grab an adult and bring them over here." to a young Cassidy. She had a stunned look (for a moment) then she went and fetched the Mom (whom Becky had met and complained to previously about the ruckuses.)
The Mom comes over and I let her know that this is a neighborhood, it was quiet before they moved in, and that I had had enough of being woken up every night.
I thought I was relatively calm to that point then I heard Cassidy say some snarky bullshit, denying what I was saying. They started swearing at me and I lost my shit.
I blew up like a peacock and started waving my hand and pointing at them accusatory style. Not a one of them showed the least sign of fear nor intimidation at my threats. They became like white trash wolverines and started snarling at me and Becky and calling me a meth-head and all sorts of crazy madness. I don't use meth.
Now mind you, I am six two and 200 pounds. The biggest one of them was the Mom coming in at 150. Pretty sure it would have been an uneven match, but they didn't flinch, just attacked, red-neck style.
"Fuck with me one more time and I will call the Sheriff's Office and unleash holy hell upon all of you." I swore at them and climbed off the ladder.
"YOU WANT THE NUMBER?" Jeers and cheers resounded over the fence.
The battle had begun.
About 1:30 AM their dog was barking. Enough time to get me razzed goes by and I call the Pasco Non-Emergency number and go stand next to my back fence. After they take my information and are about to dispatch an officer the dog goes inside and stops. "You still want the Sheriff sent out?" they ask. "Nah, the dog's done barking. Thank you."
Several nights later around midnight there is a major ruckus coming from the trailer that goes something like this.
Loud bump, ka-thump, banging noises.
"WHEEET! WHEEET WHEEEEEET"
Various chasing, crashing, smashing sounds .
"HOLD HIM DOWN! HOLD HIM DOWN!"
more banging, ruckus, car-horns, and tubas.
There were neither car-horns nor tubas but there might as well have been, the whole thing was pretty ridiculous. Becky and I sat and did our best to listen and watch the trailer from our bedroom while it was happening. We decided not to call the police because they were in their own house, and the whole thing was so bizarre it was entertaining.
A week later we had the dog incident which opened this story. I called the Sheriff that night but they got him in before the Sheriff's arrived and didn't answer their door. I know because I watched from my bedroom.
Again, several days later we're awoken from another ghastly loud sound reverberating off the fifty foot trees and into my bedroom like an auditorium.
"MOMMA! MOMMA!" over and over. The kids bedroom is a straight shot to ours and no one is dealing with it. At the five minute mark I put on my skirt and call the Pasco Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency number which is in my speed dial.
"This kid's been screaming 'Momma' over and over and the parents aren't doing anything. Actually, he's shrieking Ma'am. He's not screaming, he's shrieking." I file my report.
"We're sending a car now sir." The polite and calm Non-Emergency Operator tells me. I go to stand guard in the dark at my back window and observe what happens.
The kid screams and then stops, perhaps four minutes before two Sheriff's cars pull up. Right before the Sheriff's pull up, what must have been raccoons started having a fight out in the woods close to the house. They are causing a HUGE ruckus and it sounds like a little kid screaming.
The Officers start walking towards the woods to investigate the raccoon ruckus instead of the kid.
"NO! NO! NO!" I whisper-scream quietly in the bedroom, while agitatedly jumping up and down in my skirt, frantic because they don't realize what is going on. Their flashlights are heading towards the woods. "NOOOO!"
The Sheriff's get back in their car and drive away. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"
I can't believe what I am seeing and can't stop hopping up and down. Then the kid starts screaming "MOMMA! MOMMA MOMMA!" at full volume. You're kidding me.
They don't win.
THAT'S RIGHT! THEY DON'T WIN!!!
As I walk out to the living room to smoke a bowl and admit defeat amidst the sound of the child's wailing the Sheriff's pull around the corner and park in front of my house. I leap out the front door and down the steps shirtless in my red skirt with flowers on it and speed to the front of the yard.
The Officers get out of their cars and walk over and ask me if it was the racoons I heard. Just as they asked they heard "MOMMA!"
"OH YES! IT'S A KID! Follow me Officers to the back fence!" I exclaimed. I was so happy they were there.
As we walked across my yard I looked back and said "Sorry 'bout the skirt fellas."
"No problem Sir." they responded.
As we walked to the fence we could clearly hear the kid wailing from his room. They shined their flashlights into his room and said "Excuse us Sir, Thanks and have a good night."
They got in their cars and pulled back around the street while I resumed my perch at the back window. Instead of hopping up and down like an agitated chicken in my skirt, this time I stood hopping with excitement and a big fat smile on my face as I watched little beams of light poke around the kids bedroom. They were in the house, they saw the wolf-kid and pig, the Bud Lights, all of it. We live in a neighborhood and certain rules apply.
The next morning Becky heard them gathered around their low fire speaking in murmured and hushed voices. She couldn't really hear what they said but the term 'subdued' was used when she described them.
It's been pretty quiet around here since that incident. Months went by and I was feeling pretty Kingly about how quiet it was in the neighborhood recently. Then the other night they were out there, drunk, shirtless, and hollerin' some hill-billy shit.
After I filed my report with the Pasco Non-Emergency Line I told the Operator I was going to yell at them to shut the hell up over the fence.
"Thank you Sir for calling us instead. We don't recommend yelling over your fence to solve a problem, and we appreciate you letting us take care of it.
No problem. You guys handle those dirty little wolverines. Bring a Taser.