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How to Handle Those Annoying Neighbors

I’ve been pretty fortunate in recent years to have had some really awesome neighbors. I’m talking 1950’s style, “Good morning neighbor!” type neighbors. All that’s missing is the newspaper in the driveway and some pastel-colored 50’s Chevy convertible.

But, for as good as it’s been in recent years, I’ve had some really interesting run-ins in the past. For example, I once came home from work to see that my neighbors had chickens running around their yard. I’m not talking about one or two, but close to a dozen chickens clucking and walking throughout the backyard. I’d like to also take this time to point out that this wasn’t some farmland in the middle of Jackson or Plumstead, but instead your regular old suburban community. You know, just with chickens.

So, how do you handle something like this?

First, I tried reaching out to my neighbors, but they continued to deny that they even had chickens, even though with one glance over the fence the feathers hanging on each blade of grass were more than obvious. I almost want to congratulate them for their ability to keep a straight face while denying it.

All efforts to handle that one normally – assuming “normal” was even possible in that instance – ended with one call to the township.

There are of course other instances that have come and gone over the years. I’ve had neighbors throw trash into my yard, which I always collected in a bag, delivered to their front door, and kindly asked them to stop doing. And I even had a neighbor’s cat use my yard to conduct his business.

To be honest, the best way to approach your neighbors isn’t with anger, but with good intentions. I know it’s hard when you’re picking up trash, or see Garfield treat your yard like a litter box, but if you approach it with a smile on your face and treat it like a misunderstanding, you may soon find out that there’s no reason to blow things out of proportion.

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