Fear Thy Neighbor

Do you really know your neighbors?

I postulate that the further you live from your neighbors the more you know about them. Case and point, when I lived in suburbia I knew a decent amount about people who lived throughout my neighborhood.

Now I live in an apartment on a floor with 6 other apartments that take up roughly the same amount of space as my old house. I know almost nothing about the people I live next to and across from, except what I can glean from observation.

I walked out of my apartment not too long ago to find a Houdini sized chest sitting in the hallway next to one of my neighbors doors. It looked like it was straight out of the 1920s. Upon closer inspection it appeared that this chest was in fact extremely old, and also, it was from Holland.

I’m not sure how this 5 foot tall chest ended up in America, or more specifically, my hallway. I imagine something that size is tough to move around one’s apartment so it probably made sense that it had to be temporarily relocated out into the hall for a bit to allow some space.

Did this mean someone on my floor was a magician? Or even better, a Dutch magician? I was so curious to see what was inside the chest. A sawed in half lady? A whole bunch of shackles and chains? But I didn’t touch it for fear that it was also a trick, and a dozen springy snakes would shoot out of it and scare the crap out of me. So I left it untouched.

The next day I come home to another surprise in the hallway. In addition to the Dutch chest, there was also a grody looking four story carpeted cat condo. (That is some awesome alliteration, OH there it is again!) So now I have Houdini’s chest and a cat condo in my hall. Two very large but very different items.

Granted it really doesn’t bother me because the area outside my elevator is more of a rectangle so they don’t block anything. But I did find the pairing of items quite bizarre.

Especially the fact that on this cat condo there was a yellow note taped to it that said “Please Don’t Move This.”

As though someone would be in the elevator up to the 6th floor talking to their spouse just as the door opened;

“Yea honey I was thinking if we could just find some sort of used really smelly shelving unit with a built in rug we could…. Oh my god its FATE!”

Don’t move this? I imagine the only possible move would be to chuck it down the stairs, or if you were feeling ambitious, bring it up to the roof and chuck from there. But either way I feel that note on a smelly carpeted cat condo just isn’t necessary. The hideousness of this object speaks for itself.

Stay away, I am a cat condo.

Aside from the stuff your neighbors leave outside their doors, sometimes we are given a glimpse into what goes on inside their apartment.

The exterminator comes to my apartment every other month or so. This is always a welcome visit, because as you may know, I have had some experiences with his clientele.

He comes in, sprays some stuff in the kitchen, puts some goo down in the bathroom and then leaves. He is in my apartment 2 minutes tops. Upon leaving I sign his sheet to say that he visited my apartment and I accept his services

On his sheet I can also see whose apartments he has already visited. Once, upon signing his sheet, I saw that someone had refused preventative bug measures.


What would you think if you found out that someone had refused fumigation service from the exterminator? Wouldn’t that make you wonder just the tiniest bit? Living amongst a kingdom of bugs and disgusting may be your prerogative but I live on this floor too.

I can only imagine 2 possible reasons you would not want the exterminator to come into your apartment and spray for bugs.

1. You run a Meth lab out of your bathroom
2. You are gross.

I envision one who does not use preventative bug measures also leaves open jars of maple syrup lying around and pieces of shredded Mexi-chicken on their floor.

It shouldn’t be up to you whether or not your apartment gets fumigated. It should be up to me. I want you to be fumigated. I need you to be fumigated and that should be enough for all of us.

For all I know it was probably the same guy with the cat condo and the Houdini chest, which I now know is either filled with dead cats or Crystal Meth.

So is it better to know your neighbors? Perhaps. But if your neighbor is the Meth addicted Dutch Cat Magician… perhaps not.