I'm Turning Into a Bad Neighbor

January 22, 2009

Or I might be becoming a redneck. I’m not sure.

I have (I hope) fixed everything that has gone wrong in my house in the last month. I have replaced the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher. Okay, I didn’t replace them, I hired or begged big strong men to do it, but I made the calls. The problem I have now is that all my dead appliances are in the alley behind my house next to my garage. The only thing I am missing is a couch to make the look complete.

We have these guys who roam the neighborhood alleys and pick up all the discarded metal things that people throw away. I often see them driving around in their pickup with water heaters and car parts and other unidentifiable things. I assumed they would drive through my alley and take the dead appliances. They have not.

Apparently the price of these metals has fallen considerably recently so they aren’t coming around as often as they did before. I mentioned this to a friend of mine when I took him to the airport the other day. He owns some property in Minneapolis where you are allowed to dump up to two appliances every two weeks. In St. Paul we aren’t allowed to do that without paying a hefty fee. He said he would be happy to take them to the dump when he returned. He returns in another two weeks. So my stuff is going to be sitting there for at least another two weeks.

None of my neighbors have complained yet. They are all wonderful and I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. However there is one that I know I am pissing off though I don’t know which one yet.

When my electrician installed the ceiling fan in my bedroom he installed a remote for the fan and the light. I have no wall switches in the room and a remote was the most practical way to go. The problem is that the remote is on the same frequency as one of my neighbors. I know this because my light keeps coming on when I haven’t turned it on. The fan comes on in the middle of the night as well. At first I thought it was the cat but I hid the remote and the light and fan still came on. So I am constantly turning the light and fan off with the remote. I know I can change the jumpers in the light and the remote but I don’t know how to take the light apart to get to the receiver. Yes, I have called my electrician.

I have called one of my neighbors and have asked if they have a remote controlled light or fan. They don’t. I have not called others yet since it is my plan to walk the neighborhood and see how far from the house I can go before the remote doesn’t work on my light. I just keep forgetting about it.

I suspect other neighbors will start adding to my redneck collection of broken things soon. I expect to return to my house one day to find a gutted car on cinder blocks.

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  • Reply Lin January 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Hee! Haw! You know you’re redneck when you actually sit on the couch on the front porch and wave at folks driving by. Well, at least they’ll think you’re friendly!

    That whole remote thing is crazy! Our neighbors used to have the same code for their wireless doorbell as we did. We messed with them for a long time until they finally bought a new one. Now, some remote in our house keeps turning on the fireplace. I swear it’s the cat, but I have finally resorted to manually turning it on and off by the wall switch to avoid it going at all hours. Our lives are ruled by remotes, aren’t they?

  • Reply Jude January 22, 2009 at 11:51 am

    So long as you don’t get a citation because of the length they will be sitting there until they can be disposed of then I wouldn’t worry about it, I’m sure your neighbors understand. I don’t think I would like your remote situation, I hope you get it worked out.

  • Reply Jane Doe January 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    lol, well at least you don’t have a washer, dryer and couch in your backyard like my ex did for 5 months until the city of St. Paul issued him a citation.

    I hope you can get rid of your stuff before the neighbors complain!

    One nice thing about living in an apartment is that I can dump anything by the dumpster in the garage.

    Oh, and I received ‘The Kid’ yesterday, thank you! I read the first few pages and it’s hilarious! And I got a laugh out of your note, my daughters always write all over my paper too. I don’t think I’ve had anything I can really call my own since I’ve had kids. They take everything.

    Have a great day!

    Jane aka Zelda Jean Buttlips

  • Reply Pricilla January 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Would you like me to come over and stand on top of the pile? There is nothing like a goat to add to the redneck allure….

  • Reply lizzie January 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    You’ve been tagged! I always enjoy your posts and I thought others might enjoy them too. See it over at Words To The Wise.

  • Reply unfinishedrambler January 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Is that really a picture of your house? Wow. That’s pretty trash, if it is. 😉 Around here, where I live in upstate Pa., no one would notice. You’d fit right in.

  • Reply melissan January 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I have a recipe for redneck stew, if you enjoy it, you’re likely a redneck!

  • Reply Laura January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I am going out on a limb here, but I think that if the neighbor is a redneck, then he appreciates the stuff in the alleyway and is turning on the fan and light to make you more comfortable.

  • Reply Jen January 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Lin, I have recently learned (I will be posting about this soon) that my remote problems are from a bad receiver and not a neighbor messing with my sanity. Check the receiver on your fireplace.

    Jude, I hadn’t thought about that so thank you for the reminder. I think I will have son and his friends haul them into the garage until we can dispose of them properly.

    Jane Doe, It took St. Paul 5 months? I might not have to move them into the garage then. As for the kids….I haven’t slept through the night since February of ’93.

    Pricilla, I think you are right, my redneck pile definitely needs a goat on top of it. I’m sure the neighbors would love having you around.

    Lizzie, thank you so much!

    Unfinished, no that is not my house. My house is much uglier, seriously the siding on it is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. The inside is nice but the outside looks like someone squirted mustard all over it. The siding salesman must have been incredible.

    Melissan, Send me the recipe or give me a link. I’d love to try it. I need to know.

    Laura, you are a truly optimistic person.

  • Reply ettarose January 23, 2009 at 4:22 am

    There is one good thing about all that. They are not in the house any longer. As far as the remote, it reminds me of that commercial where the husband asks the wife what the light switch goes to, she says she doesn’t know and the neighbors garage door goes up and down everytime he flips the lightswitch.

  • Reply Split Rock Ranch January 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Hey, I have an old couch sitting outside that you’re more than welcome to if you’d like to complete the redneck decor look! Our Australian Shredder pup ate it and we finally threw it out – kind of tried to hide it behind the fence but heck, nothing behind us except a couple hundred acres of pasture with “da bulls” roaming around – so far they haven’t complained about the couch. Hope you are able to get your stuff out of the alley before the city does something – that’s exactly why we moved to the back end of nowhere – we got tired of city rules and crappy neighbors! Love reading your blog, by the way. Hubby and I read through it together last night and were laughing so hard we were crying.

  • Reply nipsy January 25, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hehehe, i don’t feel so bad now. I had a couch sitting next to my dumpster for weeks. Not sure why they wouldn’t take it, but omg did it look awful.

    Keep us updated on the remote hunt, that could be very interesting

  • Reply Janice January 25, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Hi I came by a few days ago but didn’t leave a comment. don’t worry about the junk it’s only temporary.Tell em your having a garage sale, you might get offers!

  • Reply Alison May 14, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I wanna know if you ever found out who else had a remote? Haha I would have been freaking out if my fan and light were going on and off by itself. But you seem too sensible to get freaked out. 🙂

    • Reply redheadranting May 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Me, sensible? I get freaked out all the time. In fact I would say I live in
      a state of freaked out. It was a defective remote. It kept going on and off
      on it's own. I had the electrician remove it so now I have to reach up and
      pull the little chain again.

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