This month marks the third anniversary of us living in a
meth-free neighborhood (as far as we know). We have a celebration each year
where we barbecue, only we use natural gas instead of lawn mower gas. And we
barbecue in the actual barbecue. Allow me to explain – here’s the account of
what went down three years ago:
We had a neighborhood barbecue a while back. It was on a
sunny Sunday afternoon in March, and it was the kind of day just tailor-made
for an impromptu get-together out on the street.
We didn’t grill burgers or dogs, though. We cooked a Prius.
Well, I shouldn’t say “we” cooked a Prius, so much as, the
meth addict felon who lives down the street cooked his Prius. We just all came
out to watch.
That fine afternoon, Sir Meths-a-Lot had somehow caught
something in the middle of his driveway on fire. He remedied that situation by
intentionally kicking over a large can of gasoline at the top of his
driveway, which ran down into the fire and strangely enough, started a much,
much larger fire.
By the time I saw the giant plume of black smoke rising above
the rooftops, the entire driveway was burning, his Prius, which was parked at
the curb in front of the driveway, was ablaze, and a flaming river of gasoline
was running down the gutter toward two of his neighbor’s cars.
His also-a-meth-head-but-so-far-only-committed-misdemeanors brother
managed to get the fiery river put out before any more cars caught on fire, and
it wasn’t too much longer before a couple garden hoses had the entire barbecue
extinguished and Captain Felony Meth could concentrate on shouting at one of his
neighbors to – and I’m not making this up – “mind your own business, bro.”
This fun Sunday afternoon get-together came after at least a
year of other amusing antics and shenanigans over at Methtopia, including, but
not limited to the following (and keep in mind, I am not making any of this
Fights on the front lawn
Homeless lady living in her truck out front and using their
Power washing the house/driveway/street at midnight
Throwing two dozen eggs from the side yard onto the
neighbor’s house at 3 A.M.
Vacuuming the street with a Hoover upright
Mowing the street with an electric lawnmower
Power washing the lawn
Oh, and a full guns-drawn SWAT team raid on the house
That was all just neighborly fun and games, but apparently I
have a limit, and as we found out, that limit is lighting the street on fire.
After the barbecue that no one was invited to, I did some
internet research and came up with a few phone numbers. I texted around until I
found the property owner and told him that his renters just lit his entire
driveway on fire and it was time for them to find other, more suitable accommodations.
He then told me he only managed the property for his son,
who owned it, but he would go check things out that day.
When I inquired back about the property visit, he texted
back, “Everything looked fine. No problems.”
I decided at that point that an in-person meeting might be
At the meeting, which took place at my kitchen table, I
informed Roy of all the silly things that have been going on over at his son’s
rental property, and that it was definitely time for the renters to fire up the
old Prius, as it were, and head on out.
He amazingly tried to make the case that they were really
quite nice, but I finally convinced him to give them notice. We settled on a
charitable thirty days’ notice, even though three days were all that was
required by law, given the many, many drug arrests that had occurred in the
home. We shook on it.
The thirty days would have expired sometime in April, but he
texted me later that week to tell me he changed his mind and they could stay
until the lease ran out on August 31st.
I texted him back and told him how small claims court works
for a landlord operating a nuisance property.
He ignored me.
During the dedicated public servant portion of the barbecue,
Mr. Amphetamines-R-Us got popped for felony possession of a weapon while on
parole (parole in this case, I’m assuming, meaning the entirety of his twenties
and thirties), so he went back to his home away from home.
My first-ever incarceration report search (God bless the
internet) turned up the fact that Doctor
Now-I-Have-To-Do-Crappy-Jail-Toilet-Meth was scheduled to be in the slammer
until after the lease expired, so I let it go.
A For Sale sign went up on the lawn in July, and things were
looking promising until Future Eagle Scout Time-Off-For-Good-Behavior came home
in mid-August to resume his standard routine of basically living in the front
yard and doing absolutely nothing even remotely productive with his life.
I texted Roy. Here’s how that went.
Me: When will they be out?
[August 31st ]
Me, On August 31st: Will your tenants be gone
by the end of today?
[They will start moving tomorrow hopefully . but not
later than Tuesday
They are moving to my other house, other house’s tenant
be out till midnight,so don’t worry PL try to help me find a nice buyer]
September 2nd: [Because holiday,may be we are
running behind ( one day)]
Me: So, will they be out by Wednesday?
[Yes sir (OK hand emoji)]
September 4th: [They are moving since last
Me on September 5th: Your tenants are still at
the house tonight.
[They are moving it may take 3 days to finish,sir]
Me on September 10th: It is Sept 10th.
Your tenants were supposed to be out on August 31st. They are still
in the house, with no signs of being out any time soon. What is your plan to
get the felon drug addict who nearly burned your house to the ground out of our
At this point, I received a text from the second number I
had, which I thought belonged to the owner, Roy’s son.
[This is Bea. Im Roy's daughter. I cant help but get your
texts everyday. Are you renting the house or buying the house on plum? Whats
really going on?]
Me: Sorry to have included you on the text string. I
thought you were one of the owners. I'm a neighbor with kids, on a street full
of people with children. The tenant is a meth addict, a felon, and the
definition of a nuisance. He nearly burned down the house one day, which was
when I contacted your dad and told him they needed to go. And I am honestly
amazed that he didn't come to that decision on his own! This was after the SWAT
team raided the house with guns drawn while my kids were playing in the street,
and I don't know how many fights on the front lawn between the felon and his
drug addict associates. I met with your dad and he told me in person he would
evict them in 30 days. He then went back on that and told me they would be
allowed to stay until August 31st. It is now Sept 10th. They need to leave this
neighborhood, and I need to know an actual day they will be gone. They are
wholly unacceptable, and suing your father for running a nuisance property is
the only next step. I already made him aware that each affected family can sue
for $5000 per person, including children, which adds up to a conservatively
estimated $100,000 lawsuit. Time for them to go, now. That's what's really going
[First, I d like to thank you for being a concerned
Second, if my dad says he will do something. You can mark
my words. He is a man of his word.
3rd, My dad raised 3 kids in the same neighborhood. I
want you to know things are being taken care of.
I just need to step off the gas pedal a lil bit and know you
have been respectfully heard and my family is making it happen.
My dad stays unwell. Please be respectful. Nobody is
ignoring you. We are all families in this community
Contact me directly from now on.
The new family thats moving in has their trucks outside
Me: I was not aware your dad was unwell. I will contact
you from now on, but hopefully that won't be necessary. What do you mean when
you say the new family moving in has trucks outside being loaded? As of this
minute, the Plum house is still occupied by the old tenants.
[Again Marc, I want you to know my dad is under doctor's
care and is very fragile. He is a good man. You will be taken care of at any
Have faith and some patience. M working on it too from Chicago
You have our utmost respect n attention. I will
personally contact you soon.
I m looking out 4 my dad and his health too. I only got 1
He dont need threats, your request is enough 4 all of us
to step in.
My name is Bea. M his oldest kid. I invite you to be
patient with serene calm mind. Universe will return the favor in 10 folds.
Namaste! (prayer hand emoji)]
Umm… say what?
Me: I am nice and serene. You didn't answer the question.
What do you mean when you say the new family moving in has trucks outside being
loaded? Outside where? As of this minute, the Plum house is still occupied by
the old tenants.
[We have new tenants moving in very soon. Be patient, be
kind. Everytime u look towards the house, inhale love n exhale love. Right now,
you may not be perceiving things as they are, rather how
No need to be on pins n needles. Cuz I got chu! Relax.
Your request has been received, approved, accepted,
What in the actual hell is this idiot talking about? Are
there three different people on the other end just grabbing the phone to text
random crap at me? Can someone throw the phone to an adult?
Me: What actual date on the calendar will your current
tenants be gone?
[I will call you tomorrow with that. Im sending my own
tenants from my house to shift over there.]
Me: Text me. I like to have things in writing. It brings
me peace and harmony.
[Blessings (double pink and red heart emoji)]
They did finally move out, but it took another week. I spent
that week wondering if I was perceiving things as they really were, and
concentrating on inhaling n exhaling love.
I’m fairly certain I was communicating with Bea’s idiot
boyfriend more than half the time during that week, and I’m positive he was
inhaling n exhaling something entirely different.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2022 Marc Schmatjen
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