Monday, September 29, 2008

Dilemma

Say you have a neighbor with whom you have no relationship with whatsoever who also happens to have their house up for sale - but it appears they might still live there since there's a car in the driveway. Say that you doubt you have much in common with that neighbor and think they probably wouldn't take kindly to you knocking on their door to say hello. Say that neighbor has a small pool in their backyard that you've noticed now looks like a murky pond you wouldn't let your dog drink out of. I'm talking dark green, can't see the bottom of the pool, Florida everglades, a alligator might jump out at them if they get too close murky green. Say you live in an area of the country where West Nile Virus is an issue and you have a family whose well being you are concerned about. Say you're almost 6 months pregnant and you're a little paranoid about your unborn child's health because you're hormonal and want to be as healthy as possible for him and his big sister. Say it freaks you out every single time you let your dogs outside because, what if they get bitten by a mosquito infected with West Nile because your neighbors don't take care of their pool?!

Let's then also say you are a very non-confrontational person married to someone who is even more non-confrontational and you don't want to start any trouble with your neighbors. Let's also take into consideration that a month ago someone rang your doorbell after lighting a bag of poop on fire* right by your doorstep and you're just a little bit concerned about possible retaliation.

What do you do?

Do you go to your neighbor and tell them you happened to look over the fence and saw their scary pool and you're concerned?

Do you call the city mosquito abatement people to have them come take care of it so you don't have to worry... and then risk your neighbors thinking it had to be you and then retaliating?

* - FYI, I know this was just a prank but I'm still upset about this. This incident occurred the night before my 32nd birthday and when I saw the fire blaze up and they rang our doorbell, I was sure my house was on fire and that my family was in danger. It was a fleeting moment, but while my parents - who were in town visiting - and my daughter were sleeping, I screamed out "Fire!" and then froze in fear because I just did not know what to do first. The blaze settled down quickly and Daniel poured water over it to put it out completely so there was no harm done, but there could have been. The front of our house is dense with foliage. We have ivy growing all over our walls/the ceiling above our front door, and flowering bushes lining our sidewalk. What if the prank had led to our house actually catching on fire? I think the worst part of it was Daniel and I ended up staying up late and worrying about what prank would come next and what could happen. Now, I feel a little less safe in my house because of that fleeting fear I had when I saw the fire... and that just sucks.

ADDED LATER:
So... as interested as I was to read all of your opinions, I just couldn't sit around and do nothing. As a friend so aptly put it, it's not just my family that is at risk. This seemed like an opportunity to be proactive instead of sitting around being anxious about what could happen. So, I called in a complaint. Turns out, someone else called last month and when the mosquito abatement people came out to look they saw that efforts were being made to fix the problem. Um, apparently they dropped the ball again. I was told someone would come out in the next day or so to take care of it.

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