When Small town Police rule by Military Law.
Katie Compton Boyd Facebook Post
It is said that one should love thy neighbor as one loves themselves. Unless you're a masochist of course. It is also said that good fences make for good neighbors. So begins the great fence war of Caswell Ave where every cop car in town was this morning...because we all know how much I just love authority. 4 cops. 2 neighbors. On one side we have a crazy late 60's blonde (dyed) Yankee with a cat named wee-wee from Pennsylvania. On the other we have a rather eccentric (I'm writing this dammit) MID 30's blonde belle with two dogs and an attitude. If you're placing bets, what's your wager?
Drive by my home and you'll notice a few striking similarities; it's green, my favorite color and matches my eyes, it's funky architecture which plays on charlestonian shotgun style complete with 'haint blue' ceilings, and wooden white picket fence which is both idealistic and classic. New South style meets Old South charm. Not to mention it's kinda skinny and sticks out in a funny, conspicuous kinda way. So, me. If I were a house. I love the front garden that's protected by the fence, lending lovely days amongst the blooming dogwoods and azaleas where a boy, dogs, and mama romp catching molting lizards and spying ladybugs. Or at least take the trash out in my bathrobe in peace. Did I mention I've been here since 2013? The folks in my neighborhood look out for one another, exchange collards and okra and would put themselves at risk if need be for their folks. There was, not long ago a peeper. A group of men from across 9th street offered help should I hear anything; a code. Just lay on my car alarm horn 3 times and someone will be there. After all, this mans sister lives behind me. His momma lives around the corner. His great auntie across from me. He did say, "I'd help you but f*** that B**** beside you. She thought I did yard work and called me 'boy'!" I told him the neighborhood went to the dogs when it let white women like us move in. No kidding. Who do you think had the popo at their house all day?
My picket fence stretches across the front and meanders down the property line dividing the houses. A poor design perhaps but the neighbor can access one of her backyard fences by entering through my white side gate. I'm not sure what Soltice did here, but like I know shit about property lines. I know, legally this: It's an easement. We both independently bought properties as is. The fence is original in construction and building inspector approved it. Also, while it's my fence, my gate, I can't obstruct anyone's rights to access their property. So, thusly, I ask it be latched so I can let everyone play without fear of running off and that I not lock it so she can move freely. Simple? Reasonable? Not my favorite words but it's worked since 2013. I also put cowbells on fence as my old fashioned alarm, and more than once as a single woman here I was thankful to have done so. It's my Christopher Walken approach to home security.
Slowly she began to leave fence open like some deranged power struggle. It was one night this November at 2:30am I was awake in the living room and all the lights off. I was joined by my husband though I'm sure he'd had rather let me stew in a dark room. 'Twas one of those 'wtf was I thinking' nights. That is until, 'crunch crunch' heavy mans boots in the gravel. Spoiler alert: it's a spt city truck, grey shirt, and yep, smile! Candid camera! He for some reason slipped in through...you guessed it, pooh bears gate! My mom and I refer to her as pooh bear as she mopes about, mumbling with her tummy protruding and arms hunched forward. I frequently amuse myself with quietly narrating her movements in my best pooh bear voice and will erupt in howling laughter if my mom chimes in with the 'honey song'. Now why would you want an open gate to that? Hubby showed her the camera footage and she gleefully bat her eyes and brandished the lock he gave her and attempted to get him to climb a ladder for her. She must've been doing a Harold and Maud impression and I left his ass on a ladder because bitches be cold...and because it's funny. She's also been prying into my personal life but I don't take much offense from a lady with a cat whos husband comes, ahem, twice a year, yells at her and returns to his mistress. Who am I to judge? Now for many emerging reasons, it's ever so important to make sure my gates are shut and the more strange she becomes.
Did she hear me talk about christoper Robbin too much, or did a return trip, or flowers or skip in my step trigger her? Did she realize I accidentally caught her canoodling (ewwwwww) some man in a sensible SUV? Maybe she hit her head as she's prone to fall, but all I know is shit hit the fan weekend before last. I went to a fellow moms house with W Saturday before last and got in, closed the gates. No sooner than I got in, a huge CLUNK, THUD! Something big hit the house. W woke tearful, dogs growled and I'm doing my best Annie Oakley face. Then the gate violently bashing the trash can so hard it falls over spills the contents and wood chips from gate flying. How long was pooh bear lying in wait? Blonde bob lumbering away in the moonlight. "Hey! What the hell? Knock it off! Right NOW!" I figured that was dignified considering. I left the rock on the porch and every day fought the urge to lob it. Arthritic or not, the beast has a decent arm on her. Every day it's the same. Fence open. I close it. Repeat. Someone get her meds! Stat!
Last night at 10:30 I hear the front gate violently slamming. Dogs growl, I creep to investigate and there's the side gate open. I go to close it, and it's stuck. I step but it's painful. She's put spikes all around! Thank goodness I stepped there, not W, my dogs, even my mom! She was hiding in the bush, slamming gate into can, shouting "bitch! You little bitch! Think you know everything don't ya!" In an unparalleled showing of maturity I retorted calmly "DB, you're drunk! Something is wrong with you and you need to get back in your house! You're waking my son, it's a school night and I've had just about enough". I realized the gate latch is not on her house but instead, a wooden piece painted by her to look like her house. I promptly go in, get a lock and latch that damned thing so I can get peace. First thing this morning, I unlock and remove lock and take W to school. Tired, I lay down to read.
I had peace for, oh, maybe 30 min until Fred growls at a man knocking. She's called the police! Now, he was in good enough spirits having to deal with crazy fence ladies but lo and behold, the idgit woman claimed I was in possession of her stolen property: the rock she lobbed at my house. 'Take it, its far too tempting to keep here!' Mayberry on mescaline. The officer was pretty clear, keep the gate unlocked by me, keep the gate latched to her. She slumped over in defeat but lifted her heavy head long enough to scream "but it's not her gate! It's not my gate! It's the city's! I'm calling the code enforcer". Good. Now back to relaxing I thought.
Ding Dong! I look and find I'm surrounded! A very stern code enforcer/police officer/soldier arrives. "Step outside ma'am." Ummmmmm. No. nope. Nope nope nope. I did offer he could come inside . Reluctantly at first to come in he begins to yell like a drill sergeant, standing erect and citing at rapid fire measurements and footage, code numbers and parcel numbers, his eyes fixed unearthly at my wall. He rattled random numbers at such a rate they seemed like bullets being fired upon some unseen enemy. Faster faster faster still, until whoa, I interrupt. I have no clue what just happened on so many levels. 'What did you just rattle off? I didn't quite get that.' Standing at attention he firmly lectured "I will not tolerate being interrupted ". Oh my god. Men like this exist? Ooookkkkay. He continues to lecture now insisting my fence is on her property and she can remove it. Not so fast. It's an easement. We bought as is. I might be able to get the builder to remedy this but this was original to structure. It's an issue, one I'm sure we all should resolve. He yells back "you interrupted me again! I don't appreciate your attitude ". Yeah? He oughta ask a husband. I asked so it's a code thing? "Yes, are you not understanding this? It's simple." But you're giving admonitions as a police? "I wear three hats. I can wear them well and switch them with no issues." Now, I'm biting my tongue bc I'm giggling wondering what the third hat is....'Katie, I think to myself, do not say dunce cap. Do not say dunce cap.' Ahhhh shit. Wonder how much bail money I'd need. I said 'now let me take a pregnant pause here. You say you have a copy? May I see it? You've patted it 5 times and I'm not being snarky but I'm not great at measuring and I just want help understanding.' Begrudgingly he has the property drawings. Not her house, who called him but mine. Interesting. I ask how much afar did the builder place fence? "Oh it's exactly 4 inches ". I could bite it no longer: I burst out laughing 'FOUR INCHES?! I'm not a lady to quibble over a measly 4 inches but far be it for me to judge! Clearly he was not finding this funny. Well fuck it, I do! I say 'and that rock and stakes? Using that to harm and terrorize innocents; do you need your cop hat back on now?' Now he did looked irked. He lowered his tone and says "go to the magistrate but if you file and I can't prove it, then you know about false charges don't you." Ohhhh I see what you're getting at. You know I can read between the lines I quip. With that he bellowed "you hadn't turned in your tour script (which I'm pretty sure I had) and since I'm the code enforcer I'm shutting you down!" 'Oh, you changed a hat! Yes, you are good at that! Very quick! Such fervor! Such consternation! Such an industrious spirit!' He leveled his eyes "I don't need your accolades ma'am". Clearly he doesn't know me. I explain since he's a code enforcer and police and _______(fill in blank) then clearly he knows it's a civil matter. He then rattles as if reading catechisms that I'm found to be in violation of bla bla blas. Ok, I ask. Where's the violation papers I'd need. "Ma'am, I just did it orally." Does he think I fell off a turnip truck last night? He then says "I have recorded all of this on my body cam" and smirked. 'Good. I'm glad you have because they keep you safe and myself as well which is why you've been recoded the entire time.' He also leaned in once to say 'there's some things I find weird. Very weird.' Gee honey ya don't say?!
On Tool Time, there was Wilson who remained concealed behind a fence. Maybe it's time to build a new one that would inhibit her so much she'd have to crab walk sideways to get through on account of her ample size. Or maybe the fence can be painted horrific neon but only on one side. Or maybe I have a bagpipe cd and a canter. A 6 yr old with water balloons and launcher. Or leftover fireworks. It's gonna be a long summer but a loud wet wild one!
So no, is this the happiest seaside village? Maybe I'll finally see eye to eye with Trump and build that wall! This is how 4 police were at my door ironically concerning safety, and you know those pics I took? I'll put them in comments section. Note the lettering that's irradiance. Maybe a riddle can get solved....and that pooh bear bitch will never get extra sugar again. We don't act like that in the south. Build a containment wall while we're at it on the mason Dixon line! My wall...gonna be yuuuuuge!