Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meeting Beaverton's Finest

I'll get to the bus test drives and such, but today I have to share a story from last night.

The Set Up
Boo has been working an unsustainable number of hours lately.  I like to complain about my schedule, but like I said in my last post, this is the most productive period of the year, so of course I'm working a lot.  Still, my hours pale in comparison to hers.  Beyond just working 7:AM past 7:PM during the week, she worked yesterday from 7:AM and didn't get home until almost 10:PM.  With a schedule like that, and a small condo full of people, we agreed to take a walk to de-pressurize.  I've mentioned before how I dropped an offer on a short sale house back in May.  This house is within a short walk of our condo, so we drive or walk by with some regularity just to make sure everything is okay with it.  Last night's walk was another one of those.

Since I placed the offer, the owners have moved away, leaving the house vacant.  Unfortunately, when they left, they weren't overly concerned with the state the house was in.  There's trash along the side and the yard and gardens have become wild.  It looks vacant.  Since the walk was too short to truly get the pressure off, we decided that we'd work off some stress by pulling weeds out of the driveway concrete.  This is where things turned a little weird.

Hello, the neighbors
We spent about 20 minutes pulling weeds and then pushed the results into a pile in the center of the drive.  there wasn't a yard debris barrel around, so we just left it there and set off back home.  As we stepped into the street, we could see first one flashlight and then a second approaching from 2 different directions on the street.  "Curious," I thought.  These flashlights accelerated towards us and behind them were 3 members of the Beaverton Police.  Apparently, they also are aware of the house being vacant.  So are the neighbors.  Our efforts to make the driveway a little less trashy attracted someone's attention, and they called the cops.  Nice.  While Boo explained to a female officer, I was talking to another, detailing our short-sale offer woes and our desire to not have the house become overly neglected before the paper-chase completes.  They accepted our story once I offered MS's contact info and they inspected the pile of weeds in the middle of the driveway. (queue a line from Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant about the tools and shovels and the garbage in the back of a red microbus).

So Much for Stress Relief
The flashlights snapped off, we turned to leave and the Beaverton police disappeared into the dark.  We started walking home while I shared tales of being shaken-down on a nearly bi-weekly basis while I lived in Las Vegas many years ago.  Boo would have none of it, completely overcome with the craziness of her work schedule and lamenting that we can't simply pull weeds out of a driveway without it going sideways.  I do have to admit, we're a long way from being neighborly.

Good Dude Deed Doers
In my youth, my friends and I would spot a car in the parking lot with their lights on and try to turn them off, calling ourselves the "Good Dude Deed Doers".  Nowadays, car alarms and theft paranoia prevent such a neighborly demonstration.  Instead, announcements across a PA system in a crowded mall are how car lights are resolved.  Nice and anonymous.  No community needed.  When I think about our weed-pulling, and how it was initially misinterpreted as potential property damage, I'm saddened.  Adding to that disappointment, the neighbor who saw us in the driveway chose to just call the cops rather than actually watch what we were doing.  Had s/he taken an extra 10 seconds, s/he would have seen we were simply pulling weeds.  A strange thing to do at 10 o'clock at night?  Yes, but certainly not harmful.  Ultimately, I'm grateful that my new neighbors keep watch on my soon-to-be new home, though.  The alternative of vagrants breaking in and camping there is far less appealing.

That's it for today.  I'll post some test drive thoughts next time.

1 comment:

Air_Cooled_Nut said...

I understand your comment about neighbors and communication (been there experienced that). It is sad.

BTW, if you're in a pinch and in need of additional work on your Bus ping me. I finally have space in my shop.

Good luck with the house and hopefully the neighbors will get to meet you and see how nice you really are.